The crime of Second Degree Murder is committed when someone intentionally and maliciously takes the life of another person. A conviction for Second Degree Murder does not require proof of deliberation. It requires proof that the person either intended to kill another person, intended to do serious bodily harm to the person that was killed, or acted with such willful disregard for the life and safety of another with no excuse or justification. The element of malice may be inferred from the type of injury inflicted on the person that was killed. The more severe the beating, the more likely Second Degree Murder will be charged. If the killing was done under mitigating circumstances, it could be reduced to a Manslaughter charge.
Second Degree Murder is a capital offense punishable by life in prison. This is one of the most serious felony charges because it results in the possibility of a life sentence and requires a very long prison sentence. The typical defendant convicted of Second Degree Murder in Washtenaw County will spend at least 30 years of his/her life in prison with only the possibility of being released on parole. Defendant’s serving a prison sentence for Murder will rarely get released on parole when they first become eligible.