Like many other states, the most serious type of homicide in Connecticut is murder. However, unlike most states, Connecticut does not divide the crime into first and second degree murder laws. Instead, the Constitution State divides its murder laws based upon things such as whether an officer of the law was the victim, whether a felony was committed, and the type of felony committed.
Murder is defined as intentionally causing the death of another person. In Connecticut, the most serious type of murder is capital felony murder. An example of capital felony murder is intentionally killing a police officer while he is performing his duties or murdering two or more people. Felony murder is another category of murder in Connecticut. It involves the commission of a felony during the murder. An example of felony murder is causing the death of another person while committing a robbery. Both crimes are punishable by death or life imprisonment. The following is a brief summary of Connecticut murder laws.
Connecticut Murder Laws
The following table outlines murder laws in Connecticut.
||Connecticut General Statutes Title 53A. Penal Code § 53a-54a
|What is Prohibited?
Murder: A person is guilty of murder when, with intent to cause the death of another person, he causes the death of such person or of a third person or causes a suicide by force, duress or deception.
Capital felony: Murdering an officer, marshal, inspector, firefighter or other person performing law enforcement duties or duties within a correctional facility wherein the defendant is confined, murdering for profit or hiring someone to murder for profit, murder with a prior conviction of murder or felony murder, murder while serving a life sentence, murder of a kidnapped person during the kidnapping, murder during first degree sexual assault, murdering 2 or more people in a single transaction, or murdering a person under 16 years of age
Felony Murder: Consists of causing the death of another person while committing, attempting to commit, acting in furtherance of, or fleeing any of the following felony crimes:
- First degree sexual assault
- Third degree sexual assault
- Third degree sexual assault with a firearm
- First and second degree escape
Arson murder: Causing the death of another person while committing arson
It is a defense to felony murder in cases where there is more than one participant, that the participant did not commit the act which caused the death of another person or request, cause, or aid in the act, was not armed with a deadly weapon, and had no reasonable ground to believe that any other participant was armed with a deadly weapon or intended to engage in conduct likely to cause death or serious physical injury.
- The person was under the influence of an extreme emotional disturbance (a.k.a. "heat of passion" defense). (The person may still be charged with manslaughter.)
- The person suffered from a mental disease or defect and therefore could not have the necessary intent for murder.
Murder is a Class A felony punishable by up to 60 years in prison and up to $20,000 in fines. The minimum sentence served is 25 years.
Capital felony or felony murder are punishable by death or life imprisonment without parole.
Arson murder is punishable by life imprisonment without parole.
Connecticut Murder Laws: Related Resources
If you are in need of legal assistance, you may want to contact an Connecticut criminal defense attorney. You may also want to visit Findlaw's sections on Connecticut Capital Punishment Laws for more information on the death penalty in Connecticut. You can also visit Findlaw's sections on First Degree Murder Overview, First Degree Murder Penalties and Sentencing, Second Degree Murder Overview, and Second Degree Penalties and Sentencing for more articles and information on this topic.