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Murder In Texas

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Texas and Murder 1

Running head: Texas and Murder

Texas and Murder

Criminal Law

CJ 105

Texas and Murder 2


Murder is the most heinous and vindictive crime a person or group of people can commit.

We often wonder what makes an individual or group of individuals want to commit such a crime

that will end a human life so abruptly! Once the crime is committed there is no reversing the

final outcome. What is done is done! I believe no one is born a murderer, but we, as a society

are responsible for giving birth to and implanting the seed to further feed the frenzy and desires

of today's murderers. Penalties imposed upon criminals should match the crimes committed.

therefore, the worst crime possible, murder, should be the worst penalty possible, death. Do the

penalties imposed actually deter the potential murderers from committing the act of unlawfully

taking another's life! Murder is defined as the un-justified killing of one person by another,

usually distinguished from the crime of manslaughter by the element of malice aforethought.

(Webster Dictionary 2005).

Historical Common Law

Texas became a state on February 28, 1845. Capital punishment has been used in the state of

Texas and its predecessor entities since 1819. Since that time 1153 people have been legally

executed, by a variety of methods such as hanging, firing squad, electrocution and lethal

injection. Most executions were for murder, which was defined as the unlawfully taking of

another's life, but other crimes such as piracy, cattle rustling, treason, desertion and rape have

been subject to death sentences. Currently, only the crime of "capital murder" or a second

conviction for the rape of someone under 14 is eligible for the death penalty. In order for a

murder to be a "capital murder," it must meet one of the circumstances described below under

the Capital Offenses section. The latest person to be executed in Texas was Michael Richard on

September 25, 2007. (Gilmer)

Texas and Murder 3

Current Texas State Statue for Murder

In 2007, the court of appeals looked to the Texas capital-murder statute, which reads in

applicable part: (a) A person commits an offense if the person commits murder as defined under

Section 19.02(b)(1) and the person intentionally commits the murder in the course of

committing or attempting to commit kidnapping, burglary, robbery, aggravated sexual assault,

arson, obstruction or retaliation, or terroristic threat under Section 22.07(a)(1), (3), (4), (5), or

(6)[.] Tex. Penal Code 19.03. and Tex. Penal Code 19.02(b)(1), in turn reads: (b) A person

commits an offense if he: (1) intentionally or knowingly causes the death of an individual. The

court of appeals attached great significance to the fact that the capital-murder statute refers to the

murder statute and incorporates it by reference, rather than setting out the elements of murder

separately: Because the penal code's capital murder provision explicitly directs us to its murder

provision, we hold that the offense of murder or an element of murder (either the conduct or a

result) must be committed within this state in order for Texas to have jurisdiction over the

offense of capital murder. - 35k

Comparison of Common Law and Today's Texas State Statue

In comparison the two do not differ



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