Murder is the unlawful killing, with malice aforethought, of another human, and generally this state of mind distinguishes murder from other forms of unlawful homicide (such as manslaughter). As the loss of a human being inflicts enormous grief upon the individuals close to the victim, as well as the fact that the commission of a murder is highly detrimental to the good order within society, most societies both present and in antiquity have considered it a most serious crime worthy of the harshest of punishment. In most countries, a person convicted of murder is typically given a long prison sentence, possibly a life sentence where permitted, and in some countries, the death penalty may be imposed for such an act — though this practice is becoming less common. In most countries, there is no statute of limitations for murder (no time limit for prosecuting someone for murder). A person who commits murder is called a murderer.
Famous quotes containing the word murder:
“Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks;
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty-one.”
—Anonymous. Late 19th century ballad.
The quatrain refers to the famous case of Lizzie Borden, tried for the murder of her father and stepmother on Aug. 4, 1892, in Fall River, Massachusetts. Though she was found innocent, there were many who contested the verdict, occasioning a prodigious output of articles and books, including, most recently, Frank Spierings Lizzie (1985)
“If Steam has done nothing else, it has at least added a whole new Species to English Literature ... the bookletsthe little thrilling romances, where the Murder comes at page fifteen, and the Wedding at page fortysurely they are due to Steam?
And when we travel by electricityif I may venture to develop your theorywe shall have leaflets instead of booklets, and the Murder and the Wedding will come on the same page.”
—Lewis Carroll [Charles Lutwidge Dodgson] (18321898)
“As I sat before the fire on my fir-twig seat, without walls above or around me, I remembered how far on every hand that wilderness stretched, before you came to cleared or cultivated fields, and wondered if any bear or moose was watching the light of my fire; for Nature looked sternly upon me on account of the murder of the moose.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)