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WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FIRST, SECOND AND THIRD DEGREE MURDER?

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FIRST, SECOND AND THIRD DEGREE MURDER

“According section 300 of Indian Penal Code, Culpable Homicide is considered as murder. The act committed with an intention to cause death. The act is done with the intention of causing such bodily injury for which offender has knowledge that it would result in death.”

FIRST DEGREE MURDER

“The intentional killing of another person by someone who has acted wilfully, deliberately, or with planning.”

In maximum number of States, first degree murder is described as an illegal killing. This is each wilful and premeditated, which means that is changed into devoted after making plans or “mendacity in wait” for the victim. For example, Rahul comes home to locate his spouse in mattress with victor. Two days later, Rahul waits at the back of a tree close to victor’s the front door. Victor comes out of his house, Rahul shoots and kill him.

Most of the states additionally adhere to an offense idea referred to as the “murder rule” under which when someone commits first degree murder if any death (even an unintentional one) outcomes from the commission of positive violent offense such as:

  • Kidnapping
  • Rape
  • Robbery

For example: Ravi and Rahul rob victor’s liquor store, however as they are fleeing, victor shoots and kills Rahul with first degree murder for Ravi’s loss of life despite the fact that neither of the robbers truly did the killing.

There are three elements of first degree murder which are as follows:

  • Wilfulness
  • Deliberation
  • Premeditation

Wilfulness

First degree murderers must have the precise purpose to end a human life in order to be considered intentional. This intention does not have to be the same as the actual victim. First degree murder is still committed if the killer wants to kill but kills the wrong person or a random person. Furthermore, several state laws make it illegal to kill someone by acting in a wicked manner.

Deliberation and Premeditation

Only a case by case analysis can decide whether a killer behaved with the deliberation or premeditation required for first degree murder. The requirement for thought and premeditation does not imply that the criminal must think about or plan the murder in advance. Time enough to create the conscious purpose to kill and then act on it after a reasonable person has had time to think about it.

SECOND DEGREE MURDER

Second degree murder is described as an intentional killing that is not premeditated is merely intended to-do bodily injury, and exhibits a complete disregard for human life. The precise legal definition of this offence will differ depending on the jurisdiction.

Even in some states they don’t use the word “second degree murder” , they almost certainly divide murder into two degrees and give lesser crime lighter punishment.

Intentional killing without Premeditation

These types of murders do not necessitate any prior premeditation on the part of the perpetrator. The perpetrator clearly means to kill the victim at the time of the murder, but the killer had no intention of killing the victim prior to that point.

For example, Nikhil and Ajay are neighbours who have recently clashed over the fence that separates their properties. When Nikhil pays Ajay a visit to discuss the situation, he grabs a shotgun from above the fireplace and shoots and kills him.

When Nikhil went to Ajay’s residence that day, he had no intention of killing him, thus there was no premeditation. Nikhil on the other hand, had intention of killing Ajay when he pulled the shot. Prosecutors are likely to charge him with second degree murder in these circumstances.

If, on the other hand, Nikhil murders Ajay without provocation during a sudden quarrel, the prosecution will almost certainly be voluntary manslaughter. The premise is that if Nikhil is motivated by the heat of passion, the moral guilt is reduced.

THIRD DEGREE MURDER

If someone dies accidentally while conducting a dangerous conduct, they may be charged with third- degree murder. In contrast to First and Second degree murder prosecutions, where intent is usually required, this charge does not need intent.

For example, if you sell or give someone illegal drugs or counterfeit illegal drugs, and that person dies because they used them, you can be charged with “third degree murder”.

What do you think?

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Written by Tanya Sharma

Tanya Sharma is a final year law student from GGSIP University, New Delhi. She is very passionate about legal research and writing articles/blogs. As it has enhanced her adaptability and communication skills. She was the part of Legal Research organization. She has a keen interest in Criminal law as well as Family law.

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