First Degree Murder Conviction

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To be found guilty of first degree murder, it must be proven that killed someone with malice aforethought, meaning it was planned, premeditated. First degree murder is to kill malevolence, to kill either intentionally and deliberately or recklessly with the utmost disregard for human life. Premeditation may be fashioned immediately and does not require a lengthy period of contemplation. The death penalty is recognized in Thirty-eight states. Capital first-degree murder or aggravated first-degree murder is categorized in killings viewed as deserving of capital punishment. Life imprisonment or death penalty is the punishment resulted in a conviction. States who do not recognized the death penalty, aggravated murder carries life imprisonment. When aggravated or capital murder is committed in a heinous or monstrous fashion, it is considered homicide (Lippman, 2006).

To plan or deliberate is premeditation. Depending on the circumstances and the person, there must be an amount of time needed to plan and commit murder (actus reas). There must a period of time long enough for the person to form the intent (mens rea) to kill for them to be fully aware in their mind to consider the murder (Lectlaw, 2010).

In California, first-degree murder includes the “willful, deliberate, and premeditated,” or to what is committed in the perpetration, or the attempt to perpetrate, certain felonies, which includes burglary, excluding petty offense of shoplifting (Cal. Penal Code S 189) (Lectlaw, 2010).

The “mens rea” of first degree murder is that the person, with time and intent, planned out or premeditated the murder. The “actus reas” of first degree murder is the actual act of committing the murder after planning it (Lippman, 2006).


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...t I do not think that the evidence presented is enough for a conviction to sentence any man or woman to death.

This case was publicized way too much on national television. Just like the rape case for the Kobe Bryant trial, there was way too much media involvement, resulting in the leak of the victim’s name which started the case to downhill from there. If the media was not heavily involved which led to the victim being pressured by scrutiny and threats, Kobe Bryant probably would have been convicted of rape with the victim being a witness on the stand with her testimony.

Don’t get me wrong, if a person proven guilty of murder, especially as heinous as this crime was, they deserve the death penalty but only if there was “no shadow of a doubt” hard pieces of evidence, more real proof, not circumstantial evidence, are connecting that person to the crime.

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