Being found guilty of murder in Pennsylvania could lead you to be sentenced to the death penalty, otherwise known as capital punishment. This often leads the person found guilty to spend many years in prison before finally being put to death.
Capital punishment is a controversial issue in the United States. Many people believe that it is morally wrong and that it should be abolished completely. Many states, including New York, have abolished the death penalty. However, in Pennsylvania, it is still possible to be sentenced to death in extreme circumstances, and only for the most serious of crimes. The following is an overview of the death penalty laws in Pennsylvania and the possible defense options.
What crimes can be punished with the death penalty in Pennsylvania?
Only the mostmay be punished with the death penalty. These types of crimes are known as a capital homicide. Examples of capital homicide include the murder of a fireman, peace officer or public servant. Capital homicide is also applicable to perpetrators of murders who engaged in torture, hostage situations and those who murdered a victim under the age of 12 or a pregnant woman in the third trimester of pregnancy.
What are the defense options for the death penalty?
The best way for a person to defend themselves against the death penalty is to successfully defend themselves against the murder accusation itself. The defendant may be able to show that the accusation is a case of mistaken identity, or that although they engaged in violent behavior, it was not their actions that led to the death of the person. The defendant may be able to cite a lack of intent to cause the death of a person, or they may be able to provide a viable alibi.
If you or someone you know has been accused of murder and you are worried about the serious consequences that this could have, it is important that youso that a compelling defense can be formed.