There are different degrees of murder. Murder one, or capital murder, is the premeditated, willful, and deliberate killing of another person. In most jurisdictions, the person who kills while attempting to inflict serious bodily injury on another has shown sufficient malice to be guilty of murder.
In those jurisdictions where murder is divided into different degrees, this type of murder is generally referred to as murder in the second degree. The main distinction between first degree and second degree murder is the premeditation.
Felony murder arises where any death results during the commission of a felony. A felony is a crime for which a person can be imprisoned for more than a year. A misdemeanor is a crime for which a person can be imprisoned for up to a year. Many jurisdictions make distinctions as to whether felony murder will be murder one or murder two depending upon the type of felony that is being committed.
Under the so-called year and a day rule, a death cannot be attributed to the defendant’s wrongful conduct unless the death occurs within a year and a day of that conduct. So if the person died after a year and a day of the wrongful conduct, then the defendant could not be charged with murder.
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March 1, 2015