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What is the Law on Murder in West Virginia and What are the Punishments for it?

This piece provides an understanding through the complications of the meaning of Murder, it's general characteristics, levels/ degrees of murder and the penalties for committing murder in West Virginia, an eastern U.S. state.

Meaning: The term murder is derived from mrtró which 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

West Virginia 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 West Virginia

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 West Virginia?

West Virginia Code section 61-11-2 defines murder and the penalty of murder under the law of West Virginia. The first-degree murder according to the law of West Virginia is the deliberate, carefully planned, brutal killings whereas manslaughter covers the unintentional killings.

Between the two falls the second-degree murder and these are not listed among the former two. First-Degree murder is the intentional killing by using toxins/poisons/venom, through starvation or while captivating someone. The second-degree murder is counted in the presence of an excuse such as the killings done in the heat of the moment or impulsively in anger. First-degree murders are considered more serious than second-degree murders.

Murder Law

Penalties and punishments concerned with murder in West Virginia:

The law of West Virginia takes murder as a serious offense but the death penalty is abolished in this U.S. state since 1965. Electric chairs were also used for execution purposes in the past. West Virginia was declared as the final pre-Furman state to completely ban the death penalty in 1965.

In the case of first-degree murders, life imprisonment has been decided as the punishment in West Virginia without any provision of reducing it in case of good behavior in the prison. The crime of committing a second-degree murder is considered less severe than first-degree murder, the crime still has strict punishments and penalties.

Jail up to 40 years has been decided in case of second-degree murder in this state of U.S. In West Virginia, juveniles who are under the age of 18 years during the murder, are not punished since the year 2005 considering them minors.


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