Philadelphia has seen a wave of homicides in recent days, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Seven people died over the weekend, writes The Inquirer. Including these were two bodies found in a house on the 1700 block of Erie Avenue in Tioga. David Williams, 23, was arrested in connection with both of those killings. One of these bodies was identified as Anthony Hicks and the other body has yet to be identified.
According to police reports, Hicks was shot in the head. The other man found on the second floor of the house was found with gunshot wounds to the chest and head.
These weren't the only murders this weekend in Philadelphia. A 17-year-old man was found dead after being shot in South Philadelphia.
Another man was shot in the head and his assailant, Quinton Ferguson, was charged with his murder, after the two had an argument.
Given the numerous shooting deaths, it may lead people to believe that the concept of shooting someone in the head or "busting a cap" is taken lightly. The grave reality is that these deaths that result out of tempers flaring, gang warfare and robbery might seem insignificant at the time, but they result in serious penalties for those who commit them.
For starters, Pennsylvania still has capital punishment. The list of capital crimes is long, including a killing done in the course of drug warfare.
First degree murder in Pennsylvania requires a showing of intent and premeditation. This is in contrast to a murder committed in a heated argument, for example, which can (sometimes) lead to a lesser charge of second degree murder.
Even a conviction of second degree murder is no walk in the park. It carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
The tiny difference between first degree murder and second degree murder is huge. A skilled attorney knows how to argue a lighter sentence. Have a look at our related resources below for more information.