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second degree murder

n. a non-premeditated killing, resulting from an assault in which death of the victim was a distinct possibility. Second degree murder is different from first degree murder, which is a premeditated, intentional killing or results from a vicious crime such as arson, rape or armed robbery. Exact distinctions on degree vary by state.

See also: first degree murder  manslaughter  murder 

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The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill Publisher Fine Communications

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