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(39,154 posts)
8. Let's be clear on what we mean by "murder."
Tue Apr 24, 2012, 06:23 PM
Apr 2012

Different states have slightly different definitions, but the general rule defines murder as:

"Unlawful killing of a human being (homicide) with malice aforethought."

"Malice" is not a general bad feeling, but one of a few specific mental states: intent to kill; intent to cause grievous, bodily injury; wanton recklessness causing an extreme risk to human life (depraved heart); committing a felony that results in a fatality (felony-murder).

"Cold blood" is not an element. The term "cold blood" means that a killing was deliberate and in the immediate presence of the defendant.

The difference between first and second degree murder, as most states call it, is the degree of prior planning. First degree murder is planned ahead of time, sometimes as part of a conspiracy. Second degree murder still has "malice aforethought," but indicates a victim of opportunity with no prior planning. Some states have other aggravating factors that can raise a murder from second to first degree.

AFAIK, in every state with a death penalty, only the worst degree of murder is eligible for capital punishment. The Zimmerman case is not indicted for the worst form of murder, so it is not capital eligible.

I only know what's on TV, so I have no idea. nt Deep13 Apr 2012 #1
I really don't know, but if I had to guess, I would guess Vattel Apr 2012 #2
Exactly RZM Apr 2012 #4
I believe he is guilty of what he is charged with frazzled Apr 2012 #3
Well said etherealtruth Apr 2012 #11
I am withholding judgement of Zimmerman TexasProgresive Apr 2012 #5
Other. I don't like the terminology in the poll at all. DevonRex Apr 2012 #6
Not sure about the cold blooded murder.... Little Star Apr 2012 #7
Let's be clear on what we mean by "murder." Deep13 Apr 2012 #8
Oh come on... It was a "thrill killing". A popular DU'er saw it in his eyes during his arraignment. cherokeeprogressive Apr 2012 #27
No, I have not read them. Deep13 Apr 2012 #33
Guilty of not standing down when he was told to by 911 and then somehow became so afraid... peace13 Apr 2012 #9
: ohiosmith Apr 2012 #10
Should have gone for the manslaughter charge. ellisonz Apr 2012 #12
Why? Deep13 Apr 2012 #13
Easier case to make. ellisonz Apr 2012 #14
yes woolldog Apr 2012 #15
I really hope there will be justice for Martin, shimonitanegi Apr 2012 #16
40% (as of this post), that should never be allowed to serve... -..__... Apr 2012 #17
Too Bad So Sad You Have No Control Over That HangOnKids Apr 2012 #20
That might be all fine and well in a web forum... -..__... Apr 2012 #22
Happens all the time HangOnKids Apr 2012 #26
I'd like to see a poll asking cherokeeprogressive Apr 2012 #29
100 % sure..... period....bet my life on it...profiler does not meet SYG code. opihimoimoi Apr 2012 #18
Dare to disagree... -..__... Apr 2012 #19
You'll be happy to know that I just alerted on your post. Not 60% of other DUers, just yours. Electric Monk Apr 2012 #23
You got lucky. Jury voted 3-3. Electric Monk Apr 2012 #30
I'm reasonably certain that Zimmerman was racially profiling and coalition_unwilling Apr 2012 #21
Which part is in dispute? Marr Apr 2012 #24
Trayvon Martin either was killed in cold blood or was using self-defense when killed KeepItReal Apr 2012 #25
A jury will decide unionworks Apr 2012 #28
I spent too many years working in the legal biz to rush to judgment before all the evidence is known Blue_In_AK Apr 2012 #31
An UNARMED kid is dead by his hand, in a confrontation......... socialist_n_TN Apr 2012 #32
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