4 Different Types of Homicide

Different types of Homicide

There are different types of homicide. When people hear of homicide, they usually think of premeditated murder. However, that is not always true. Simply put, homicide means when a person kills another person. 

So, this means a homicide can occur because of negligence, recklessness, or an accident. Because some homicide happens from an act that there was no intent to cause harm, they are usually treated differently in society. 

Although every type of homicide is serious, some are considered crimes while others are accepted. Anyways, let’s discuss the different types of homicides;

Table of Contents

1. Murder

Murder is one of the different types of homicide. Moreover, it is broken down into two.

I) First degree murder

This type of murder is the most serious homicide charge. It means that the accused planned to kill the victim. 

This is a premeditated killing. The accused has malice, evil intent towards the victim and has   execute the crime. 

Furthermore, this is considered as one of the most heinous crimes and the accused faces severe punishments such as the death penalty or life in prison without parole. A famous example of first degree murder is the OJ Simpsons‘ case.

ii) Second degree murder

This type of murder is used to describe a case in which a person intended to kill the victim. However, it was not planned. Besides, it is usually called “a crime of passion” or “heat of passion”. 

This means the person intended to kill the person with his actions, but he did not plan the crime.

An example of second degree murder is when a husband’s rage causes him to kill his wife when he comes home and sees her in bed with another man.

Although, some states also apply the label, second degree murder, to situations in which the person’s action was reckless. And that death of another person was readily foreseeable in the action. 

For example, speed driving into a crowd of people resulting in the death of an individual.

Moreover, second degree murder is also serious, and the accused could serve life in prison with or without parole, depending on the state laws and circumstances. 

However, a death penalty is not an option. A famous example of second degree murder is Phil Spector‘s case.

2. Manslaughter

This is another one of the different types of homicide.

Moreover, a situation is considered as manslaughter when the accused did not plan to kill the victim neither did he or she intent for the victim to die because of his action. 

Simply put, the accused planned whatsoever to kill the person, and there is no evil intent, he did not mean to kill or cause bodily harm to the victim.

Moreover, manslaughter charges are often applied on accidental circumstance where a person dies because of the event. For example, a parent who leaves a baby in a hot car or a doctor who prescribed drugs that can have a lethal interaction for a patient. 

Although, manslaughter is serious, the punishment is often less severe compared to second degree murder and varies depending on the state laws.

Additionally, a famous example of manslaughter is Michael Jackson’s doctor, Conrad Murray’s case. Furthermore, vehicular homicide is sometimes classified under second-degree murder, however, it is often classified as manslaughter. 

Vehicular homicide is applied in a situation in which a person other that the driver dies because of the driver’s negligence or unlawful operation of a motor vehicle. 

The victim could be a person not in the vehicle with the offender, probably a pedestrian, another motorist, or a cyclist. Or it could be a passenger in the vehicle with the offender.

3. Justifiable Homicide

The third type of homicide on the list of different types of homicide is justifiable homicide. Besides, this term is used to describe a situation where an individual kills another person in self-defence or similar circumstances. 

Even though, this is also one of the different types of homicide, it is not really a legal charge.

Rather, it is just a classification which police uses to explain an event that resulted in the death of a person where no crime was committed. Or it is also used as a defense in a homicide prosecution.

However, since the killing is justified, the person who kills another will not be held criminally liable for the death. Although, in some circumstances, civil penalties are applied. 

A famous example of this is Ann and Jim Tatum of Colorado case, there was no criminal charge filed. These are the major three different types of homicide, however, in recent years, some States has developed a type of homicide.

4. Felony murder charge

This is another different type of homicide applied in certain situations in some States. Moreover, this is applied in a situation in which a person has died while the defendant was participating in a crime. 

Even though, the defendant did not cause the death of the victim. For instance, the defendant was robbing a convenience store and another person shoots and kills the cashier in the store. 

The defendant can be charged with felony murder, even though, he wasn’t the one who pulled the trigger.

Conclusively, laws are constantly evolving, thus, there might be other different types of homicide in existence in some States or might come into existence in the near future. 

Additionally, as earlier mentioned, homicide is serious, this article is not an alternative to a competent legal counsel.

So, if you or someone you know has been involved with any type of homicide, contact a lawyer for assistance immediately.

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