What are 1st, 2nd and 3rd-degree murders?

What are 1st 2nd and 3rd-degree murders

People often think that murder is just murder. But have you ever thought if somebody kills somebody unintentionally then would it be considered murder? And what if somebody kills somebody intentionally then the penalty or punishment law would be as same as the unintentional murder? The answer is NO. So it is important to know about the degree of murder. There are some degrees on the state of murder, and they are named as first degree, second degree, and third-degree murder based on the level of killing and so on.

Facts about the first degree, second degree, and third-degree murder

Murder is usually a punishable criminal act in the eyes of Canadian law and every single jurisdiction on earth. It is not a matter of joke. No matter who commits the murder or who the victim is, the murderer should get punished. But there are some differences in terms of murder which are also designated as first, second, third-degree murder.

This writing will help you to know about the differences between these 3 degrees’ murder and the law behind this.

First-degree murder

The topmost serious charge for murder is also known as first-degree murder. This murder is the evilest one. When someone kills someone intentionally with malice aforethought is called first-degree murder. This murder is also designated as premeditated murder which is a planned murder. Some examples of first-degree murder:

  • Contract killing or any killing committed by a criminal group like terrorism, unlawful harassment, hijacking and so on
  • A woman kills her husband intentionally for her husband insurance money
  • Stalking someone over some days and plan to kill him/her

Read Also: Canadian Criminal Code for First Degree Murder

There are some types of this degree,

1. Murder intentionally

This murder occurs when the murder is willful and murder premeditated. This murder is described as planned because when someone has the specific intent to kill someone, then this action happens. And when a murder is ‘deliberate’ it also means that everything is planned out and committed without passion.

2. Felony murder

This case means that when somebody commits something felony and it is against the law where the act results in someone’s death. It is not necessary whether the death was accidental or deliberate. The felony could be rape, terrorism, robbery, burglary, or so on. In felony murder, the murderer did not necessarily kill someone intentionally. Even if someone died as the result of that felony. So there was an intent to commit the felony and that was the criminal act.

3. Murder for specific reasons

This murder commits for some particular reasons like a drive-by, poison, shooting, torture, or any kind of weapons.  All these methods are used for killing someone deliberately. And this type of murder also considers first-degree murder.

The sentence for Frist degree murder

These types of murders, of course, are considered serious criminal acts in the eyes of Canadian law and any jurisdictions on the earth. And also, these types of murders are the topmost serious charges for murder because this act is done deliberately. If someone commits this type of murder, then he or she has to face some harshest penalties for this evil act. Even though the law will determine the punishment based on the circumstances. However, in Canadian law, if someone does such kind of murder, then one will be behind bars for at least 25 years.

Read Also: Third Degree Murder and Sentences

Second-degree murder

Generally, this kind of murder occurs deliberately but without planning and impulsive, and it will not fall under any type of first-degree murder. Sometimes it occurs for some mental issues or states where there is no intention to kill, but somehow it happens. Majority of the time this murder occurs for the serious impulsive act, though it is intended it will not fall under first degree. It is also a form of reckless disregard.

For instance: You heard the name of George Floyd. What did happen to him? The police officer rests his whole body in his neck. Despite hearing “I cannot breathe” the officer was recklessly disregarded. The officer did not intend to kill him, but he was recklessly disregarded. And his recklessness took Floyd’s life. And this murder will fall under second-degree murder. 

There are also some types of second-degree murder,

1. Intentional murder without the planning

In this case of murder, there is nothing planned out, but the defendant wanted to murder for some particular moment. This occurs out of stress, provocation, an extreme level of emotional states.

2. Unintentional murder

This occurs when the defendant just wanted to do some serious bodily harm but unfortunately. As a result, it drags to death. The defendant didn’t have the intention to kill the victim, but the victim accidentally dies due to the level of injuries. and still, some specific things defer this from involuntary manslaughter

3. Immoral and degraded heart murder

This murder occurs when the defendant shows an extreme level of indifference to human life, then it is immoral and degraded heart murder. Though the intention is there nothing planned out, and that evil heart drags it to death.

Read Also: Difference between 1st 2nd and 3rd Degree Murders

The sentence for Second-degree murder

This type of murder is also considered a criminal act in Canadian law and jurisdictions. Though this degree of murder is not like the first degree and most of the time without a plan, nevertheless this act is a criminal offense. And if someone does so, then he or she will be behind bars for at least 10 years or a maximum of 25 years.

Third-degree murder

That is also referred to as voluntary manslaughter or unplanned murder. This type of murder occurs when there is no intention for killing still there might be some intention to cause harm. But in the end, it drags to death. 

For instance: Suppose selling drugs to someone who is addicted, and he took the overdose and dies.

There are two main categories of this murder,

1. Unlawful act

When someone commits something related to the criminal acts unintentionally and that accidentally takes someone to death. e.g. when someone recklessly fires in an open place and inadvertently takes someone’s life.

2. Criminal carelessness

when criminal carelessness or negligence acts unintentionally take someone’s life.  

The sentence for third-degree murder

This act is undoubtedly a criminal offense in the eyes of Canadian jurisdictions. If somebody does this kind of accidental murder, then he or she has to be in prison for at least 4 years.

Finishing words

The law and jurisdiction do vary county or country. But in Canada, these degrees of murder are defined clearly throughout the whole country. In every single stage, the first degree of murder is the most serious one and carries the hardest penalties. In the case of the second degree it is serious too but not as much as the first one. And final one manslaughter or the third-degree charges applied in certain stages and the level of punishment will depend on the circumstances. So it is better to learn about these degrees before it is too late or contact a murder lawyer to learn more. 



    Moose Jaw Criminal Defence Lawyer

    Please contact us for more information.Our email is monitored seven days a week and we will get back to you shortly.

      Contact a lawyer now

      Your information is kept safe.