Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Murder with a Depraved Mind occurs when a person is killed, without any premeditated design, by an act imminently dangerous to another and evincing a depraved mind showing no regard for human life.
The primary distinction between Premeditated First Degree Murder and Second Degree Murder with a Depraved Mind is that First Degree Murder requires a specific and premeditated intent to kill.
Penalties for Second Degree Murder
The crime of Second Degree Murder is classified as a First Degree Felony and is assigned a Level 10 offense severity ranking under Florida's Criminal Punishment Code.
If convicted of Second Degree Murder, a judge is required to impose a minimum prison sentence of 16¾ years in prison and can impose any additional combination of the following penalties:
Up to Life in prison.
Up to Life on probation.
Up to $10,000 in fines.
Defenses to Second Degree Murder
In addition to the pretrial defenses and trial defenses that can be raised in any criminal case, specific defenses to the crime of Second Degree Murder are:
The killing of a human being is excusable, and therefore lawful, under any one of the following three circumstances:
When the killing is committed by accident and misfortune in doing any lawful act by lawful means with usual ordinary caution and without any unlawful intent, or
When the killing occurs by accident and misfortune in the heat of passion, upon any sudden and sufficient provocation, or
When the killing is committed by accident and misfortune resulting from a sudden combat, if a dangerous weapon is not used and the killing is not done in a cruel or unusual manner.
The killing of a human being is justifiable homicide and lawful if done while resisting an attempt by someone to kill you or to commit a felony against you.
Also known as the justified use of deadly force, self defense is a defense to the crime of Second Degree Murder. Please view the Florida Self Defense section for more information.
James C. Collier
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