The Vermont Statutes Online
The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.
NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.
§ 2311. Aggravated murder defined
(a) A person is guilty of aggravated murder if he or she commits a first or second degree murder, as defined in section 2301 of this title, and at the time of his or her actions, one or more of the following circumstances was in fact present:
(1) The murder was committed while the defendant was in custody under sentence for murder or aggravated murder.
(2) The defendant had, prior to commencement of the trial for aggravated murder, been convicted of another aggravated murder or murder in any jurisdiction in the United States and territories.
(3) At the time of the murder, the defendant also committed another murder.
(4) At the time of the murder, the defendant knowingly created a great risk of death to another person or persons.
(5) The murder was committed for the purpose of avoiding or preventing lawful arrest by a law enforcement officer of any person, or effecting an escape by any person from lawful custody of a law enforcement officer.
(6) The murder was committed by a person hired for such purpose in return for anything of value. Both the person hired and the person hiring him or her are guilty of aggravated murder.
(7) The victim of the murder was known by the person to be a firefighter, a member of emergency medical personnel as defined in 24 V.S.A. § 2651(6), a person employed in any capacity in or about a correctional facility, or a law enforcement officer, and was performing his or her official duties.
(8) The murder was committed in perpetrating or attempting to perpetrate sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault.
(b) In a prosecution for aggravated murder, the State shall allege and prove beyond a reasonable doubt one or more of the circumstances enumerated in subsection (a) of this section.
(c) The punishment for aggravated murder shall be imprisonment for life and for no lesser term. The court shall not place on probation or suspend or defer the sentence of any person convicted of aggravated murder. A person sentenced under this section shall not be eligible for parole during the term of imprisonment imposed herein and shall not be eligible for work-release or noncustodial furlough except when serious medical services make custodial furlough inappropriate. (Added 1987, No. 60, § 1, eff. May 16, 1987; amended 2019, No. 16, § 1, eff. May 6, 2019.)