One of the most serious cases that a lawyer may come across is homicide. The word itself reflects how massive the incidents related to homicides can be. It is, by far, a top-level case in any justice system.
Homicide is a severe crime caused at the hand of one person over another. In general terms, the word means to kill a person and be charged with murder convictions. However, many other aspects are surrounding such a case, that it is crucial to be aware of everything you need to know about what is homicide.
This article intends to articulate on that by providing different types of it and how a common conception is misplaced about homicide and murders. In the end, you will know what the legal system has prepared as punishment for these cases.
A Brief Understanding of Homicide
Homicide means to kill one human being at the hand of another. Whenever you may see a person killing or murdering someone in movies, that person is committing a homicide in the eyes of the legal justice system.
However, in general terms, homicide can be both a criminal and a noncriminal act. A noncriminal act of homicide can be justifiable as well.
So you can already guess that there are differences between a murder case and a homicidal case. In addition to this, some homicides are also excusable by law. We will look into it further in the latter part.
For a homicide to happen, there needs to be an act by another person that should result in death. This situation may occur from accident, recklessness, negligent act, court law, and even personal intention.
Following these acts, homicide can be divided into 4 main types. Human society treats homicide differently, as some are capable of legal conviction, and some are not a crime at all. Nevertheless, the act of killing someone is mostly a hideous criminal offence in the majority of the legal systems.
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What are the 4 Types of Homicide
You or anyone close to you may be arrested in connection with another person’s death. Almost all legal systems have unique classifications of homicide. There are 4 main kinds of killing another person in the eyes of legal systems. These are:
1. Capital murder
Capital murder is recognized as the highest and most serious level of homicide. A criminal charged against capital murder is likely to face a death penalty or life imprisonment after the judge’s decision.
Capital murder is the same as murder, but a step further. It is the cruellest way to kill another person. A serial killer or a professional killer is considered as the capital murderer. Moreover, capital murder includes killing influential and powerful people.
For instance, you are killing a peace officer, a police officer, people within the judicial system, a child, and many more. In addition to this, the act of terrorism and sexual assaults are part of capital murder.
Murder is the common word in a human’s life. Almost all the movies we watch include at least one murder in them. A murder is a category of homicide. In the justice system, any person who intentionally kills another human being is considered a murderer. The crime is called murder.
Murders also include intentionally hurting or injuring someone in such a severe manner that could have caused death if not been interrupted by any outside force. This attempt to murder offence can be sub-categorized as first-degree murder as well.
There are second-degree and third-degree murders as well. Depending on the sub-category, a murderer may face the death penalty or several years of imprisonment.
When a person kills another person out of his reckless behaviour, that is considered as manslaughter. This is one of the most common types of homicide across the world. The most usual scenario of manslaughter involves in motor-vehicle accidents where large vehicles slaughter people in cars or motorbikes.
However, the prosecutor needs to prove the recklessness of a person in cases like this. Depending on the circumstances, you may be judged with simple fine penalties or jail time with probation.
4. Criminally negligent homicide
Almost like manslaughter, this killing focuses on the negligence of people. Alternatively, this is the least serious kind of homicide considered by the defence lawyers.
In cases like this, lawyers try to prove the unreasonable actions of the defendants, which may not have resulted in death if the person was more careful. Like manslaughter, you may be judged with minimum jail times or fine penalties depending on the cases.
Homicide vs Murders: Subtle Difference between them
While murder is a type of homicide, there are minor differences between them. The debate on homicide vs murders has been going on for decades. There is a huge misconception that every homicide is murder. But that is certainly not the case.
Homicide is killing another person. This killing can be both criminal and noncriminal acts. There are many scenarios when an officer or an army kills another person out of duty and legal order. These homicides are also considered justifiable homicides, where the killer is not charged with any offence whatsoever.
Justifiable homicide is never murder. When legal officers act for the betterment of society, law, and justice system, those killings are excused in the legal system. Moreover, a soldier on duty is justified in committing homicide to defeat the enemy.
For a law enforcer, the officer must have a judge’s consent or legal warrant to commit homicide. That person is basically authorized to kill another person, and the action is justified under the law.
On the other hand, murder is always a crime. The act itself is done with pure motive and intention to kills someone else. While an excusable homicide can be legal, murder is always illegal. A person who commits malice is a murderer, and that person must be punished under the justice system of the country.
The act of killing another person can be hideous if there is no legal authority. Many criminal groups across the planet are professionals and serial killers. Furthermore, lawful killings should be kept within limits as well.
The legal system of a country has to maintain harmony through punishing homicidal acts. Before any criminal legal matter, everything you need to know about the homicide to display a strong defence.