Attempted murder

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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:35 pm
Attempted murder is the reckless or intentional attempt to kill a person involving taking a substantial step towards committing the crime. In other words, the criminal either had the intention of murdering somebody or showed extreme disregard for human life, thereby almost causing a person to be killed. One example of an attempted-murder crime is the indiscriminate use of a firearm against a group of people. While there was no intention to kill a certain person, and even if nobody was actually killed, the extreme disregard for human life and the fact that there was a probable intention to harm could justify a charge of attempted murder with a firearm. In some states, there's a fine line between crimes of reckless endangerment or reckless aggravated endangerment and the crime of attempted murder, since it's been ruled that a person can't have the intention of being reckless. Clearly, though, if a person deliberately tries and fails to commit murder, the charge would probably be attempted murder; if the perpetrator merely shows extreme disregard for human life, the charge may be the lesser one of reckless endangerment. An important factor in defining attempted murder is the fact that a substantial step must be taken to commit the crime. Both murder and attempted murder are Class A felonies.

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