Hearing murder news that reflects guilty verdicts and possibly even confessions can be discouraging if the sentence doesn't seem to prevail justice in your eyes. It may floor
you to hear that a convicted murderer will be up for parole in just a few years
when offenders of non-violent crimes get a longer sentence.
Understanding the nature of the case and how
our justice system categorizes the crimes may relieve some of the
frustration and discontent that you may feel when hearing the outcome of a trial.
There are different degrees of murder recognized by the justice system which somewhat explains the variance in sentencing. The most vile murderers may deserve the death penalty or at a minimum, life in prison. However, there are some causes of death that simply can't be viewed in the same manner as those conducted by a cold blooded killer.
In general, the murder definitions are similar from state to state; however, each state can determine punishment based on the degree of the offense and the state defined mandatory sentencing. Circumstances of the case may be considered in the sentencing along with enhancements that may decrease or increase the harshness of the sentence.
Understanding the basic definitions of murder and how different types of murder are classified in the justice system, along with circumstances that apply to a case will help you to better understand the variances in sentences for convicted murderers.
People in general have different opinions about murder and sentencing. Some believe in the death penalty while others are opposed to it. Reading the details of a case may even be powerful enough to change someone's mind from one extreme to the other.
Without a doubt, there have been innocent people convicted of horrible crimes just as there have been guilty people released for failure to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This imperfection holds much weight in the disputes over the subject of crime and justice. Getting familiar with basic legal terms will help with understanding seemingly variances in sentences that you may disagree with.
The majority of murder charges in the United States
are examined by juries who ultimately decide whether or not to convict the
defendant based on the details of the case.
In other words, they determine the issues of fact based on the testimonies
that they hear and the evidence that is presented.
Sometimes it is hard to accept the jury's decision on a
case. Viewing the testimonies and
evidence that was presented to them will bring greater understanding. You may still not agree with the verdict or
sentencing, especially if you knew the victim or the offender, but by putting
yourself in their shoes will help you to relate to the struggles that jury
members face in making such decisions.