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Murder Laws at a Glance


It is important to note that in the United States, each State is responsible for establishing its own laws and regulations regarding murder. However, each State recognizes different types of murder charges.

The three primary murders include first degree murder, second degree murder, and manslaughter. In order to be convicted of first degree murder, an individual must have had the intent to murder his/her victim and he/she must have planned the murder prior to the event. Second degree murder occurs when the offender intended to murder his/her victim, but did not plan the murder in advance. For instance, the murder may have occurred due to rage or jealousy following the acquisition of new information regarding an intimate partner and his/her actions or behavior.

Manslaughter occurs when an offender kills his/her victim without intent. This generally results from an accident in which the offender was acting negligently or recklessly.

NEXT: The Facts of Felony Murder

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