Degrees of murder; penalties.
1. Murder of the first degree is murder which is:
(a) Perpetrated by means of poison, lying in wait or torture, or by any other kind of willful, deliberate and premeditated killing;
(b) Committed in the perpetration or attempted perpetration of sexual assault, kidnapping, arson, robbery, burglary, invasion of the home, sexual abuse of a child, sexual molestation of a child under the age of 14 years or child abuse;
(c) Committed to avoid or prevent the lawful arrest of any person by a peace officer or to effect the escape of any person from legal custody;
(d) Committed on the property of a public or private school, at an activity sponsored by a public or private school or on a school bus while the bus was engaged in its official duties by a person who intended to create a great risk of death or substantial bodily harm to more than one person by means of a weapon, device or course of action that would normally be hazardous to the lives of more than one person; or
(e) Committed in the perpetration or attempted perpetration of an act of terrorism.
2. Murder of the second degree is all other kinds of murder.
3. The jury before whom any person indicted for murder is tried shall, if they find him guilty thereof, designate by their verdict whether he is guilty of murder of the first or second degree.
4. A person convicted of murder of the first degree is guilty of a category A felony and shall be punished:
(a) By death, only if one or more aggravating circumstances are found and any mitigating circumstance or circumstances which are found do not outweigh the aggravating circumstance or circumstances, unless a court has made a finding pursuant to NRS 174.098 that the defendant is mentally retarded and has stricken the notice of intent to seek the death penalty; or
(b) By imprisonment in the state prison:
(1) For life without the possibility of parole;
(2) For life with the possibility of parole, with eligibility for parole beginning when a minimum of 20 years has been served; or
(3) For a definite term of 50 years, with eligibility for parole beginning when a minimum of 20 years has been served.
Ê A determination of whether aggravating circumstances exist is not necessary to fix the penalty at imprisonment for life with or without the possibility of parole.
5. A person convicted of murder of the second degree is guilty of a category A felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison:
(a) For life with the possibility of parole, with eligibility for parole beginning when a minimum of 10 years has been served; or
(b) For a definite term of 25 years, with eligibility for parole beginning when a minimum of 10 years has been served.
6. As used in this section:
(a) “Act of terrorism” has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 202.4415;
(b) “Child abuse” means physical injury of a nonaccidental nature to a child under the age of 18 years;
(c) “School bus” has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 483.160;
(d) “Sexual abuse of a child” means any of the acts described in NRS 432B.100; and
(e) “Sexual molestation” means any willful and lewd or lascivious act, other than acts constituting the crime of sexual assault, upon or with the body, or any part or member thereof, of a child under the age of 14 years, with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust, passions or sexual desires of the perpetrator or of the child.
Last modified: February 25, 2006