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General Prison Talk Discuss Capital Murder vs 1st degree Murder in the Prison Related forums; Does anyone understand the difference between Capital Murder and 1st Degree Murder, in Texas? My new PP is charged with ...
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    Default Capital Murder vs 1st degree Murder

    Does anyone understand the difference between Capital Murder and 1st Degree Murder, in Texas? My new PP is charged with Capital Murder and 1st Degree Murder but has a parol review date in 2039. My first impression was that Capital Murder meant DR but that doesn't make sense if there is a parole review.
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    novelwriter is offline Member
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    Hmm a good question, but I haven't a clue. To be honest, I thought they meant the same thing.

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    A real good question. This is what I thought tho: that 1st degree murder was a capital offence, and the prosecution could try the crime that way if they chose to. And ask the jury for the DP to be given. Then it was up to the jury, after they heard all the evidence,whether they agreed, with the prosecution, or gave a lesser punishment.
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    First degree murder is generally defined as murder that is intentional or deliberate or that takes place during certain other crimes. It is generally punishable by a sentence of 25-years-to-life imprisonment with the possibility of release from prison on parole. However, current statute makes first degree murder punishable by death or life imprisonment without the possibility of parole when specified "special circumstances" of the crime have been charged and proven in a case. A jury trial generally determines which penalty is to be applied when special circumstances have been charged and proven.

    “Special circumstances” refer to conditions that attend a first-degree murder and may have aggravated the offense. The penalty for a defendant found guilty of murder in the first degree, where one or more of these special circumstances are found to be true, is death or a prison sentence of life without the possibility of parole.

    Special circumstances

    In California, there are 22 special circumstances that can earn the death penalty for a defendant who has been convicted of first-degree murder.

    They include:

    Murder for financial gain
    Previous conviction for first-or second-degree murder
    More than one first-or second-degree murder conviction
    Murder by explosive
    Murder to avoid arrest or escape from custody
    Murder by mail bomb
    Victim was an on-duty peace officer
    Intentional murder of a peace officer
    Victim was a fire fighter
    Murder of a witness to prevent incriminating testimony
    Murder of a prosecutor to thwart or retaliate for a case
    Murder of a judge to thwart or retaliate for a case
    Victim was any elected or appointed official murdered to prevent carrying out official duties
    Murder was heinous, atrocious or cruel, manifesting exceptional depravity defined as a conscienceless or pitiless crime that is unnecessarily tortuous to the victim
    Lying in wait
    Victim was killed because of race, color, religion, nationality or country of origin
    Murder committed during the commission of a robbery, rape or other specified felonies, whether or not the homicide was intentional
    Torture
    Poisoning
    Murder of a juror to thwart or retaliate for a case
    Murder by shooting a gun from a motor vehicle
    Murder to further the activities of a street gang

    Source: California Penal Code

    Capital Murder

    Most serious form of homicide


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    Sorry I didn't have the Texas details but I guess they would be pretty much the same. [smile]
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    That's a pretty accurate general description. However, Texas doesn't really draw a bright line distinction between 1st Degree Murder and Capital Murder....they are one and the same. There is no "degree" ranking for "Criminal Homocide" in Texas law.

    All events of the unlawful taking of another life fall under the "Criminal Homocide" statute, which then draws a distinction between the various included offenses, depending upon circumstances of the crime.

    The distinctions of separation for "Criminal Homocide" are MURDER, CAPITAL MURDER, MANSLAUGHTER, and CRIMINALLY NEGLIGENT HOMOCIDE.

    Rather than post the specific elements of EACH of the above offenses, I am posting a link for anyone who wants to read what the specific elements of the crimes are:

    http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/cgi-bin/cqcgi?CQ_SESSION_KEY=WKLHFJZJVSFN&CQ_QUERY_HAN DLE=128161&CQ_CUR_DOCUMENT=1&CQ_TLO_DOC_TE XT=YES


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    feline waves "hello" and thank you to Lawdog.

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    lulu is offline 10,000 Posts Super Member
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    I was just fixing to say the same thing lawDog, And there are other states as well that see 1st and cap as the same.
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