homicide

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homicide

(hŏm`əsīd), in law, the taking of human life. Homicides that are neither justifiable nor excusable are considered crimes. A criminal homicide committed with malicemalice,
in law, an intentional violation of the law of crimes or torts that injures another person. Malice need not involve a malignant spirit or the definite intent to do harm.
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 is known as murdermurder,
criminal homicide, usually distinguished from manslaughter by the element of malice aforethought. The most direct case of malicious intent occurs when the killer is known to have adopted the deliberate intent to commit the homicidal act at some time before it is actually
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, otherwise it is called manslaughtermanslaughter,
homicide committed without justification or excuse but distinguished from murder by the absence of the element of malice aforethought. Modern criminal statutes usually divide it into degrees, the most common distinction being between voluntary and involuntary
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. A homicide is excusable if it is the result of an accident that occurred during a lawful act and that did not amount to criminal negligencenegligence,
in law, especially tort law, the breach of an obligation (duty) to act with care, or the failure to act as a reasonable and prudent person would under similar circumstances.
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. Justifiable homicides are intentional killings done in accordance with legal obligation, or in circumstances where the law recognizes no wrong. They include the execution of criminals in some states, killings necessary to prevent a felonyfelony
, any grave crime, in contrast to a misdemeanor, that is so declared in statute or was so considered in common law. In early English law a felony was a heinous act that canceled the perpetrator's feudal rights and forfeited his lands and goods to the king, thus depriving
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 or to arrest a suspected felon, and killings in self-defense. In some states of the United States, one may lawfully kill in resisting the unlawful invasion of a home or real propertyproperty,
rights to the enjoyment of things of economic value, whether the enjoyment is exclusive or shared, present or prospective. The rightful possession of such rights is called ownership.
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. Many states make a distinction between first and second degree murders. First degree murder is a homicide committed with deliberately premeditated malice, or with extreme and wanton malice. The conviction for first degree murder often carries a sentence of life imprisonment; in some states it can be punished by execution. Second degree murder is a lesser crime, in which a homicide is committed with malice but without deliberation or premeditation.

Bibliography

See B. L. Danto, The Human Side of Homicide (1982); J. M. Macdonald, The Murderer and His Victim (1986).

Homicide

 

in criminal law, a crime consisting of the intentional or negligent deprivation of human life. Under Soviet law, homicide is the most serious crime against the person. The law distinguishes intentional homicide (murder), intentional homicide under aggravating circumstances, intentional homicide committed in a state of strong mental agitation, homicide committed while exceeding the limits of necessary defense, and negligent homicide (involuntary manslaughter).

The severest punishment—deprivation of freedom for a term of eight to 15 years, with or without exile, or death—is established for intentional homicide under aggravating circumstances: (1) from mercenary motives; (2) from motives of hooliganism; (3) committed in connection with the victim’s performance of his official or social duty; (4) committed with special cruelty; (5) committed in a manner dangerous to the life of many persons; (6) for the purpose of concealing another crime or facilitating its commission, or in conjunction with rape; (7) of a woman known to the guilty person to be pregnant; (8) of two or more persons; (9) committed by a person who has previously committed intentional homicide, with the exception of intentional homicide committed in a state of strong mental agitation and homicide committed while exceeding the limits of necessary defense; (10) committed because of a blood feud; and (11) committed by an especially dangerous recidivist.

Homicide in the absence of aggravating circumstances is punishable by deprivation of freedom for a term of three to ten years. Types of homicide committed under mitigating circumstances include homicide committed in a state of sudden, strong mental agitation caused by violence, serious insult, or other unlawful actions of the victim if these caused or could have caused serious consequences for the guilty person or those close to him; and homicide committed while exceeding the limits of necessary defense. The least serious type of homicide is negligent homicide (involuntary manslaughter). Death caused as the result of the intentional infliction of grave bodily injury must be distinguished from homicide.

homicide

1. the killing of a human being by another person
2. a person who kills another
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