First Degree Murder

Many murders nowadays consist of first-degree murder. First-degree murder is an unlawful killing that is both willful and premeditated. In California, even a killing that wasn’t intentional may be treated as a first-degree murder if it happened during a dangerous felony. A dangerous felony can include rape, carjacking, robbery, arson, kidnapping, burglary or mayhem, this is called felony-murder rule. Murder in the first-degree may be chargeable to a person who did not actually kill, but was involved in a crime with a partner who actually did the killing or someone died as the result of the crime.

A conviction of first degree murder carries a sentence of 25 years to life in prison. Using a firearm to commit murder or any other felony can increase the sentence by 3 to 10 years. The prosecution can ask for the death penalty if certain circumstances are proven. Theses circumstances include murder during the commission of another felony; the murder of a law enforcement officer or judge; murder committed after lying in wait; murder by a destructive device like a bomb; or murder committed for racial or religious reasons.

A example of first-degree is the story of Scott Perterson. Scott Peterson was convicted of first-degree murder Laci Peterson and their unborn son, Conner, tossing them in the San Francisco Bay on Christmas Eve day of 2002. Peterson was sentenced to death by lethal injection in March of 2005 but his case is on appeal which means he isn’t going to face execution for two decades. I think a horrible murder like this shouldnt have to take so long for the criminal to be injected and put to death.

Peterson being alive in San Quentin State Prison just means millions of dollars for him to be alive. The punishment for murder is getting to be shorter and shorter. A judge could sentence a man to life in prison and that same man could be out of jail 15 years later. Since when has life in jail became 15 years in prison. If the judge says life without parole than that just means that the state and its voters would have to take care of a murderer in prison for 20 to 25 years like Peterson.

I think criminals know that is hard for them to get actually put to death because of murder so their not scared to commit crimes because of the consequences. Punishment for crime must be harsh enough to deter potential criminals. Thats when the death penalty comes into play. Here is a punishment that truly makes a criminal pay for his crime, stops the criminal from committing it again, and deters other criminals from committing the same crime. Everybody has their own opinion on the death penalty and this is mine.

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