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First-degree murder: The risk of the death penalty

First-degree murder is the most wicked of all homicides in Colorado, which is why it has such a heavy penalty. Many kinds of killings can be considered first-degree murders, but the thing they have in common is that they were deliberate and carried out with malicious intent.

If you've been accused of committing murder, it's important that your charge is very clear on the specifics of your intentions. If you did commit the crime, there are still ways to make sure you don't get penalized beyond what's fair and just.

In most cases of first-degree murders, life in prison or capital punishment can be used as penalties. As someone facing this charge, that can be a frightening thought. Fortunately, you can defend yourself and attempt to get your charges dropped to a lesser murder charge with less severe punishments.

What other kinds are there? Second-degree murder is one type, and voluntary manslaughter is another. Involuntary murder is also a potential charge.

What makes them different? Second-degree murders are also intentional but not as heinous as a first-degree murder. Voluntary manslaughter is considered to be an act that happens in the heat of the moment. Involuntary murders are accidental in nature.

Those accused of first-degree murder still have to be concerned about the death penalty in Colorado. If you have a capital murder case, the trial will be split into two parts. The first determines if you are guilty or innocent. The second determines if life in prison or the death penalty is more appropriate for your case. Your attorney can help you defend yourself, so you have a better chance of a lesser penalty.

Source: FindLaw, "Colorado First-Degree Murder," accessed July 07, 2016

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