Definition - What does Attempted Murder mean?
Attempted murder is a crime committed when someone tries to kill someone else, but doesn't succeed.
In order to secure a conviction for this offense, a prosecutor must prove that the perpetrator acted with recklessness, deliberation or intent. A prosecutor must also prove that the perpetrator acted with the utmost contempt for human life and that they engaged in meaningful activity to further the commission of the crime.
Justipedia explains Attempted Murder
Of the criteria that must be met in order to convict someone of attempted murder, intent is generally recognized as the most important. This means that there must be ample evidence to show that the perpetrator meant to kill the victim.
One example of such evidence would be testimony that the perpetrator pulled the trigger after taking aim at the victim's head. Another example would be testimony that the perpetrator drove their directly toward the victim without taking any evasive or corrective measures to prevent a collision.
It is also important to demonstrate that the perpetrator took significant steps to further the commission of the crime. A prosecutor could successfully meet this criteria by calling witnesses who testify that the perpetrator arranged an ambush at a specific time and place.
Whether or not a prosecutor can meet these and other criteria will also determine whether the perpetrator is convicted of first- or second-degree attempted murder.