Definition for murderThe law in California defines murder as the unlawful killing of a fetus or a human being with malice aforethought. Though this may seem straightforward, some of the terms in the definition, are somewhat ambiguous.
“Unlawful Killing”Murder is considered one of the most aggravated forms of homicide. What distinguishes it from manslaughter is that malice is involved.
“Malice aforethought”When a defendant carries out an act with wonton disregard for human life, which has a high probability of resulting in someone’s death, he or she is considered to have acted with malice aforethought.
Types of Murder ChargesThere are several types of murder charges in the state of California, these include: first-degree murder, capital murder and second-degree murder. For the prosecutor to prove that you are guilty of having committed murder, the following three facts must be proven:
- that your actions lead to death of a person
- that the act was committed with malice aforethought
- that the killing was unjustified or without a legal excuse