All states categorize homicide, the killing of someone else, in some manner. Arkansas breaks homicide into six categories: capital murder, first-degree murder, second-degree murder, manslaughter, negligent homicide, and physician-assisted suicide. 

FindLaw explains that in Arkansas, however, capital murder and first-degree murder represent two sides of the same coin. Both are Class Y felonies and both require a deliberate act on the part of the perpetrator. 

Capital murder 

Per Section 5-10-101 of the Arkansas Code, you commit capital murder by doing any of the following: 

  • Kill someone while committing a felony such as rape, kidnapping, robbery, burglary, terrorism, arson, etc. 
  • Kill any of the following intentionally and with premeditation: law enforcement officer, judge, court official, jailer, probation or parole officer, fellow prisoner, member of the military, a public official 
  • Agree to kill someone and then do so in exchange for receiving money or other valuables from someone else 
  • Hire someone to kill someone else and (s)he does so 
  • Kill a child under the age of 15 knowingly and while exhibiting extreme indifference to the value of his or her life 
  • Kill someone by deliberately firing a gun at him or her from your vehicle 

You face execution or life in prison without parole if convicted of capital murder. 

First-degree murder 

Per Section 5-10-102 of the Arkansas Code, you commit first-degree murder by doing any of the following: 

  • Kill someone while committing any felony and while exhibiting an extreme indifference to the value of his or her life 
  • Deliberately and knowingly kill someone 
  • Knowingly kill a child under the age of 15 

You face life in prison or a prison term of from 10-40 years if convicted of first-degree murder.