Have you been accused of Murder? Choose an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer. Choose O’Brien Law Boston.
Murder, is the unlawful killing of another human being with intent (or malice aforethought). Within this definition are the five elements that common law murder consists of. First, that it is unlawful. This differentiates murder from legal killings, such as execution and self-defense. The second element is killing, which was originally defined as cardiopulmonary rest. This definition has changed as medicine has advanced, where courts now considered the irreversible cessation of all brain functions as the end of a life. Third, the victim must be a human. It is this element that introduces the argument of when a human life begins. Next, another human being must commit the murder. This element clarifies that murder is not suicide. Finally, there must be malice aforethought. Malice aforethought can be expressed, such as intent to kill, or implied. There are four different states of mind that are recognized as proving malice. They are the intent to kill, the intent to inflict a severe injury that will not result in death, the reckless indifference to something that presents a high risk to a human life, and the intent to perform a dangerous felony. On the other hand, to prove implied malice, there must be acts that show a reckless indifference to human life or a death must have occurred while certain felonies were being committed.
Murder is the most serious crime of the group known as homicide. It is the particular state of mind that distinguishes murder from other forms of unlawful homicide, such as manslaughter.
In the United States, jurisdiction for murder cases is based on the state in which the crime was committed. There are exceptions to this under which the crime falls under federal jurisdiction. These include when the victim is a federal official, when the crime occurs on federal property, and when the crime involves the crossing of state lines. Under federal law, mandatory sentences are broken up into three distinct offenses. First-degree murder carries a mandatory sentence of death or life imprisonment. The sentence for second-degree murder is life imprisonment, or for any term. In the federal courts, the third category is second-degree murder by an inmate (escaped or currently imprisoned) who is serving a life sentence. This carries a mandatory sentencing of life imprisonment.
Since the loss of human life causes such grief for individuals and families who are close to the victim, murder has one of the harshest punishments administered by law. Each state sets mandatory sentences for murder within its jurisdiction. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the mandatory sentence for first-degree murder is life without parole. First Degree murder is a murder committed that is both willful and premeditated in nature. Felony murder is usually classified as being first degree. It broadens the crime to include when a death occurs while committing a felony. Under this, all participants in that specific felony are liable for any deaths caused during or because of said felony. Second-degree murder is a murder that has not been premeditated and has not been planned in advance. In Massachusetts, the mandatory sentence for second-degree murder is life in prison with parole after 15 years served.
Speak with a Boston Criminal Lawyer for Murder
To speak with a highly experienced Boston criminal lawyer, contact us online or telephone Francis T. O’Brien, Jr. at O’Brien Law Boston twenty four hours, seven days a week, toll free at 617-512-0939. There is no fee charged to discuss your case, and all information furnished will be kept strictly confidential.
The Parker | Scheer LLP Criminal Practice Group is led by Boston Criminal Lawyer Francis T. O’Brien Jr. who defends criminal cases in Boston and throughout Massachusetts. Criminal Courts served include Cambridge District Court, Cambridge, MA – Boston Municipal Court, Boston, MA – Brockton District Court, Brockton, MA – Framingham District Court, Framingham, MA – Waltham District Court, Waltham, MA.
Contact Boston Criminal Lawyer Francis T. O’Brien Jr. of Parker | Scheer LLP today at 617-512-0939.
- “I Don’t Want to Talk” Sufficient to Invoke Right to Remain SilentLast week, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) reversed a superior court judge’s denial of a motion to suppress statements made by a ….
- Massachusetts High Court Examines Statute Permitting Defendants to Seek Post-Conviction DNA TestingLast week, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) issued its opinion in Commonwealth v. Wade relative to the standards applicable to M.G.L. c. ….
- SJC Justices Disagree as to Effect of Prosecutor’s Seemingly Inconsistent Statements at Two Separate TrialsThis week, a 4-3 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) decision highlighted the justices’ conflicting views on the prejudicial effect on a ….