You have the right to remain silent, etc. You have probably heard this recitation many times on detective shows or in movies. It is called the Miranda rule, and it is a way for law enforcement officers to tell you what your rights are when you are under arrest.
In many ways, the 21st century is a model of ongoing enlightenment. For example, more and more people are coming to realize that taking a person's life for alleged criminal behavior is something that requires careful thought. People are also starting to understand that many elements can complicate homicide and death penalty cases.
There are different murder charges in Pennsylvania. What a person may be charged with depends on how the victim was killed. The charges are also based on a determination of the intent of the defendant.
Pennsylvania has not executed anyone in almost 20 years, and the state has put a moratorium on the death penalty in 2015. Still, the law remains on the books.
Before a homicide trial begins, some of the most important questions concern what evidence can be used. For example, the Federal Rules of Evidence put strict limits on the prosecution's ability to introduce evidence that the defendant was convicted of a different crime.
The death penalty is not common in Pennsylvania, nor do Pennsylvania residents want it to be. One poll of Pennsylvanians in 2015 found that 54% support a life sentence, not capital punishment, as the preferred penalty for murder. The state has not carried out an execution since 1999.