In Arkansas, the Arkansas Code has a number of homicide charges listed. Each of these has its own set of serious penalties that could be used against anyone who is convicted of homicide. Homicide charges should be taken seriously because the charges can be significant. Charges may range from spending a few years in prison to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Among the most serious of criminal offenses in Arkansas is capital murder. Capital murder is the most serious of the six kinds of homicide that Arkansas recognizes, which include:
- Capital murder
- First-degree murder
- Murder in the second degree
- Negligent homicide
- Physician-assisted suicide
Capital murder is unique in that it specifically refers to the most heinous of crimes. It includes criminal acts such as robbery or a felony under the Uniform Controlled Substances Act. It also requires that you have killed another person under those circumstances and had an extreme indifference to that loss of life.
Capital murder charges may also apply if you commit arson (or attempt to commit arson) and kill another person in the process.
A third definition of capital murder includes premeditating and deliberately killing another person, a law enforcement officer, a public official or someone else who is incarcerated.
There are additional times when a capital murder charge may be filed, such as if you hire someone to kill another person (and the killing is carried out) or if you knowingly kill a person who is 14 or younger.
Looking at the situations that could lead to capital murder charges, one of the main proponents is that the murder has to be committed with an extreme indifference to human life. Someone who shows remorse or who really did not intend for someone else to get hurt should not be facing capital murder charges.
What can you do if you face capital murder charges?
If you face capital murder charges, it’s in your best interests to build a strong defense. You may be able to have the charges reduced or minimize their impact on you with a good defense.