Murder vs Manslaughter
Terms in this set (11)
First Degree Murder
Willful and premeditated, meaning that it was committed after planning or "lying in wait" for the victim.
First Degree Murder example
Dan comes home to find his wife in bed with Victor. Three days later, Dan waits behind a tree near Victor's front door. When Victor comes out of his house, Dan shoots and kills him.
A person commits first-degree murder if any death (even an accidental one) results from the commission of certain violent felonies, such as:
Arson, Burglary, Kidnapping, Rape and Robbery.
Felony Murder Example
John and David rape their neighbors daughter, Hanna; Hanna's father catches them and shoots and kills John. Under this rule, David can be charged with first-degree murder for John's death even though neither of the rapists did the killing.
Second Degree Murder
1) an intentional killing that is not premeditated or planned, nor committed in a reasonable "heat of passion"; or 2) a killing caused by dangerous conduct and the offender's obvious lack of concern for human life.
Second Degree Murder example
Dan comes home to find his wife in bed with Victor. At a stoplight the next day, Dan sees Victor riding in the passenger seat of a nearby car. Dan pulls out a gun and fires three shots into the car, missing Victor but killing the driver of the car.
Commonly defined as an intentional killing in which the offender had no prior intent to kill, such as a killing that occurs in the "heat of passion." The circumstances leading to the killing must be the kind that would cause a reasonable person to become emotionally or mentally disturbed; otherwise, the killing may be charged as a first-degree or second-degree murder.
Voluntary Manslaughter example
Dan comes home to find his wife in bed with Victor. In the heat of the moment, Dan picks up a golf club from next to the bed and strikes Victor in the head, killing him instantly.
Refers to an unintentional killing that results from recklessness or criminal negligence, or from an unlawful act that is a misdemeanor or low-level felony (such as a DUI).
Dan comes home to find his wife in bed with Victor. Distraught, Dan heads to a local bar to drown his sorrows. After having five drinks, Dan jumps into his car and drives down the street at twice the posted speed limit. Dan accidentally hit and killed a pedestrian, who turned out to be Victor, while driving recklessly and intoxicated, he could be charged with involuntary manslaughter.
A killing in justified self-defense or defense of someone else. Most state laws allow justified homicide to defend oneself or another from credible threat of serious crimes such as rape, armed robbery and murder.