Extreme Atrocity or Cruelty

For purposes of the criminal charge of Murder, extreme atrocity or cruelty means that the defendant caused the person's death by a method that surpassed the cruelty inherent in any taking of a human life.  Extreme atrocity means an act that is extremely wicked or brutal, appalling, horrifying or utterly revolting. 

The jury must consider whether the method or mode of a killing is so shocking as to amount to murder by extreme atrocity or cruelty.  In making this determination, the jury must inquire consider the presence and degree of the following factors, and at least one or more of these factors must be present for a finding of extreme atrocity or cruelty:
  • Whether the defendant was indifferent to or took pleasure in the suffering of the deceased;
  • The consciousness and degree of suffering of the deceased;
  • The extent of the injuries to the deceased;
  • The number of blows delivered;
  • The manner, degree and severity of the force used;
  • The nature of the weapon, instrument or method used; and
  • The disproportion between the means needed to cause death and those employed.  This refers to whether the means used were excessive and out of proportion to what would be needed to kill a person.
If you have been charged with the crime of Murder, you should immediately consult with an experienced Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer who knows how best to protect your rights.

Boston Criminal Attorney Lefteris K. Travayiakis is available 24/7.  To schedule a Free Consultation, Contact Us Online or call him directly at 617-325-9500.