There are varying penalty schemes related to murder in the United States. The death penalty is available to the government at many state levels as well as the Federal Government. The Death Penalty is a decision made by the prosecuting authority. The government decides on a case by case basis whether to seek the death penalty.
Typical Death Penalty Cases:
- 1st Degree Murder
- Killing of a Federal Law Enforcement Officer
- Murder with another act such as Rape or Kidnapping
The death penalty cannot be sought for manslaughter, 2nd degree murder, or any type of negligent homicide. There must be an indictment in order for the government to seek the death penalty.
State of South Carolina Homicide Offenses:
- Attempted Murder
- Involuntary Manslaughter
The State of South Carolina recognizes the Death Penalty, but it is sought in only a select few cases. Typically, when charged with First Degree Murder, the State seeks 30 years up to a Life Sentence.
Murder is defined in South Carolina Code Section 16-3-10 as the killing of a person with “malice aforethought.”
Attempted Murder is defined in South Carolina Code Section 16-3-29 as a person who attempts to kill another person with “malice aforethought.” There must proof that the person charged with attempted murder had the intent to kill the other person. The penalty for attempted murder in South Carolina has a maximum sentence of 30 years.
Manslaughter is defined in South Carolina Code Section 16-3-50, as the unlawful killing of another person without malice aforethought. A maximum sentence of 30 years may be imposed for an individual convicted of manslaughter.
Involuntary Manslaughter is defined in South Carolina Code Section 16-3-60 as the reckless disregard for the safety of other individuals and is commonly referred to as criminal negligence. A maximum sentence of 5 years may be imposed under this section.
A person is charged with Murder when the individual’s state of mind at the time of the homicide was intent to kill or cause great bodily harm.
A person is charged with Manslaughter when the individual’s state of mind lacked premeditation or malice, but was still an unjustifiable killing of another person.
We have represented many clients for homicide charges. We have had great success and have even had charges dropped. Call our office at 1-800-94TRIAL to speak to us about your case. You may also contact us online.