Murder is a Heinous Crime
It is the unlawful taking of a human life, with malice after thought. There are other types of killings, like homicide and manslaughter, but in murder, this is considered a very serious offence.
Any loss of a human life leaves a tremendous sadness to the family members. Murdering a person also leaves chaos to any community. Thus, a person who commits this crime is accorded with the highest degree of punishment.
A crime of murder is an indictable offence, which means that the final decision is with the Supreme Court.
However, a suspect can only be found guilty of this crime of murder if the jury is satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the suspect intentionally committed the crime. Under Australian laws, the crime of murder is committed in four ways such as killing with intent to kill, killing with intent to cause serious injury to the victim, reckless murder, killing while committing a crime of violence, which is considered a felony murder.
The penalty depends on the circumstances of the killing, as when a suspect is convicted of murder, he can be sentenced to long years in prison, or even death penalty in some jurisdiction.
One of the most serious murder cases is the second-degree murder, which is usually punished with more than 20 years in prison. In first-degree murder charges, the suspect is punished with a life term in prison. Parole is not also possible for first-degree murder cases.
However, first-degree murderers are usually punished by death in much jurisprudence. In the prosecution of this case, the personal history of a suspect is taken great consideration and it can affect the conviction. The criminal record of a suspect affects the conviction of a criminal. In so many instances, the criminal record of the suspect, say he is a recidivist, can even upgrade his criminal liability from second to first-degree murder.
However, the defense in a case of murder is self-defense and provocation. If the suspect acted only out of self-defence, then he may be absolved from any criminal liability. In some cases, if the suspect is not absolved or acquitted even if he raises the self-defence as a valid reason, then at least his penalty will be reduced.
Another defense is insanity. If the suspect or defendant is found to be suffering from a mental defect during the commission of the crime, then the defendant may be acquitted because of insanity. In this case, the defendant is sent to a mental institution instead of a prison. But in several cases, it was also found out that many defendants are still penalized with longer jail terms and even life imprisonment, even if they pleaded insanity as a defense.
The courts will always give careful scrutiny to this crime since it is always wrong to take a human life.
Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.