Sorry, I am not a lawyer and shouldn't play one here. I am thinking of my last newspaper stop, New York state, where premeditated murder was second degree unless it involved a murder for hire, killing a police officer, torturing during the killing, a terrorist act, or some other factors. With one of those factors, it became first-degree murder.
Penalties for first-degree murder can be the death penalty, life without parole; or 20 to 25 years.
Second-degree murder in NY is also murder with intent, but carries a penalty of 15-to-25 years max in most cases.
So as far as penalty goes, murder is not murder in NY (and many other jurisdictions).
My larger point is that virtually every crime is judged in its totality (and, sadly in my view, in the context of public interest in the outcome), and the intent, the harm done, the potential harm done, the level of egregiousness, etc. all come into play.