As mentioned previously, first-degree murder charges in Maryland have various elements that need to be fulfilled in order to be proven. Even though the death penalty was abolished in Maryland, the punishment imposed for a conviction in this violent crime is the most severe that can be imposed and therefore it needs to be treated seriously.
First degree murder in Maryland involves the deliberate, premeditated killing of another, while lying in wait for them, poisoning them, or committing or attempting to commit a number of crimes mentioned in the Criminal Law Code, including but not limited to, first-degree arson, carjacking, kidnapping, mayhem or robbery.
If convicted, the defendant can be sentenced to the most severe punishment possible in the state-life imprisonment without possibility of parole. In order to do this, the prosecution must inform the defense of their intention to seek this punishment at least 30 days before the trial takes place. In addition to this, the jury must come to a unanimous decision to impose this punishment.
The consequences of a murder conviction are very grave, therefore it is important to consider fighting these charges. Maryland residents have certain fundamental rights, guaranteed by the Constitution, including the right to a free and fair trial. If they choose to avail these rights, they can mount an aggressive defense that attacks every prong of the prosecution's case, including the fulfillment of the mentioned elements or the completion of the required prerequisites. An experienced attorney can help individuals clear their names of violent crimes charges and protect their freedom.