Degrees of Homicide

1st Degree Murder (Class A Felony): Punishable by death or life without the possibility of parole. Requires proof that murder was premeditated or deliberated or "felony murder," meaning the death was caused during the commission of an arson, rape, sex offense, robbery, burglary, kidnapping, or any other felony in which a deadly weapon is used.

2nd Degree Murder (Class B2 Felony): Punishable in presumptive range by ~10 years to ~26 years. Second degree murder is the unlawful killing of another with "malice," which means the act was taken with the goal of killing or with "reckless disregard to human life." A first degree murder can be reduced to 2nd degree murder, if the killer had "diminished capacity" by voluntary intoxication or other mental disturbance--showing that the defendant couldn't form the necessary intent. This is only possible where the charged 1st degree murder is based on premeditation and deliberation, not felony murder.

Voluntary Manslaughter (Class D Felony): Punishable in presumptive range by ~4 to ~13 years. There are two types: 1) Heat of passion: where the killer was under a "reasonable passion" that he took too far and killed (classic example is finding your wife in bed with another man). 2) Imperfect Self-Defense: where killer had right to use some defense, but goes too far and kills.

Involuntary Manslaughter (Class F Felon): Punishable in presumptive range by ~1 to ~3 years. Eligible for probation. Basically the criminally negligent killing of another person or "misdemeanor-manslaughter (i.e. death caused during a normally non-dangerous or non-eligible felony murder unlawful act).

Death by Vehicle. Series of felonies (Class D, E, and B2) for killing people while drunk driving.




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