1 minute read

Manslaughter

Voluntary Manslaughter, Involuntary Manslaughter, Further ReadingsPunishment

The unjustifiable, inexcusable, and intentional killing of a human being without deliberation, premeditation, and malice. The unlawful killing of a human being without any deliberation, which may be involuntary, in the commission of a lawful act without due caution and circumspection.

Manslaughter is a distinct crime and is not considered a lesser degree of murder. The essential distinction between the two offenses is that malice aforethought must be present for murder, whereas it must be absent for manslaughter. Manslaughter is not as serious a crime as murder. On the other hand, it is not a justifiable or excusable killing for which little or no punishment is imposed.

At COMMON LAW, as well as under current statutes, the offense can be either voluntary or INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER. The main difference between the two is that voluntary manslaughter requires an intent to kill or cause serious bodily harm while involuntary manslaughter does not. Premeditation or deliberation, however, are elements of murder and not of manslaughter. Some states have abandoned the use of adjectives to describe different forms of the offense and, instead, simply divide the offense into varying degrees.

Punishment

The penalty for manslaughter is imprisonment. The precise term of years depends upon the applicable statute. Usually the sentence that is imposed for voluntary manslaughter is greater than that given for involuntary manslaughter. In most states, a more serious penalty is imposed for criminally negligent manslaughter than for unlawful-act manslaughter.

CROSS-REFERENCES

Deadly Force.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationFree Legal Encyclopedia: Load Lines to Market value