Capital murder

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Capital murder was a statutory offence of aggravated murder in Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. In the United States, a capital murder is any murder that makes the perpetrator eligible for the death penalty.[citation needed]

Great Britain[edit]

In Great Britain, this offence was created by section 5 of the Homicide Act 1957. Section 1(3) of the Murder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Act 1965 reads:

For the purpose of any proceedings on or subsequent to a person’s trial on a charge of capital murder, that charge and any plea or finding of guilty of capital murder shall be treated as being or having been a charge, or a plea or finding of guilty, of murder only; and if at the commencement of this Act a person is under sentence of death for murder, the sentence shall have effect as a sentence of imprisonment for life.

Northern Ireland[edit]

In Northern Ireland, this offence was created by section 10 of the Criminal Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 1966.

On the trial of an indictment for capital murder, the jury could not return an alternative verdict to the offence charged in that indictment under section 6(2) of the Criminal Law Act (Northern Ireland) 1967.

Sections 1(4) and (5) of the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1973 read:

(4) For the purpose of any proceedings on or subsequent to a person’s trial on a charge of capital murder, that charge and any plea or finding of guilty of capital murder shall be treated as being or having been a charge, or a plea or finding of guilty, of murder only; and if at the commencement of this Act a person is under a sentence of death for capital murder, the sentence shall have effect as a sentence of imprisonment for life.

(5) In this section "capital murder" means a murder which immediately before the commencement of this Act is a capital murder within the meaning of section 10 of the Criminal Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 1966.[1]

Republic of Ireland[edit]

See sections 1(1)(b) and 3 of the Criminal Justice Act 1964 (both of which are now repealed) and section 8 of the Criminal Justice Act 1990.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Digitised copy from Legislation.gov.uk