Capital murder is often the most serious charge that can be filed against a defendant. It typically carries life in prison without parole or the death penalty as punishment. Capital murder is a crime in which the perpetrator commits an act that results in death and either intends to kill someone, or knows that their actions will most likely result in death.
Capital murder is a criminal offense under Texas law. It occurs when someone commits murder in the course of committing one or more other felony offenses. For example, if someone shoots and kills another person during the commission of an armed robbery, then they would be guilty of capital murder because they committed both crimes at the same time.
Nevada “Capital Murder” Laws
In Nevada, most charges for murder are capital murder. The non-accidental killing of another human being. A person who commits “open murder” is charged with capital murder.” One term you may not be familiar with is capital murder. Although this is not widely known, it means a prosecutor’s charge of an “open” (first degree murder) crime in the middle to high end of homicide ranges. These include first degree murder, second degree murder and voluntary manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter. If you’re charged with murder, your jury will have to decide whether it’s second degree murder or first degree.
Nevada Revised Statute Chapter 200 includes a crime called open murder. Death penalty is allowed by the state if certain conditions are met. Nevada is one of 37 states in the US that carries out the death penalty when first degree murder is found. If the State believes that you are eligible for consideration of the death penalty because there are certain circumstances, called “aggravating circumstances,” we will request that this punishment be considered.
Under Nevada Revised Statute Chapter 200, the following aggravating circumstances are enumerated in NRS 200.033 that allow the State to file a Notice of Intent seeking the Death Penalty. To sentence someone to death in Nevada, the jury must accept that the aggravating factors outweigh the mitigating ones. In cases where the Death Penalty is an option, the jury decides if it should be applied.
“Capital murder” is the charge of killing someone with the intent to get out of jail time. California defines a murder as a “special circumstances murder” if it falls under the category of capital or first degree.
What is the punishment for a crime of murder?
Murder is classified into two types of crime in Nevada: murder and capital murder. The less serious charge is second degree murder which does not carry the death penalty. The harshest punishment for murderers is in first degree murder, which could carry the death penalty.
The five types of first degree murder include:
- Premeditated murder
- Non-premeditated murder
- Circumstance-aggravated murder
- Nonsupervisory negligent manslaughter
Murder charges in Nevada vary, but any of these types of first degree murder carries the chance of a death penalty. During sentencing, even hearsay evidence can be admitted. The jury then weighs the mitigating circumstances with the aggravating circumstances to determine if someone should be given life in prison or death penalty. Should the jury decide to sentence someone to death, they may do so only after considering all the other sentencing possibilities. A jury is never forced to sentence a convicted murderer to death, even if they determine the aggravating circumstances outweigh any mitigating evidence. It’s also vital to mention that the number of aggravating or mitigating circumstances does not dictate whether the death penalty should be imposed.
The jury may sometimes decide not to sentence someone to death if they find the case is only one (1) mitigating circumstance. A jury can decide to sentence a defendant to death under the following conditions:
- If a person is convicted of first degree murder, they will proceed to the sentencing hearing.
- The defendant will then have the opportunity to present witnesses and other evidence that they want the jury to take into account before deciding on a sentence.
- Defense attorneys often call character witnesses that are friends and family on behalf of the defendant, called by and/or found in favor of the defendant, to testify in a capital murder case.
What are the conditions for the death penalty in Nevada?
The state implicitly seeks the death penalty by charging someone with capital murder if it files a notice of intent to seek the death penalty. This increases punishment in two ways:
A. These aggravating circumstances must exist before any person can be eligible for the death penalty, but not all people charged with Murder are eligible. Once that task is completed, the individual must be tried for their crime of Murder in First Degree. If they are found guilty or enter a plea of Second Degree Murder, capital punishment will not be sought as long as they were also convicted or plead to Manslaughter.
B. The person convicted of first degree murder must then undergo a penalty phase before a jury where he or she can present mitigating circumstances to lessen the punishment. The jury will find that the aggravating evidence presented by the State outweighs mitigating evidence presented by defense if they feel it is necessary for justice.
In Nevada, the jury may only consider imposing the death penalty if there are at least two aggravating factors that have been proven to exist. These are premeditated murder and felony murder with a finding of special circumstances or one additional factor: armed robbery; burglary while armed; kidnapping while armed; sexual assault while armed (with use of chemical agent); drive-by shooting either with intent to kill or intentionally discharged firearms from vehicle in occupied building.
Even defendants convicted of first degree murder who satisfy these requirements still cannot be sentenced to death unless they also committed the crime for financial gain and had planning, deliberation, or prior calculation which involves substantial premeditation in committing an unlawful act purposely involving extreme physical force resulting in great bodily harm or multiple.
If you are charged with capital murder, call our Las Vegas Criminal Defense Lawyer for a free consultation. We will do everything we can to resolve this case. This deceleration is not a criminal charge, but is the legal term for someone who was convicted of capital murder.
For more information on how https://douglascrawfordlaw.com/ can help you with Capital Murder, please contact us at (702) 383-0090, or visit us here:
501 S 7th St, Las Vegas, NV 89101