Homicide vs Manslaughter
Most of us know what a murder is. Killing of a person by another is in general referred to as homicide, which surprisingly can be legal, when killing takes place in self defense, or when a person has been sentenced to death and his execution only remains to be performed. There is another legal interpretation where killing is accidental with no intention of hurting, but homicide takes place (like, when two kids are playing and one kills another with an object, without any intention). Manslaughter is another term that is used for murders with consideration for defendant’s state of mind. With the end result being the same, which is killing of a human being, it becomes difficult for many to differentiate between homicide and manslaughter. This article attempts to highlight these differences.
Homicide is an umbrella term, including all killings of human beings, whether murdered with an intent or accidental, like in the case of a person gets killed because of drunk driving of another person. Manslaughter is a special category of murders, where killing takes place without any intention. If a driver rushes past red light in hurry and rams his car into passengers killing a few of them, it is considered a case of manslaughter, which is a lesser degree offense than murder with intent. This is a legal term and hard to explain to a person, who has lost his relative because of the act of the driver.
When a police officer kills a man whom he suspects of being a criminal, he too faces charges of murder in a court of law, but his attorney proves it to be a case of manslaughter thus, lowering the intensity of crime in the eyes of the jury. Manslaughter is less serious than a murder with a malicious intent. It is still a homicide but less reprehensible in the eyes of law thus, it carries less severe punishment than a murder with intention and a pre planned execution.
There are two categories of manslaughter, voluntary and involuntary. Voluntary manslaughter takes place when a person kills another in a fit of emotional rage. The attorney tries to defend the killer by claiming he is a socially responsible citizen in all circumstances, and did not plan to commit a murder. Involuntary manslaughter takes place when a person gets killed because of reckless behavior of another person without the intent of killing a human being.
Difference between Homicide and Manslaughter
• Homicide is an umbrella term that just describes the killing of a human being, while manslaughter is a specific legal term that stands as a special case of murder without intent
• Sometimes, heat of the moment makes a person kill another human being, and this murder is categorized as voluntary manslaughter or non negligent manslaughter.
• Involuntary manslaughter is when reckless behavior of a person causes death of another person or persons.
• Whether voluntary or involuntary, manslaughter attracts lesser penalty than a murder which has intent as well as planning.