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§ 97-3-19. Homicide; Murder Defined; First-Degree Murder; Second-Degree Murder; Capital Murder; Lesser-Included Offenses

(1) The killing of a human being without the authority of law by any means or in any manner shall be murder in the following cases:

(a) When done with deliberate design to effect the death of the person killed, or of any human being, shall be first-degree murder;

(b) When done in the commission of an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved heart, regardless of human life, although without any premeditated design to effect the death of any particular individual, shall be second-degree murder;

(c) When done without any design to effect death by any person engaged in the commission of any felony other than rape, kidnapping, burglary, arson, robbery, sexual battery, unnatural intercourse with any child under the age of twelve (12), or nonconsensual unnatural intercourse with mankind, or felonious abuse and/or battery of a child in violation of subsection (2) of Section 97-5-39, or in any attempt to commit such felonies, shall be first-degree murder;

(d) When done with deliberate design to effect the death of an unborn child, shall be first-degree murder.

(2) The killing of a human being without the authority of law by any means or in any manner shall be capital murder in the following cases:

(a) Murder which is perpetrated by killing a peace officer or fireman while such officer or fireman is acting in his official capacity or by reason of an act performed in his official capacity, and with knowledge that the victim was a peace officer or fireman. For purposes of this paragraph, the term "peace officer" means any state or federal law enforcement officer, including, but not limited to, a federal park ranger, the sheriff of or police officer of a city or town, a conservation officer, a parole officer, a judge, senior status judge, special judge, district attorney, legal assistant to a district attorney, county prosecuting attorney or any other court official, an agent of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division of the Department of Revenue, an agent of the Bureau of Narcotics, personnel of the Mississippi Highway Patrol, and the employees of the Department of Corrections who are designated as peace officers by the Commissioner of Corrections pursuant to Section 47-5-54, and the superintendent and his deputies, guards, officers and other employees of the Mississippi State Penitentiary;

(b) Murder which is perpetrated by a person who is under sentence of life imprisonment;

(c) Murder which is perpetrated by use or detonation of a bomb or explosive device;

(d) Murder which is perpetrated by any person who has been offered or has received anything of value for committing the murder, and all parties to such a murder, are guilty as principals;

(e) When done with or without any design to effect death, by any person engaged in the commission of the crime of rape, burglary, kidnapping, arson, robbery, sexual battery, unnatural intercourse with any child under the age of twelve (12), or nonconsensual unnatural intercourse with mankind, or in any attempt to commit such felonies;

(f) When done with or without any design to effect death, by any person engaged in the commission of the crime of felonious abuse and/or battery of a child in violation of subsection (2) of Section 97-5-39, or in any attempt to commit such felony;

(g) Murder which is perpetrated on educational property as defined in Section 97-37-17;

(h) Murder which is perpetrated by the killing of any elected official of a county, municipal, state or federal government with knowledge that the victim was such public official;

(i) Murder of three (3) or more persons who are killed incident to one (1) act, scheme, course of conduct or criminal episode;

(j) Murder of more than three (3) persons within a three-year period;

(k) Murder which is perpetrated by the killing of a person who: (i) is or would be a witness for the state or federal government in a criminal trial; (ii) is a confidential informant for any agency of the state or federal government; or (iii) is any other person who was cooperating or assisting the state or federal government or was suspected of cooperation or assistance to the state or federal government, if the motive for the killing was either the person's status as a witness, potential witness or informant, or was to prevent the cooperation or assistance to the prosecution. It shall not be a defense to a killing under this subsection that the defendant erroneously suspected or believed the victim to have cooperated or assisted the state or federal government.

(3) An indictment for murder or capital murder shall serve as notice to the defendant that the indictment may include any and all lesser included offenses thereof, including, but not limited to, manslaughter. SOURCES: Codes, Hutchinson's 1848, ch. 64, art. 12, Title 2 (3, 4); 1857, ch. 64, art. 165; 1871, § 2628; 1880, § 2875; 1892, § 1149; 1906, § 1227; Hemingway's 1917, § 957; 1930, § 985; 1942, § 2215; Laws, 1974, ch. 576, § 6(1, 2); Laws, 1983, ch. 429, § 1; Laws, 1992, ch. 508, § 1; Laws, 1996, ch. 422, § 3; Laws, 1998, ch. 588, § 1; Laws, 2000, ch. 516, § 134; Laws, 2004, ch. 393, § 1; Laws, 2004, ch. 515, § 2; Laws, 2013, ch. 555, § 1; Laws, 2015, ch. 450, § 1; Laws, 2017, ch. 382, § 10, eff from and after July 1, 2017.

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Local Government
Mississippi
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Phil Bryant
Phil Bryant
January 10, 2012 -
Republican
1-601-351-5023
200 South Lamar, Suite 800, Jackson, MS, 39201

Keywords
murder
killing
perpetrated
federal
government
official
design
peace
effect
death