Difference Between Manslaughter and Murder

Manslaughter vs Murder
 

The difference between manslaughter and murder lies in the intention of the killer. In a manslaughter, the killer has no intention to kill the other person but it so happened, on the other hand, in a murder a killer has that intention of killing another person. These two words, murder and manslaughter, are used interchangeably by a layman. However, forensics defines the two as being distinct. Though the concept of killing behind the two remains a convergent point, it is the intent of the killing that distinguishes murder and manslaughter. It is of no wonder, therefore that the complexity of distinguishing between murder and manslaughter based on degrees of the killing has been confused for time immemorial. Famous forensics dramas present on television these days, help science enthusiasts to separate one from the other.

What is Manslaughter?

Manslaughter is categorized into two forms, voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter. Under voluntary manslaughter, the killer has no prior planning of killing another person, but has to kill them to protect one’s own life as there is no other way out. It is also present as a killing “in the heat of the moment.” For example, if a victim has to release themselves from a rapist. Involuntary manslaughter on the other hand results as an involuntary action that again had no prior planning but “just” happened. This may be as a result of a fight that erupted and a person involuntarily killed another person in order to protect himself. The intention of killing like involuntary manslaughter is not present in involuntary manslaughter, but simply happens perhaps due to a heavy hit to the victim’s body. In a manslaughter, the killer comes with no plans as to kill someone or hide their body after the other person has been killed.

What is Murder?

The situation where a killing is termed to be a murder is when a killer comes with the intention of killing another person. This can be done in the most brutal manner as possible known as first-degree murder. In this case, the killer comes with a complete plan as to how to kill the person, what plan to adopt in case the first plan fails, where to hide the body, how to protect the fingerprints or hair or any form of DNA dropping at the crime scene and how to make a getaway.

Difference Between Manslaughter and Murder

What is the difference between Manslaughter and Murder?

• The difference between manslaughter and murder lies in the intention of the killer.

• In a manslaughter, the killer has no intention to kill the other person but either “has to” or “it just happens.”

• In a murder, the killer comes with complete preparation from plotting the plan to executing it with the intention to kill the other person in cold blood.

• The sentence for anyone committed for either crime also differs. Because the intention under manslaughter is not present, the penalty sentence for manslaughter is less than that for someone committed for murder.

Though both acts of killing are unforgivable without doubt, manslaughter is still a degree below murder. Under both cases, the attackers have to be committed based on evidence that is proven beyond a reasonable doubt and such actions cannot be forgiven and as argued by most, must be penalized in kind.

 

Further Reading:

  1. Difference Between Homicide and Manslaughter
  2. Difference Between Murder and Homicide
  3. Difference Between Killing and Murder