187 (slang)

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Section 187 (often referenced in slang simply as 187) of the California Penal Code defines the crime of murder. The number is commonly pronounced by reading the digits separately as "one-eight-seven", or "one-eighty-seven", rather than "one hundred eighty-seven".

The number "187" has been used by gangs throughout the United States and elsewhere as a synonym for murder; this usage has been documented in Florida,[1] Wisconsin,[2] the United Kingdom,[3] and Germany.[4] It also features widely in hip-hop culture, such as in Dr. Dre's "Deep Cover".

California Penal Code Section 187[edit]

California Penal Code section 187, subdivision (a) defines murder as "the unlawful killing of a human being, or a fetus, with malice aforethought". Subdivision (b) states that subdivision (a) does not apply to any person who commits an act that results in the death of a fetus if any of the following apply: (1) The act complied with certain Health and Safety Code sections (the California Therapeutic Abortion Act) or (2) The act was committed by a holder of a physician's and surgeon's certificate, in a case where, to a medical certainty, the result of childbirth would be death of the mother of the fetus or where her death from childbirth, although not medically certain, would be substantially certain or more likely than not, or (3) The act was solicited, aided, abetted, or consented to by the mother of the fetus.[5]

In California, suspects are usually charged by reference to one or more Penal Code (PC) sections. Thus, the charging documents for a suspect charged with murder would be inscribed with "PC 187(a)" or just "PC 187". If a suspect is charged with attempted murder, then the relevant code would be "PC 664/187" because attempt is defined in Penal Code section 664.[6]

Under the California Uniform Bail Schedule, the standard bail for murder is $750,000.[6] The standard bail for first-degree murder with special circumstances (that is, circumstances under which the district attorney is seeking the death penalty) is "NO BAIL".[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Scarcella, Michael A. (August 13, 2005). "Rival gangs shoot it out: Manatee cracks down as violence escalates". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. p. A1.
  2. ^ Hall, Andy (June 19, 2005). "A Primer on Local Gangs". Wisconsin State Journal. p. A12. Archived from the original on November 6, 2012.
  3. ^ Scheerhout, John (April 2, 2012). ""You thought I was joking":Facebook fury of jealous knifeman who stabbed 74-year-old woman at Chorlton bus stop". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
  4. ^ Bromberg, Wiebe (February 22, 2011). "Messer-Angriff in der Sternschanze: Attacke im Florapark: Es ging um eine Frau" [Knife assault in the Sternschanze: Attack in the Flora Park: It was about a woman]. Hamburger Morgenpost (in German). Archived from the original on June 16, 2013. Retrieved March 13, 2020. [...] the perpetrator belongs to the "187" gang.
  5. ^ "California Penal Code Section 187". California Penal Code. California State Legislature. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  6. ^ a b c For examples of this, see the Felony Bail Schedule, Superior Court of California, County of Santa Cruz.

External links[edit]