Most states divide the crime of murder into first- and second-degree murder laws. However, Mississippi does not divide murder into degrees. In the Magnolia State, there is only murder and capital murder. Capital murder is the most serious form of homicide and includes the most violent and egregious types of murder such as the killing of a police officer while he or she is performing official duties or murder by bombing.
Overview of Mississippi Murder Laws
The following table outlines murder laws in Mississippi.
|Code Sections||MISS. CODE ANN. §§ 97-3-15, 97-3-17 , 97-3-19, 97-3-21|
|What is Prohibited?||
Murder is causing the death another person under any of the following circumstances:
Capital murder is causing the death of another person under any of the following circumstances:
The killing was an accident.
The killing occurred upon being suddenly provoked, while acting in the "heat of passion ." (The person may still be charged with manslaughter.)
The killing was committed upon sudden combat, not in a cruel or unusual manner, and without any undue advantage or dangerous weapon.
The killing was by a public officer (or others acting with their aid and assistance) while acting under a legal duty such as a court judgment, in order to prevent a person from resisting a legal process (such as an arrest), or to capture an escaped felon or arrest a fleeing felon.
The killing was committed while lawfully defending oneself, another person, or a business, place of employment, or one's property from a current or imminent felony, great personal injury, or death, attempting to apprehend the perpetrator of a felony, suppressing a riot, or in keeping and preserving the peace.
Murder is a felony punishable by life imprisonment.
Capital murder is a felony punishable by death or life imprisonment (with or without parole).
Mississippi Murder Laws: Related Resources
Murder is a serious crime with great consequences. If you are in need of legal assistance, you may want to contact a Mississippi criminal defense attorney. You may also want to visit Findlaw's sections on Mississippi Capital Punishment Laws for more information on the death penalty in Mississippi. You can also visit Findlaw's sections on First Degree Murder Overview, First Degree Murder Penalties and Sentencing, Second Degree Murder Overview, and Second Degree Penalties and Sentencing for more articles and information on this topic.
Contact a qualified attorney.