In all jurisdictions, first degree murder is the most serious of homicide crimes that one can commit. The prosecutor in a “first degree” murder case must show, beyond a reasonable doubt that (1) one individual killed another individual, “without justification”; (2) that the individual intended to kill or do great bodily harm to the victim; (3) that he or she knew that the actions would or could produce such bodily harm that may result in death; (4) that the individual killed the victim while in the process of committing a felony (except the lesser included second degree murder charge).
In Illinois, the penalties for first degree murder often depends on who the victim was and any circumstances surrounding the murder. But under no circumstances will the penalty result in the death penalty. The death penalty for all intents and purposes has been abolished in Illinois. Illinois courts will often request a separate sentencing hearing after the defendant has been found guilty, in order to consider any aggravating or mitigating circumstances.
The Death Penalty for First Degree Murder Has Been Abolished in Illinois