Once the Pickton's trail was going on I was trying to follow and when the verdict came out and he was convicted as a second degree murderer I wondered what that means. What is the difference between the first degree murder and the second? It took more than 3 years to find the answer! I mean the answer was there somewhere but I never sought it until that police officer was killed a few days ago in York, Ontario.
According to Canadian law if the killing is brutal (that's my definition) it categorizes as first degree and if not then it will be considered the 2nd. You might say that killing more than 20 innocent, poor young women, a few of them Aboriginals, in a way that barely anything was found them is brutal. But Canadian law considers that second degree murder. There are the types under the first degree:
1- Planned and deliberate. Robert Pickton would probably have said that he never had a plan to kill those women, if he had pleaded guilt. But he pleaded innocent!
2- Contracted. That is probably why hitmen are put behind the bars for a long time.
3- Committed against an identified Peace Officer. An identified Peace Officer here probably means a Peace Officer who has been identified by someone and then is hit. That's my understanding. For example the Peace Officer could be a Police Officer who tickets a motorist and the driver who is mad then plans to waste him/her.
4- While committing or attempts to commit hijacking an airplane. (Self-explanatory)
5- While committing or attempts to commit sexual assault. This one should be a real maniac!
6- Same stupid thing as above, this time with a weapon.
7- Again the same stupid behaviour, this time aggravated!
8- While committing or attempts to commit kidnapping and forcible confinement.
9- Hostage taking. Should have started as the ones above with ... While committing .. etc.
10- While committing criminal harassment. This one is complex.
11- Commit ed during terrorist activity. This one could be too. Definitions.
12- While using explosive in association with a criminal organization. No doubt!
13- While committing intimidation.
So you can see why Pickton was not convicted as a first degree murderer and that young fella who was driving a van and hit the Police Officer will probably be.
(Photo: The young Police Officer from York region, in Ontario was dragged under a minivan driven by a 15-year-old and was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital after called an ambulance himself and reported what had happened. He expressed his concerns about the situation of the teenagers in the van after mentioning that he had a vehicle on the top of him, poor guy)