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New York Penal - Article 125 - § 125.27 Murder in the First Degree

Legal Research Home > New York Laws > Penal > New York Penal - Article 125 - § 125.27 Murder in the First Degree


Penal 
 
  § 125.27 Murder in the first degree.
    A person is guilty of murder in the first degree when:
    1.  With  intent  to  cause the death of another person, he causes the
  death of such person or of a third person; and
    (a) Either:
    (i) the intended victim was a police officer as defined in subdivision
  34 of section 1.20 of the criminal procedure law who was at the time  of
  the killing engaged in the course of performing his official duties, and
  the  defendant  knew  or  reasonably should have known that the intended
  victim was a police officer; or
    (ii) the intended victim was a peace officer as defined in paragraph a
  of subdivision  twenty-one,  subdivision  twenty-three,  twenty-four  or
  sixty-two  (employees  of the division for youth) of section 2.10 of the
  criminal procedure law who was at the time of the killing engaged in the
  course of performing his official duties,  and  the  defendant  knew  or
  reasonably  should  have  known  that  the  intended  victim  was such a
  uniformed court officer, parole officer, probation officer, or  employee
  of the division for youth; or
    (ii-a)  the  intended  victim  was  a  firefighter,  emergency medical
  technician, ambulance driver, paramedic, physician or  registered  nurse
  involved  in  a first response team, or any other individual who, in the
  course of official duties, performs emergency  response  activities  and
  was  engaged in such activities at the time of killing and the defendant
  knew or reasonably should have known that the intended victim  was  such
  firefighter,  emergency medical technician, ambulance driver, paramedic,
  physician or registered nurse; or
    (iii) the intended victim was an  employee  of  a  state  correctional
  institution  or  was  an  employee  of  a local correctional facility as
  defined in subdivision two of section forty of the correction  law,  who
  was  at  the time of the killing engaged in the course of performing his
  official duties, and the defendant knew or reasonably should have  known
  that  the  intended  victim  was  an  employee  of  a state correctional
  institution or a local correctional facility; or
    (iv) at the time of the commission of the killing, the  defendant  was
  confined in a state correctional institution or was otherwise in custody
  upon  a  sentence  for  the term of his natural life, or upon a sentence
  commuted to one of natural life, or upon a sentence for an indeterminate
  term the minimum of which was at least fifteen years and the maximum  of
  which was natural life, or at the time of the commission of the killing,
  the defendant had escaped from such confinement or custody while serving
  such  a  sentence  and  had not yet been returned to such confinement or
  custody; or
    (v) the intended victim was a witness to a crime committed on a  prior
  occasion  and  the  death  was  caused for the purpose of preventing the
  intended victim's testimony in any criminal action or proceeding whether
  or not such action or proceeding had been  commenced,  or  the  intended
  victim  had  previously testified in a criminal action or proceeding and
  the killing was committed for the purpose of  exacting  retribution  for
  such  prior  testimony,  or  the intended victim was an immediate family
  member of a witness to a crime committed on a  prior  occasion  and  the
  killing  was  committed for the purpose of preventing or influencing the
  testimony of such witness, or  the  intended  victim  was  an  immediate
  family  member  of  a witness who had previously testified in a criminal
  action or proceeding and the killing was committed for  the  purpose  of
  exacting retribution upon such witness for such prior testimony. As used
  in  this  subparagraph  "immediate family member" means a husband, wife,
  father, mother, daughter, son, brother, sister, stepparent, grandparent,
  stepchild or grandchild; or

    (vi) the defendant committed the killing or procured commission of the
  killing pursuant to an agreement with a person other than  the  intended
  victim  to  commit  the  same  for the receipt, or in expectation of the
  receipt, of anything of pecuniary value from a party to the agreement or
  from  a person other than the intended victim acting at the direction of
  a party to such agreement; or
    (vii) the victim was killed while the defendant was in the  course  of
  committing  or  attempting  to  commit  and  in  furtherance of robbery,
  burglary in the first degree or second degree, kidnapping in  the  first
  degree,  arson  in  the first degree or second degree, rape in the first
  degree, criminal sexual act in the first degree,  sexual  abuse  in  the
  first  degree,  aggravated sexual abuse in the first degree or escape in
  the first degree, or in the  course  of  and  furtherance  of  immediate
  flight after committing or attempting to commit any such crime or in the
  course of and furtherance of immediate flight after attempting to commit
  the  crime  of murder in the second degree; provided however, the victim
  is not a participant in one of the aforementioned crimes  and,  provided
  further  that,  unless  the  defendant's  criminal  liability under this
  subparagraph is based upon the defendant having commanded another person
  to cause the death of the victim or intended victim pursuant to  section
  20.00  of  this  chapter,  this  subparagraph  shall not apply where the
  defendant's criminal liability is based  upon  the  conduct  of  another
  pursuant to section 20.00 of this chapter; or
    (viii)  as  part of the same criminal transaction, the defendant, with
  intent to cause serious physical injury to or the death of an additional
  person or persons, causes the death of an additional person or  persons;
  provided,  however,  the  victim  is  not  a participant in the criminal
  transaction; or
    (ix) prior to committing the killing, the defendant had been convicted
  of murder as defined in this section or section 125.25 of this  article,
  or  had  been  convicted in another jurisdiction of an offense which, if
  committed in this state, would constitute a violation of either of  such
  sections; or
    (x)  the  defendant  acted  in  an  especially cruel and wanton manner
  pursuant to a course of  conduct  intended  to  inflict  and  inflicting
  torture  upon  the  victim  prior to the victim's death. As used in this
  subparagraph, "torture" means the intentional and depraved infliction of
  extreme physical pain;  "depraved"  means  the  defendant  relished  the
  infliction   of   extreme  physical  pain  upon  the  victim  evidencing
  debasement or perversion or that the  defendant  evidenced  a  sense  of
  pleasure in the infliction of extreme physical pain; or
    (xi)  the  defendant  intentionally  caused  the  death of two or more
  additional persons within the state in  separate  criminal  transactions
  within  a  period  of  twenty-four  months  when  committed in a similar
  fashion or pursuant to a common scheme or plan; or
    (xii) the intended victim  was  a  judge  as  defined  in  subdivision
  twenty-three  of  section  1.20  of  the  criminal procedure law and the
  defendant killed such victim because such victim was, at the time of the
  killing, a judge; or
    (xiii) the victim was killed in furtherance of an act of terrorism, as
  defined in paragraph (b) of subdivision one of section  490.05  of  this
  chapter; and
    (b)  The defendant was more than eighteen years old at the time of the
  commission of the crime.
    2. In any prosecution under subdivision  one,  it  is  an  affirmative
  defense that:
    (a)  The  defendant  acted  under  the  influence of extreme emotional
  disturbance for which there was a reasonable explanation or excuse,  the

  reasonableness  of  which  is  to  be determined from the viewpoint of a
  person in the defendant's  situation  under  the  circumstances  as  the
  defendant believed them to be. Nothing contained in this paragraph shall
  constitute  a defense to a prosecution for, or preclude a conviction of,
  manslaughter in the first degree or any other crime except murder in the
  second degree; or
    (b) The defendant's conduct consisted of causing  or  aiding,  without
  the  use  of  duress  or  deception,  another  person to commit suicide.
  Nothing contained in this paragraph shall  constitute  a  defense  to  a
  prosecution for, or preclude a conviction of, manslaughter in the second
  degree or any other crime except murder in the second degree.
    Murder in the first degree is a class A-I felony.
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Last modified: February 16, 2014