MEANING OF FIRST, SECOND, AND THIRD-DEGREE MURDER
First-degree murder (where the intent to kill is recognized), second-degree (determined by the direct actions of an individual that inadvertently lead to a fatality), and third-degree (where a death is the result of recklessness). they make a difference in the classification given to the worst possible crime with respect to the intentionality in the action, which supposes giving an abrupt end to a person’s life
It is a variation of homicide, called intentional homicide because a homicide can be involuntary, but when there is an intention in the execution it is classified as murder. However, in certain laws, there are no differences between the notions of homicide and murder.
When inquiring into the etymology, it is observed associated with the verb to assassinate, regarding murderer, going back to Arabic as ḥaššāšīn, to indicate individuals of the Muslim religion who act under the influence of drugs, specifically hemp or hashish, when attacking women. Christian forces in the context of the Crusades. What Is 1st, 2nd, And 3rd Degree Murder?
Difference Between First, Second, and Third-Degree Murder
The murders are categorized into three levels, each one has its characteristics, which we briefly explain and illustrate below, noting that the identification of a case is the result of a meticulous investigation process capable of ruling out other possibilities.
First Degree Murder: Occurs when an action is taken with the direct intent to kill. Such is the case of poisoning or strangulation. Whoever performs the action is aware that it results in the death of the other person, therefore, it is done with intention and treachery.
Second Degree Murder: Occurs when an action that can have fatal effects is carried out but is not done with full intent. For example, if two people argue and one of them hits the other and takes his life, a second-degree murder can be argued. The reason is that the blow was made during the confrontation, but not with the intent to kill.
Third-degree murder: These are murders that occur recklessly. For example, a person who drives while intoxicated and in an accident causes the death of another. The intent was not to take life, as this happens by mistake or thoughtless behavior.
In each variety of murder, there are different penalties and procedures. It is necessary to know them since they are part of criminal procedural law.
First-degree murder trial
This type of murder carries a higher sentence. It is considered that whoever commits it is a dangerous individual, and that is why he must be separated from society. In countries like the United States, life imprisonment or the death penalty is contemplated for these cases. The idea prevails that whoever commits a murder of this type is a risk to the collective.
In the case of Venezuela, sentences of up to 30 years are granted for this crime. It should be noted that a first-degree murder suspect cannot be paroled. During the process, he is arrested and isolated. The reason is that he is supposed to be someone violent, who in freedom is a danger to other people.
Characteristics of second-degree murder
It implies an intermediate penalty. However, many times the legal diatribe is prolonged trying to prove that the murder was not intentional. Under certain circumstances, the person who commits this crime may have probation while being prosecuted. There are three conditions that are taken into account in this circumstance:
– That death occurs in an unpremeditated state, such as a fit of rage.
– That it happens due to an act of irresponsibility.
– That whoever commits the crime shows indifference to human life.
That is to say, within second-degree murder, there are also certain levels. Many times, it implies a psychological evaluation of the person who commits this act. For example, someone who loses control easily and in a fit of anger is capable of killing, then he is considered a dangerous person.
In the case of third-degree murder
It carries a lower penalty. It is considered that it occurs due to an act of imprudence, but not due to the explicit desire to kill. It also implies a loss of freedom. In addition, some type of compensation is usually demanded from the relatives of the victim.
As with second-degree murder, it happens that it must be shown that there was no intent in the act committed. It is usually easy to demonstrate a lack of treachery in these cases.
Higher penalties for this crime worldwide
For murder, exemplary punishment is usually received. It is a crime that violates the basic principles of a society, where individuals must respect the right to the life of others.
There are various criteria for establishing penalties for murder. We have already mentioned the idea that a murderer is considered a dangerous person, that is why he must be isolated, he cannot be left free or in contact with the social environment. Under this criteria, the highest penalties that exist are life imprisonment and the death penalty.
Prison sentences range from 30 to 50 years in prison for those who commit third-degree murder. In this regard, there has been much speculation. The reason is that the State must invest in the maintenance and care of a person for a long time by having them detained, this being money that perhaps can be invested in other things that are more favorable to the community.
Self-defense figure: “I murdered him, but it was to take care of my family or protect my property. Am I going to jail?
When this assumption occurs, we are in the presence of a homicide carried out in self-defense. Many consider it involuntary manslaughter, the result of the right to protect life itself and its interests. Such is the case of a criminal who breaks into a house, but he himself is captured by the inhabitants of the house and dies in a fight with one of them.
This action is considered a crime, and whoever commits it must pay with years in jail, however, in many legal systems if it is shown that the death occurs in self-defense, then the active subject of the crime is released.
Likewise, it may happen that whoever commits a murder for these reasons must undergo psychological consultation and periodic appearances in court. The reason is that a variant of second-degree murder is estimated.
All of the above is implicated in the issue of the crime of murder. It is part of criminal law, being one of the most dangerous transgressions of the law, and that contemplates the greatest legal penalty.