Throughout your whole life, you must have watched movies or news about one person killing another. The news goes on how one person slaughtered another person and was convicted of murder.
However, let me tell you that killing another person is not always considered a murder. How is that? It is a hot topic of manslaughter vs. murder that many people are unaware of. If you continue reading, the subtle differences will surely become apparent.
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The Differences in Definition
The definitions of the two topics can be quite systematic in the sense that the differences are very subtle. Murder is more related to having the intention of killing someone, whereas manslaughter is more inclined to unintentional killing.
If we dive into more details, we can include the point of “malice aforethought” with murder. There are two types of malice associated with murder. One is the “expressed malice,” that talks about having the actual intention of killing someone.
The other one is “implied malice,” which means that the person commits an act intentionally and knowingly that the act can cause death to someone else.
On the other hand, manslaughter involves no malice at all. Sometimes, a person can become very triggered or passionate about something. That person may end up killing someone in the heat of the moment.
While the person was still conscious of death, the act is considered as manslaughter according to the law. Moreover, there are misdemeanor or low-level felony act where a person kills another out of recklessness. It is also not murder, but an example of manslaughter.
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Types of Murder
Before we jump into the discussion of the kinds of murder, and later on the types of manslaughter, we must first know that manslaughter is considered as a part of the murder. However, there can be 3 degrees of murder. These are:
In simple terms, the first-degree murder means to kill someone intentionally.
Just like the first-degree murder, this category of murder also involves having the intention of killing someone. However, first-degree murder also includes making a proper plan to kills someone. Unlike that, second-degree murder involves only the intention and not the planning.
Third degree murders talk about having no intention of killing someone else. For example, bar fights are one of the most common scenes across the world. Imagine a scenario where you are involved in a fight at a bar.
All of a sudden, without any hint of intention, you end up hitting the person, and the person dies. So, when you killed someone accidentally, you will be charged against third-degree murder.
Variations of Third-degree Murder: Two Types of Manslaughter
A third-degree homicide is mostly considered as manslaughter, as there is no intention to kill. So, it can be classified into two categories. These are:
This type of manslaughter refers to killing a person with provocation. Sometimes, people are caught in-between the heat of the moment. Moreover, voluntary manslaughter involves psycho activities as well.
A psycho, or a mentally unstable person, does not think about the actions and outcome of the steps. In the heat of the moment, they can end up hurting someone so bad that the person ends up dying.
Sometimes, one person ends up taking the life of another person accidentally. It results in one person killing the other unintentionally and accidentally, just like the example we mentioned above.
In addition, road accidents killing another person are a prevalent situation in today’s world. These are examples of involuntary manslaughter. However, being drunk and killing another person is undoubtedly not manslaughter, but a second-degree murder.
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Manslaughter vs. Murder: How Does the Punishment Differ?
Charges related to murder and manslaughter must be proved in the court beyond any reasonable doubt on the case. Moreover, no one can legally excuse the actions of a perpetrator.
However, since the act of manslaughter is related to having less mental culpability, the punishment for manslaughter is less than for murder.
Murder is inclined to being intentional. Thereby, a murderer often gets judged life imprisonment or death in any legal manner.
The most crucial thing to remember that if you are charged with such criminal acts, you should keep your mouth shut. Having a lawyer is, without a doubt, the best thing to do.
But sometimes, you may be convicted of a false crime. Manslaughter vs. murder is a serious debate in the court, and you have to know the differences to avoid any complication.