What is the Difference between Murder and Manslaughter in Canada?

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People often misunderstand the terms murder, homicide, and manslaughter. These vary in the legal definitions as well as the punishments. Based on the incidents, you can find that these terms have the maximum penalties.

The difference between murder and homicide usually depends on the situation. This article will find everything you need to know about homicide, murder, and manslaughter.

So, read till the end.

What is Homicide?

Homicide” is from two Latin phrases, ‘homi’ and ‘cido.’ In simple words, this word means that a human is killing another human. You might get misguided by thinking that all homicides are criminal or illegal.

There are different situations where this is not criminal or illegal:

  • Killed by an innocent, like a child or unsound mind
  • Killed by a private defence person.

Both the situations are different. The court will ‘excuse’ the perpetrator when killed by an innocent. Also, when killed by a private defence person, the actions are thought to be ‘justified.’

Types of Homicide

You can 2 types of homicides which are lawful and unlawful. In lawful homicides, you’ll not get a penalty. However, in unlawful homicide, you’ll get a penalty under the Law Code.

Again, lawful homicides can be differentiated into two types which are excusable homicides and justifiable homicides.

According to IPC, they take homicides as three types:

  • Excusable Homicides
  • Justifiable Homicides
  • Criminal or Unlawful Homicides.

On the other hand, as IPC deals with homicides, they figured out the 4 types of homicide offences:

  • Culpable homicide is not the same as murder
  • Culpable homicide is the same as murder
  • Death by a mistake
  • Dowry death.

Example of Homicide

There are many examples of homicide. When a person kills another person, the police investigate to find out about the murder. This is a common example of murder.

What is Murder?

When you illegally kill a person with an intention and knowledge, you can call it murder. It is necessary to have the intention to call the incident ‘murder.’ Also, you can get a murder conviction when another person dies of reckless behaviour.

Types of Murder

You will find 3 different types of murder in Canada which are first, second and third-degree murder. Read through the further sections to know more.

First Degree Murder

First-degree murder is when you kill someone intentionally. Most murderers, in this case, have a motive. However, most incidents are unnecessary as they are about money or harassment. You can intentionally harm a person that results in death; it is also first-degree murder.

The punishment for this type of murder is life imprisonment. You might stay in jail for 25 years at a minimum.

Example of First Degree Murder

A has intentions to harm B. So, A starts planning for an individual day and finally processes the plan. Hence, B ends up dying, and A will get a charge of first-degree murder.

Second Degree Murder

Unlike first-degree murder, unintentional murders are second-degree murder. In most cases, victims die in without the murderer’s wants. These murders cause while fighting and heat of a moment. Therefore, such cases are mostly accidents.

The punishment for this type of murder is 10 years of imprisonment. However, you can face 25 years of imprisonment for some instances.

Example of Second Degree Murder

A and B are fighting, where A hits B with a glass. Then and there, B dies, and A becomes the second-degree murderer.

Third Degree Murder

In Canada, another type of murder is third-degree murder, an accidental case. However, this isn’t murder as the victim gets hurt very little. When you are a third-degree murderer, you are expected to pay fines for the victims’ loss.

Example of Third Degree Murder

A and B are very close. Unintentionally, A pushes B, and B drowns. Eventually, A will become a third-degree murderer.

What is Manslaughter?

In America, third-degree murder is known as manslaughter. This term is completely different from first-degree murder, as unintentional accidents are manslaughter. You might hurt someone unintentionally, but it would be voluntary.

The punishment for this type of murder is fine based. You’ll face more fines if you severely hurt someone, while the value would be less for minor accidents. However, you might also face 4 years of imprisonment in exceptional cases.

Types of Manslaughter

There are 2 different types of manslaughter: voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter. These are described below.

Voluntary Manslaughter

Many cases occur of reckless behaviour, which you may call ‘voluntary manslaughter.’ Here, people don’t plan to cause the incident. For instance, a partner may murder the other for an extra-marital affair.

Involuntary Manslaughter

In involuntary manslaughter, you might commit a crime while violating a law. Like voluntary manslaughter, you don’t plan these incidents. When you’re driving, it’s very necessary to follow the legal laws. So, when you break the traffic signal, you will get a charge of involuntary manslaughter.

Homicide vs. Murders vs. Manslaughter

The differences between manslaughter, murder and homicide are listed below:

Categories Homicide Murder Manslaughter
Type of Killing Legal and illegal Illegal Unintentional
Punishment Varies by situation Minimum 25 years life imprisonment Usually fine based
Planned or unplanned Includes both Planned Unplanned

Final Words

By now, you know the differences between murder and homicide in detail. While the legal definitions vary, every case needs to meet different statutory requirements in Canada.

When you have no intention of killing someone, you will get fewer charges. On the other hand, a murder could result in life imprisonment.

If you still have doubts, it would be best to get professionals’ help. As they are experienced, they would give the best advice according to the situation.

Frequently Asked Question

Here’s a list of some frequently asked questions that might help you.

What is homicide?

When a person kills another person, you can call it 'homicide.' You will find homicide everywhere, but they vary through the cultures. In every case, there are the same patterns of killing someone and the reasons for doing it.

What is the difference between culpable homicide and murder?

Culpable homicide and murder are very different terms. However, culpable homicide isn't murdered as they cause provocation or accidents. On the other hand, murder might cause when someone kills intentionally. Also, murder most likely causes death, but culpable homicide might cause death in extreme cases.

Which is more punishable: murder and homicide?

There is less chance of comparing the punishments between murder and homicide. The punishment for homicide varies by situation, whereas murder's punishment is life imprisonment for a minimum of 25 years.