What is the Maximum Penalty for Murder in NSW?


36-year-old Lisa Snyder from Pennsylvania has allegedly killed her two children who police found hanging from a beam in the basement of the family home.

Snyder was charged about 2 months after her children were found hanging in the basement.

On 23 September, police received a phone call from Snyder at approximately 4:30pm claiming that she found her two children hanging in the basement, who were not responsive.

Emergency officers arrived within minutes who found an 8-year-old and 4-year-old in full cardiac arrest hanging about 3 feet from each other with a wire cable around each of their necks.

Unfortunately, the two children died 3-days later.

Snyder has denied killing her children and has claimed that both her kids committed suicide.

She further claims that her 8-year-old son was suicidal and was bullied at school.

Authorities say that the boy was unable to hang himself due to his physical disability.

The boy’s school occupational therapist has said that the child had a low level of eye-hand coordination and found it difficult to pinch his finger and thumb together. She also said that the boy had difficulty even tying shoes.

Following Snyder’s claims, an investigation commenced, which revealed that there was no such evidence of her 8-year-old son being bullied.

In fact, investigators say that there is video images of the boy from the school bus on 23 September, depicting what appears to be a “happy child”, with the absence of any signs of distress.

“Eight-year-olds, generally that I am aware, do not commit suicide… so, of course we had questions”, said John T. Adams, from the Berks County District Attorney.

One of the most terrifying aspects of the investigation appears to be the fact that the devices that were seized from her home, have allegedly revealed that on the day before, she researched “hanging yourself” in addition to “short drop/simple suspension” from a website that provides instructions on how to hang someone.

She has been charged with murder and refused bail.

On another note, authorities also discovered images of her with her dog on Facebook messages that have resulted in her also being charged with having sex with her dog and animal cruelty.

For information on the law, defences and penalties for murder in NSW, call out 24/7 hotline to arrange a free consultation with an experienced criminal lawyer from Sydney today.

What is the Maximum Penalty for Murder in NSW?

Amongst all the crimes under the law, murder is viewed as one of the most serious and evil.

In NSW, the penalty for committing the offence of murder carries up to life in jail. Life imprisonment is the natural life in full-time custody.

The Court in NSW has a discretion not to impose a life jail sentence to a convicted murderer.

A life imprisonment sentence will be imposed against a convicted murderer in NSW if the Court is convinced beyond reasonable doubt, that the level of criminality is at such a high level that only a life imprisonment penalty would be appropriate after considering the purposes of punishment – which include community protection, punishment, deterrence and retribution. (section 61 Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (NSW)).

Where the court finds that a life imprisonment is not warranted against a convicted murderer, the court will be required to order a parole and non-parole period of imprisonment.

If the murder occurred subsequent to 1 February 2003, it carries a 20-years standard non-parole period. This represents the minimum period of full-time jail before being eligible for release on parole if, and only if the case is considered to be in the mid-range of objective criminality for murder offences.

The 20-years standard non-parole period is only used as a guide by courts and is not strictly applies.

Section 19A Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) prescribes life imprisonment to anyone who commits the crime of murder in NSW.

To be guilty of the charge of murder in a NSW Court, the prosecution must prove each of the following elements of the crime beyond reasonable doubt:

  1. The alleged offender committed a voluntary act, causing the victim’s death; and
  2. At such time of causing death, the alleged offender:
    • Intended to really seriously injure or permanently or seriously disfigure the victim; or
    • Intended to cause death; or
    • Realised the probability of causing death; or
    • Was in the process of committing a crime that carries a maximum penalty of no less than 25-years jail (constructive murder).

Click on our article on defences to a murder charge in NSW for more information.

About Jimmy Singh

Mr. Jimmy Singh is the Principal Lawyer at Criminal Defence Lawyers Australia - Leading Criminal Lawyers in Sydney, Delivering Exceptional Results in all Australian Criminal Courts.


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