The Crime of Homicide

Depending on the circumstances surrounding a killing, a person convicted of murder may be sentenced to many years in prison, a prison sentence with no possibility of parole, or death. Second-degree murder usually is punished with more than twenty years in prison, while first-degree murder is punished with a life term in prison without the possibility of parole; and in states where the death penalty is practiced, first-degree murder is punishable by death.