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Attorney Brad Thornton is a highly experienced and Board-Certified criminal defense lawyer. With his background as a former Chief Prosecutor, he has a unique understanding of the criminal justice system and is able to provide comprehensive and effective representation to his clients. He is also deeply committed to ensuring that all individuals receive fair treatment in court, regardless of their background or circumstances.
Brad Thornton is dedicated to helping his clients achieve the best possible outcome for their case, whether it is in San Antonio or elsewhere in South Texas. He recognizes the stress and anxiety that can come with being accused of a crime, and approaches his clients with compassion while keeping them informed at every step of the process. His knowledge and experience make him a strong advocate for his clients.
Texas Penal Code § 19.03 - CAPITAL MURDER
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Capital Murder in San Antonio, Texas
Explaining the Different Types of Homicide in Texas
In Texas, there are four main types of homicide: murder, capital murder, manslaughter, and criminally negligent homicide.
Murder is the unlawful killing of another person with malice aforethought, which means that the person was killed with the intention to cause harm or with reckless disregard for human life. Murder is a first-degree felony in Texas and is punishable by 5 to 99 years in prison.
Manslaughter is the unlawful killing of another person without malice aforethought. There are two types of manslaughter in Texas: voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter. Voluntary manslaughter is when a person intentionally or knowingly causes the death of another person in the heat of passion. Involuntary manslaughter is when a person unintentionally causes the death of another person while committing a crime that is not a felony. Both types of manslaughter are second-degree felonies in Texas and are punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison.
Criminal negligent homicide is the unlawful killing of another person through criminal negligence. Criminal negligence is when a person fails to perceive a substantial and unjustifiable risk that their actions will cause the death of another person. Criminal negligent homicide is a state jail felony in Texas and is punishable by 180 days to 2 years in a state jail facility.
Capital murder is the most serious type of murder charge in the state of Texas. It is defined as an intentional murder that is committed under certain circumstances, such as:
The murder was committed while committing another felony, such as robbery or kidnapping.
The victim was a law enforcement officer or fireman who was acting in the course of their duties.
The victim was a public servant, such as a judge or prosecutor, who was killed while performing their official duties.
The victim was a witness to a crime and was killed to prevent them from testifying.
The victim was a person under the age of six years old.
The murder was committed for the purpose of avoiding or preventing a lawful arrest, or to escape custody after having been arrested.
The murder was committed in a prison or jail.
If a person is charged with capital murder, they are not eligible for parole and will either receive a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole or the death penalty. The decision of whether to seek the death penalty is made by the prosecutor and is based on numerous factors, such as the severity of the crime and the defendant's criminal history.
If a person is charged and convicted of capital murder, they are not eligible for parole and will either receive a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole or the death penalty. The decision of whether to seek the death penalty is made by the prosecutor and is based on various factors, such as the severity of the crime and the defendant's criminal history.
Defenses to Capital Murder in Texas
The insanity defense is a defense to criminal charges in Texas that is based on the idea that the defendant was unable to understand the nature and consequences of their actions at the time the crime was committed. To use the insanity defense, the defendant must present evidence that they were suffering from a severe mental disease or defect at the time of the crime that prevented them from understanding that their actions were wrong.
The insanity defense is not often successful in Texas, and it is rarely used in capital murder cases. If the defense is successful, the defendant will not be found guilty of the crime and will be committed to a mental health facility for treatment. If the defense is not successful, the defendant will be found guilty and will be sentenced according to the penalties for the crime they were charged with.
In Texas, self-defense is a defense to criminal charges that can be raised by a defendant who claims that they acted in self-defense when they committed a crime. To successfully raise the defense of self-defense, the defendant must show that they reasonably believed that they were in imminent danger of harm, that they did not provoke the confrontation, and that they had no reasonable means of retreat. If the defendant can show all these things, they may be able to avoid criminal liability for their actions.
In Texas, the defense of others is a defense to criminal charges that can be raised by a defendant who claims that they acted in defense of someone else. To successfully raise the defense of others, the defendant must show that they reasonably believed that the person they were defending was in imminent danger of harm, that they did not provoke the confrontation, and that they had no reasonable means of retreat. If the defendant can show all these things, they may be able to avoid criminal liability for their actions.