What Is The Law On Murder In Louisiana And What Are The Punishments For It?
According to the statutory laws of Louisiana, murder charges are categorized into first-degree murder or second-degree murder. There is a difference between these two charges as a person convicted of first-degree murder may even get a death penalty in Louisiana.
First-degree murder in Louisiana
In case the court finds a person guilty of first-degree murder in the state of Louisiana, he/she can receive life imprisonment or even a death penalty. The convicted may have to serve a life imprisonment term without benefits such as a suspension of a sentence, probation, or benefit of parole. It is up to the jury to decide whether the convicted should get life imprisonment or death as a penalty.
Defining first-degree murder
It can be a charge of murder for any of the criteria listed below:
- Killing a certain kind of an individual: These include kids below 12 years; people aged over 65 years, and police officers with a specific motive.
- Murdering an individual with “specific intent” when they commit a specific felony related offenses. They also call it the felony murder statute. Examples of such crimes are forcible rape, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated burglary, aggravated arson, armed robbery, aggravated escape, 2nd-degree kidnapping, terrorism, 2nddegree cruel behavior to juveniles, cruelty to juveniles, simple robbery, 2nd-degree robbery, 1st-degree robbery, terrorism, and simple robbery among others.
- Murdering over one individual
Second-degree murder in Louisiana
In Louisiana, even 2nd-degree murder is regarded as a severe offense and if convicted can fetch a punishment of life imprisonment while not getting the benefit of suspension of a sentence, probation, or parole. Also, the sentence is automatic for 2nd-degree murder in the state. Although there might be a delay, the guilty will get a life sentence term when convicted of second-degree murder in Louisiana.
Defining second-degree murder
It can be a murder charge in one of the scenarios listed below:
- With no specific intention to kill: An individual kills a person having no particular intention to kill him/her. For instance, the accused is involved in a case of armed robbery and a person dies in the course of committing the felony. In such cases, it is a charge of 2nd-degree murder although the death was unintentional or accidental.
- When the accused had the intention of causing bodily harm or kill and is not committing a felony offense.
- When a drug dealer has been distributing a controlled drug, which becomes the direct death cause for the person who consumed such materials.
First, as well as, second-degree murder charges are immensely severe felony offenses. People found guilty of 1st-degree murder may have to face penalties like death penalty or life imprisonment as mentioned before. On the other hand, a person convicted of a 2nd -degree murder may get a life imprisonment term without chances of getting out of the jail ever.
In case a person faces either 1st-degree or 2nd-degree murder charges in this state, they may not fully comprehend the distinction between these two and how an offense can become a 1st-degree or a 2nd-degree crime. In Louisiana, homicide charges are considered as the most serious charges that an individual can face as the state is not averse to capital punishment.
It is always recommended to approach a seasoned murder defense lawyer in the state of Louisiana when a person faces either of these two murder charges. Such an attorney can challenge those charges and fight for their clients in an effective manner.