Murder, the intentional taking of another person’s life, carries the most severe legal consequences in Nebraska upon conviction. Below, Liberty Law Group explains what constitutes murder under Nebraska law, the penalties associated with different types of murder, viable defenses, and the invaluable role of a criminal defense lawyer in these cases.

Murder Defense Lawyer Nebraska

Murder is the most serious charge in Nebraska state law. Typically defined as intentionally killing someone, murder charges can result in life sentences or even the death penalty.

However, Liberty Law Group attorneys are experienced in all facets of the law, including murder. Defenses available vary from client to client, but no matter the circumstance, if your case is right for us, then our expert defense attorneys will do everything they can to fight for you.

Our firm proudly serves the communities of Omaha in Douglas County, Lincoln in Lancaster County, Papillion in Sarpy County, Nebraska and Council Bluffs in Pattawattamie County, Iowa and surrounding areas. Call our firm immediately at (402) 865-0501 to request a free consultation to discuss your case with an attorney. We are standing by and ready to help with your defense.

Murder in Nebraska

How is Murder defined in Nebraska?

According to Nebraska Revised Statute 28-303, first-degree murder encompasses several circumstances. The first scenario is the intentional killing of another person with premeditation and malice aforethought. This means that the perpetrator plans the murder in advance and acts with a deliberate intention to end a life. This premeditated malice sets first-degree murder apart from other forms of homicide.

The second scenario under first-degree murder occurs during the perpetration or attempted perpetration of certain felonies. Potential felonies include sexual assault in the first degree, arson, robbery, kidnapping, hijacking, or burglary. The third aspect of first-degree murder in Nebraska includes killing through poison. This prearranged approach to causing death aligns with the premeditation aspect of first-degree murder.

Also, Nebraska law also categorizes as first-degree murder the act of causing the wrongful conviction and execution of an innocent person through perjury or suborning perjury.

Under Nebraska Revised Statute 28-304, second-degree murder is distinct from first-degree murder mainly due to the absence of premeditation. It involves the intentional causing of death of another person but without the element of planning. This classification addresses scenarios where the perpetrator decides to kill in the moment, without prior intent or planning.

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What are the Penalties for Murder in Nebraska?

The penalties for murder in Nebraska are determined based on its classification as first or second-degree murder. First-degree murder is classified as a Class I felony, which can lead to a death sentence.

In cases where the death penalty is not applied, first-degree murder can be punished as a Class IA felony, resulting in a life imprisonment sentence. The determination between a Class I and Class IA felony involves a consideration of various factors, including aggravating circumstances, mentioned in Nebraska Revised Statutes 29-2519 to 29-2524.

Second-degree murder is classified as a Class IB felony. For those found guilty of this offense, the prison sentence ranges from 20 years to life in prison.

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Possible Defenses to Murder in Nebraska

In Nebraska, various defenses can be used in murder cases, each based on the specific circumstances of the charge. A common defense is self-defense, where the accused person argues that the act of killing was a necessary response to an immediate threat to their own life or the life of another. This defense is based on proving that the use of deadly force was reasonable under the circumstances.

Mistaken identity is another defense, where the accused claims they were not the perpetrator of the crime. This often involves providing alibis or evidence that places the accused at a different location at the time of the murder.

In some cases, the defense may argue that the killing was an accident and not a deliberate or reckless act, particularly in situations where there was no intent to cause harm or death.

Duress is another defense, applicable when the accused was compelled to commit the murder under the threat of immediate harm to themselves or others. This defense is based on the lack of a safe or reasonable opportunity to escape the threatening situation.

Another potential defense is insanity, where the defense must demonstrate that the accused was unable to understand the nature of their actions or distinguish right from wrong due to a severe mental disorder at the time of the crime.

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How Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Help Someone Facing Murder Charges

A criminal defense lawyer plays a significant role in assisting a client charged with murder or other violent crimes in Nebraska. They offer knowledgeable guidance on legal procedures and rights, ensuring that the client’s interests are represented throughout the legal process. The lawyer examines evidence, identifies potential weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, and develops a defense strategy. They also handle negotiations with prosecutors, potentially leading to plea bargains or reduced charges. The lawyer also represents the client in court, arguing on their behalf and challenging evidence presented by the prosecution. Their involvement is important for ensuring a fair trial and getting the best possible outcome for client accused, given the circumstances.

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Additional Resources

“Fairness is a moving target”: A report on aspects of Nebraska’s death penalty system that may be involved in certain murder prosecutions, this article observes that the location of a crime can play a central role in determining whether the accused might get a prison term or the death penalty for a murder or other crime. Includes links to research and sources while noting that issues like prosecutorial discretion make the death penalty in the state arbitrary and unfair.

The Nebraska Violent Death Reporting System (NEVDRS): provides links to the National Violent Death Reporting System and to data on deaths in the state from violent causes, including homicide and suicide. Noting that prevention of violent death “begins with understanding the contributing circumstances of such deaths,” the page provides links to an overview of the NVDRS system, an infographic of data and facts about violent deaths in the state, and links to yearly data from Nebraska on the issues.

“Fact checking claims of increasing violent crime in Lincoln”: This report indicates that political opponents are claiming that murder rates have doubled in the city under the current mayor. Acknowledging that a review of crime data going back to the 1990s reveals that the city does have higher rates of some violent crimes, including homicide, the article notes that Lincoln’s population has grown more than 50 percent in that time.

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Murder Defense Lawyers Omaha | Liberty Law Group

If you or a loved one has been arrested or charged with Murder, our expert criminal defense attorneys are ready to help.

Our firm proudly serves the communities of Omaha in Douglas County, Lincoln in Lancaster County, Papillion in Sarpy County, Nebraska and Council Bluffs in Pattawattamie County, Iowa and surrounding areas. Call our firm immediately at (402) 865-0501 to request a free consultation to discuss your case with an attorney. We are standing by and ready to help with your defense.