Homicide / Murder

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 265, Section 1, defines murder as the unlawful killing of a human being either with malice or in the commission or attempted commission of certain felonies, which is punishable by life imprisonment.
  • Murder committed with deliberate premeditation and malice is murder in the First Degree;
  • Murder committed with extreme atrocity or cruelty and with malice is murder in the First Degree;
  • Felony-Murder, murder committed in the commission or attempted commission of a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of imprisonment for life is murder in the First Degree; and
  • Murder that does not appear to be murder as enumerated above is Murder in the Second Degree.
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The question of whether the murder committed is First or Second Degree Murder is decided by the jury, and could depend on whether the prosecutor is able to prove Malice, Extreme Atrocity or Cruelty, and/or the lack of any Mitigating Circumstances or Self-Defense.

In order for the defendant to be found guilty of murder in the First Degree, the prosecutor must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt:
  1. That the defendant committed an unlawful killing;
  2. That the killing was committed with malice (meaning an intent to cause death); and
  3. That the killing was committed with deliberate premeditation (that the defendant thought before he acted and/or that the defendant decided to kill after deliberation).
The law in Massachusetts recognizes that not all killings are 'unlawful'.  In other words, a killing may be 'excused' in the case of self-defense, defense of another, or accident. 

If you have been charged with the crime of Murder in Massachusetts, it is very critical that you immediately consult with an experienced Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer. 

Attorney Lefteris K. Travayiakis is available 24/7 to discuss your murder charges.  To schedule a Free Consultation, Click Here to Contact Us or call him directly at 617-325-9500.

Boston Criminal Lawyers Blog - Murder