Difference between first and second degree murder Law and Legal Definition

The differentiation between first and second degree murder under California law is defined as follows:

“All murder which is perpetrated by means of a destructive device or explosive, a weapon of mass destruction, knowing use of ammunition designed primarily to penetrate metal or armor, poison, lying in wait, torture, or by any other kind of willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing, or which is committed in the perpetration of, or attempt to perpetrate, arson, rape, carjacking, robbery, burglary, mayhem, kidnapping, train wrecking is murder in the first degree. All other kinds of murders are of the second degree.” Ocasio v. Yates, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73465 (E.D. Cal. Aug. 19, 2009