First Degree Murder - Term of the Day
n. although it varies from state to state, it is generally a killing which
is deliberate and premeditated (planned, after lying in wait, by poison
or as part of a scheme), in conjunction with felonies such as rape, burglary,
arson, or involving multiple deaths, the killing of certain types of people
(such as a child, a police officer, a prison guard, a fellow prisoner),
or certain weapons, particularly a gun. The specific criteria for first
degree murder, are established by statute in each state and by the U.S.
Code in federal prosecutions. It is distinguished from second degree murder
in which premeditation is usually absent, and from manslaughter, which
lacks premeditation and suggests that at most there was intent to harm
rather than to kill.