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What is the Law on Murder in South Carolina and What are the Punishments for it?

This piece walks a layman through the intricacies of the meaning of Murder, it's general characteristics, levels/ degrees of murder and the penalties for committing murder in South Carolina, a southeastern U.S. state.

Meaning: The term Murder is derived from mrtró which means to die. Murder can be defined as an illicit, heinous, deliberate act of killing a human being by the other involving a malice motive. Murder is considered as an extremely serious offense in most of the countries across the globe. Murder is considered different from manslaughter as the latter involves the lack of malice and generally involves provocation.                          

General characteristics of Murder: A murder involves the following critical bits to it:

(1) considered completely against the law

2) involves killing

(3) a human gets killed (victim)

(4) a human kills another human (murderer)

(5) a malice motive is involved

South Carolina Murder Law

Levels of murder: Under the laws of various countries, murder is seen usually under different levels called degrees. Commonly, three levels of murder are as follows:

(A)First degree Murders: Murders that involve careful, deliberate planning to them are included under this category. Murders that involve any kind of toxins, torture or abuse and deliberate killing of a person by the other are considered as first-degree murders. The most common example of first-degree murders is: stabbing with a motive, shooting a person, and strangulating a person to death.

(B) Second-degree murders: It includes all those murders that are not listed in the first-degree murder list. These involve the action of intentionally killing without any planning for killing a person in advance by the murderer; or actions taken that can result in death, even when the action is unintentional in nature. It can be explained as:

A man keeping a gun under his desk for his protection while making a deal, then he gets infuriated in the middle of the negotiation, take out the gun and shoots the client. The intention is definitely present, but there was no such plan to kill someone. Thus, it is considered second-degree murder.

Murder Law South Carolina

(C) Third-degree murders: These are also known as Felony murders and are taken into consideration under the law of certain countries. The felony murder principle acts in case of third-degree murders, according to which that if a person commits a violent crime(maybe a robbery in a bank)and another person dies as a result, the criminal can be charged with murder, even if they did not intend for anyone to die or did not commit the act at the first place.

What are the general laws for murder in South Carolina?

South Carolina Statutes 16-3-10 and 16-3-20 define murder and the degrees of murder under the law of South Carolina. A murder qualifies as first-degree murder and the murderer is subjected to the death penalty by the law when:

(A) Murder committed by a person with a malice motive that may be personal or monetary.                                    

(B) Murder committed by a person conducting an airplane hijacking/airplane robbery or using a biological weapon or chemical weapon simultaneously.

(C) Murder committed is of a peace officer exercising his duties.

(D) Murder is committed when a person (accused) is already on bail for another crime.

Murder Law

(E) Murder committed by a person trying to flee away from the jail.

(F) Murder committed was extremely painful and exceptionally tormenting to the victim.

(G) Murder committed is of a child of 11 years of age or even less and drug trafficking, rape, sexual misconduct is involved in it.

Penalties and punishments concerned with murder in South Carolina

The law of South Carolina takes murder as an extremely serious offense. A person guilty of murder is subjected to the death penalty or a minimum of 30 years in jail. A person sentenced to life imprisonment shall not be eligible for parole, not be released in any case in an exchange of good behavior in the jail.

The death penalty is usually decided by the jury together and then only the murderer is sentenced to it. For execution, lethal dosages are given (mostly injections). A murderer can also request for electrocution and is given so if passed by the jury. A total of 43 people have been served with the death penalty since 1976 in the state of South Carolina.

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