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Legal and Psychological Issues
Legal and psychological issues

WHEN AN ADOLESCENT kills a parent, the legal system focuses first on whether a crime was committed. The prosecutor's office may file charges ranging from first-degree murder to manslaughter. Determining whether the youth intended to take the life of another human being is decisive in determining whether first- or second-degree murder is an appropriate charge. The state attorney's office typically seeks to charge the adolescent with murder in the first degree if the parricide appears to be the result of a premeditated design to kill the parent. The state may seek to charge the youth with murder in the second degree if premeditation to kill was lacking, but the youth behaved with callous disregard for human life. In ...

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