Iowa First-Degree Murder

Homicide refers to a situation in which one person causes the death of another. Each state divides homicide into its own categories, but typically it's divided into murder and manslaughter. Regardless of how each state divides these crimes, murder is always a more serious crime than manslaughter.

Iowa defines murder as killing another person with express or implied "malice aforethought," which is basically a conscious intent to death or great bodily injury to another. Iowa divides murder into first-degree or second-degree murder, depending on the circumstances. As with other states, first-degree murder is the most serious homicide crime in Iowa, with the harshest penalties.

Iowa First-Degree Murder Statute

The following table outlines the basics of Iowa's first-degree murder law.

Code Sections Iowa Code Annotated § 707.2, Murder in the first degree.
What is Prohibited?

A person commits first-degree murder if he or she kills another person under any of the following circumstances:

  • Willfully, deliberately, and with premeditation.
  • While participating in a forcible felony.
  • While escaping or attempting to escape from lawful custody.
  • While imprisoned in a correctional institution. or city or county jail, intentionally kills a correctional officer, peace officer, public employee, or hostage.
  • While committing child endangerment under certain circumstances or assault, kills a child and the death occurs under circumstances that manifest an extreme indifference to human life.
  • While participating in an act of terrorism.
Penalty First-degree murder is a class A felony punishable by life in prison. If a person was under the age of 18 when he or she committed the crime, the person can be eligible for parole after serving at least 25 years.

Iowa First-Degree Murder: Related Resources

You can visit FindLaw's Criminal Law section for more information and articles on this topic. If you or someone close to you is facing a murder charge or any other criminal charges, it's in your best interest to consult with a criminal defense attorney in your area.

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