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First-degree murder laws in Alaska

by | Jan 18, 2022 | Federal Crimes

Many types of criminal offenses can lead to homicide charges in Alaska. But, the two main categories are manslaughter and murder, with first-degree murder being the most severe charge. Here are the laws you need to know about first-degree murder in Alaska.

First-degree murder laws in Alaska?

According to Alaska Statutes 11.41.100, first-degree murder is a form of homicide where someone unlawfully kills someone else. The elements that make up this type of murder include:

1. Intent – The state will charge you with murder of the first degree if they can show that you intended to end the life of another person. Similarly, if you had the plan to kill one person, but you accidentally kill another, you can still face first-degree murder charges.

2. Actual death or compelling someone to commit suicide – You may not kill a person, but your actions encourage them to kill themselves through duress or deception.

3. Accidentally killing a person when committing another crime – Whether you were acting alone or with one or more persons, attempting to commit criminal mischief in the first degree under Alaska Statute 11.46.475, and, as a result of your actions, someone happens to die other than the participants of the criminal act. Similarly, when committing a terroristic threatening crime in the first degree under Alaska Statute 11.56.807 and in the process of or as a result of the crime, any person in your crew caused the death of an innocent individual.

4. Engaging in an action that kills a child under 16 years of age – if you knowingly engage in conduct that inflicts serious physical injury on a child with at least two separate acts, and one of those acts results in that child’s death. Also, if you kidnap or commit a sexual offense to a child under 16 years, and they die in the process, the state will charge you will first-degree murder, among other charges.

If found guilty of first-degree murder, the court can sentence you to prison for 20 to 99 years and fines of up to $500,000. You would get a mandatory 99 years if you tortured the victim, if it is your second conviction, or murdered an uninformed or a clearly identified correctional employee, peace officer, or firefighter in performance of their official duty.