First-Degree Murder is any intentional murder that is willful and premeditated with malice aforethought. Any kind of dangerous crime in which a death results from the crime is considered first-degree murder. Most interesting homicides of this type usually take place in the state of California, such as the Charles Manson family murders. He was originally sentenced to the death penalty, but that sentence was commuted to life imprisonment when the Supreme Court of California temporarily eliminated the state’s death penalty. He was incarcerated from 1969 until his death in 2017.
Second-Degree Murder refers to intentional killing, but the difference is that the person who commits the crime had no prior intention to kill. The main difference from firs-degree murder is that it cannot be proved that it was premeditated or planned in advance. Sometimes these cases are described as “crimes of passion” or occasions where the killing occurred in the “heat of passion.” Depending on the state and the crime, a person convicted of such a crime can face life in prison without the possibility of parole. Movie and NFL football star O.J. Simpson probably committed a crime of passion when he allegedly killed his ex-wife and her friend Ron Goldman.
Third Degree Murder is the unintentional killing of someone, in other words, when the person who commits involuntary manslaughter does not want the victim to die. It is a murder committed without premeditation. A good example would be when a person drives under the influence of alcohol and hits and kills a pedestrian, even though it was not his intention. A familiar California case was that of Michael Jackson’s personal doctor who was caring for the singer at the time of his death in 2009. He was sentenced to four years in prison for involuntary manslaughter but was released after serving only two years because of health and safety issues. His Texas medical license was revoked, but his California and Nevada licenses were only suspended. It is believed that he aided Jackson’s death through carelessness, but did not intentionally kill him.
Justifiable Homicide is reserved for situations in which an individual kills another in self-defense or similar circumstances. It is a blameless homicide. This is not really a legal charge, but rather a classification for which authorities can register a death when no crime was committed. Many US states have adopted a law that is called Stand Your Ground which allows people to kill if they believe their own life is at risk. This law states that a person who feels endangered does not need to retreat, and they may use any method they want to defend themselves, including deadly force. Perceived danger is hard to prove or disprove, which makes this law very controversial. It is interesting to remember that both the state of Vermont, as well as Washington, D.C. have laws that demand the opposite reaction. They require that citizens flee from criminal assailants, even if the criminals have invaded their own homes.
I was born near the end of WWII and raised in a small town in New Jersey, just a little more than a 30-minute drive from NYC. It was a wonderful place to be brought up, feeding ducks and canoeing on the river that meandered through the town in the summer, and ice-skating on that same river in the winter.
My two brothers and I were privileged to be raised in a lovely town that was safe to explore on foot, but close enough to NYC to be taken there on day trips to see the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Baily B & B circus, museums, Chinatown, street fairs in the spring and Broadway shows as we grew older. But we thought nothing of it.
Later as teens, we would go into NYC to buy a couple of beers (the drinking age in New York State was 18, and 21 in New Jersey) and hang out in Greenwich Village where we saw singers such as Bob Dylan who were on the first rung of the ladder on their way to fame.
The sixties were a time of speaking out and creating change. I decided to do my part by joining the Peace Corps, an innovative cold war program established by John F. Kennedy in 1961. I arrived in Brazil at the end of 1966, and after an adaptation period, was sent to serve in Porto Nacional, in what was Goias at that time. I can’t say I changed the course of the country, especially as I was immediately called upon to teach English in the local high school.
I have been teaching ever since; high schools, college literature, college language pedagogy, financial English and everything in-between. I married a wonderful Brazilian from Rio and we had 3 boys and moved around some, as he was an engineer who worked on hydro dams. Nowadays I am a widow and live in BH with 3 cats, one of which has extraordinary powers, and I have 4 wonderful and uniquely different grandchildren nearby. Thus far, I have had an interesting life, and this new endeavor called a blog should make it even more interesting.
FYI is an acronym, and an acronym is a word formed by combining the first letters of each word of a name, such as NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) that is frequently seen in the news. Another one you probably know is AIDS, which is an acronym for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. Sometimes acronyms are pronounced as a word as in NATO and AIDS, and sometimes the letters are pronounced individually, such as FYI (for your information). And most of the time they are not even pronounced, as they are used mostly in social media, business communication and Internet. But we do hear CNN (Cable News Network) reporters saying ASAP frequently, which means As Soon As Possible and is hard to pronounce.
Sometimes acronyms become words, such as the word scuba. Everybody knows that word, but few know it started out as an acronym for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus.
Another acronym that became a word is laser, which began as the acronym Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Most of us are very pleased that these two words became acronyms.
For now, try to incorporate FYI and ASAP into your daily communications, and don’t spend too much time remembering what AIDS and LASER and SCUBA really mean. But you should be able to recognize NATO as it has become a big issue in North America and Europe.
Here are six business acronyms that you should know if you are a businessperson, and maybe aspire to if you are in middle management. Which one would be the lowest stress and the highest salary?