The Death Penalty in Arkansas
State law reserves the death penalty in Arkansas for a narrow class of particularly serious homicide crimes. Such crimes are called capital murder and are punishable by death or life in prison without the possibility of parole. If you are under investigation for capital murder, your life quite literally depends on the actions you take. One of those actions should be contacting an experienced Arkansas death penalty lawyer at The James Law Firm immediately.
Arkansas capital murder
Arkansas law defines capital murder as a homicide committed under any of a number of defined circumstances:
- Causing the death of another during the commission of a violent and major felony—such as robbery, rape, or kidnapping—under circumstances that show extreme indifference to human life
- Causing the death of another in the process of committing arson
- Purposely causing the death of another after premeditation
- Causing the death of another while attempting to kill a law enforcement officer, teacher, or other public official in the line of duty
- Purposely causing the death of another while incarcerated with the Arkansas Department of Corrections
- Killing another in exchange for something or value or hiring another person to do so
- Killing another by discharging a firearm from a vehicle
- Causing the death of a person under the age of 14 under circumstances showing extreme indifference to human life
Arkansas death penalty cases
Because of the serious nature of the death penalty, state law requires special procedures in capital murder cases where the prosecution seeks the death penalty. Both the prosecution and the defense have the opportunity to present additional evidence regarding aggravating and mitigating circumstances as well as arguments regarding the appropriate sentence. The jury must carefully weigh both the aggravating and mitigating circumstances of the case and unanimously conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that a sentence of death is appropriate.
Not all Arkansas criminal defense lawyers are experienced or knowledgeable in the procedures used during the sentencing phase of a death penalty trial. That is why a person should settle for nothing less than an experienced Arkansas death penalty lawyer when facing such serious charges.
Speak to an experienced Arkansas death penalty attorney
If you are involved in a murder investigation, consulting an Arkansas criminal defense attorney early is vital to protecting your rights throughout the process. The Arkansas criminal defense attorneys of The James Law Firm are committed to providing aggressive legal representation at a fair price. Contact The James Law Firm for a consultation regarding your legal needs.
Serving clients throughout the State of Arkansas
The James Law Firm 1821 S. Broadway, Little Rock, Arkansas 72206