New York law categorizes murder as one of the most serious crimes a person can commit. In accordance with this stance, the punishments for first-degree murder are among the most strict that can be handed down by the court. Not all first-degree murder cases are handled in the same way, and not all of these cases may result in identical sentences. The actual circumstances of each particular case can have a profound impact on the way that the sentence is carried out.
Murder is one of the few crimes that can be legally punished by death. New York law allows for a sentence of death to be declared in certain cases. According to the New York penal code, a person who intentionally kills another person or kills a peace officer or correctional officer may be convicted of murder in the first degree. A conviction on this charge can be punished with a sentence of death or a lifetime term of incarceration without the possibility of parole.
In some cases, it is possible for a person convicted of murder in the first degree to receive a sentence that is less severe than life imprisonment without parole. However, this is unlikely.
When weapons charges play a role in a murder investigation, the consequences can be serious. A defense attorney may be able to use police reports, crime scene investigation data and witness statements to create a defense for a client. This could include an attempt to portray the defendant as an unwilling participant in a crime or an attempt to disprove malicious intent. With strong evidence, an attorney may be able to negotiate with the prosecution and judge for a reduced sentence via a plea bargain.
Source: New York State Legislature , “60.06 Authorized disposition“, December 09, 2014