Murder is the unlawful killing of another human being with malice aforethought. Malice aforethought is a deliberate and premeditated killing of another motivated by ill will. There are four states of mind recognized as constituting “malice.” The four states of mind are 1) intent to kill, 2) intent to inflict grievous bodily harm short of death, 3) reckless indifference to an unjustifiably high risk of human life, and 4) intent to commit a dangerous felony. In other words, murder necessarily requires that an appreciable time pass between the formation and execution of the intent to kill.
Many jurisdictions divide murder by degrees. Second degree murder is common law murder and first degree is an aggravated form of murder. The factors of first degree murder are a specific intent to kill, premeditation, and deliberation. In California, there are three ways to be convicted of first-degree murder.
The three ways are: 1) by committing the murder, 2) by killing in a way that is willful, deliberate, and premeditated, or, 3) by way of felony-murder. A first-degree felony murder occurs by committing a specifically enumerated felony that results in death.
An effective defense can protect a person against a murder..
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