Difference Between Manslaughter and Homicide

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between Manslaughter and Homicide

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Although both the phrases "homicide" and "manslaughter" are used to refer to murder, there is a significant distinction between the two in the legal system. Most people understand what murder is. Homicide is the term used to describe the act of one person killing another. Surprisingly, homicide can be legal if it occurs in self-defence or when a person has already been given the death penalty and is waiting to have it carried out. Another legal view states that even when someone is killed accidentally and without malice, homicide still occurs (like, when two kids are playing and one kills another with an object, without any intention). Another term for murders that take the defendant's mental state into account is manslaughter. Many people find it challenging to distinguish between homicide and manslaughter because the result is the same, which is the killing of human life. The goal of this article is to draw attention to these variations.

Both actions result in the death of another individual. The general term "homicide" can be used to describe any conduct that results in the death of another person. Depending on the specifics, this particular conduct may or may not be criminal. Criminal homicide and non-criminal homicide are the two categories of homicide. Criminal homicide can be defined in a variety of ways, including manslaughter. The defendant's mental state is taken into account in cases of criminal homicide. Criminal homicide charges could be brought against the defendant if they believe they are in the correct frame of mind. Another possibility is that the criminal killed the victim while simultaneously committing another crime. On the other side, legal killings are included in non-criminal homicide. Non-criminal homicide can occur for a variety of reasons. The term "automatism" refers to the act of killing someone while losing control of oneself. Self-defence is another legal justification for non-criminal homicide. Another justification for non-criminal homicide would be the defence of a home or other habitation. A defence for non-criminal homicide is insanity. The defence of infancy is another justification for non-criminal homicide, meaning that anyone under the age of 14 cannot be accused of homicide. As long as the victim is an adversary of the state, war may also be regarded as a non-criminal homicide.

The legal word "manslaughter" still refers to killing someone without taking the defendant's mental state into account. Manslaughter could be viewed as a lesser form of homicide in other states. The crimes of voluntary and involuntary manslaughter fall under two separate categories. The term "voluntary manslaughter" refers to someone who murders with remorse. The defence in this specific case would be comparable to homicide. On the other side, unintentional homicide is the act of killing someone. Let's say, for instance, that someone was driving too quickly and ran over a pedestrian, resulting in the victim's death. In this case, manslaughter would be classified as involuntary because the victim was not intentionally killed. Constructive manslaughter and criminally negligent manslaughter are the two types of involuntary manslaughter. While criminally negligent manslaughter refers to foregoing a duty that would have prevented a person from being killed, constructive manslaughter refers to engaging in illegal behaviour that results in the intentional death of another person.

Homicide vs. Manslaughter

Not all murders are committed with malicious intent. Sometimes it is carried out by someone with no knowledge of what they are doing or malicious intent. Similar to how it occasionally could be brought on by an emotional reaction or circumstance. Manslaughter and homicide are examples of crimes where, even though they involve taking a life, the goal is not to kill the victim. Although they are frequently used interchangeably, there are some differences.

Manslaughter and homicide differ primarily in that manslaughter are unlawful and less brutal than murder, while homicide is permitted and less brutal than manslaughter. Both actions are committed without malice, yet manslaughter can have serious repercussions. Homicide, which can be either legal or unlawful, is the killing of one person by another.

Difference Between Homicide and Manslaughter in Tabular Form

Parameters of Comparison Manslaughter   Homicide
Definition Definition Less severe than murder, it is classified as second-degree murder. It is described as one person being killed by another.
Law It is the unjustified murder of another individual. It may be both legal and unlawful.
Intention It doesn't entail any such purpose to kill people, and because of a strong emotional reaction, the intent is immaterial. It is done out of necessity and without any purpose to murder the person.
Outcome Similar to criminal homicide, it can result in serious repercussions but are not as severe as murder. They are justifiable and excused unless they are not criminal homicides.
Examples Examples include instances where a doctor accidentally kills a patient by administering medication to the patient. Examples include soldiers murdering civilians when engaged in combat, which is not illegal and is done without malice.

What is Manslaughter?

An unintentional criminal homicide is known as manslaughter. Second-degree murder carries a sentence of up to 11 years in prison. There are two sorts of manslaughter: voluntary and involuntary. When someone is prompted by another person or acts out of passion, they commit voluntary manslaughter. Involuntary manslaughter occurs as a result of the accused's improper behaviour. Homicide is a form of crime in which someone kills another person. Manslaughter, however nevertheless serious, is seen as a slightly less serious crime than murder. Varied nations have different definitions of manslaughter, which are typically based on the circumstances surrounding the killing or the killer's emotional condition.

The unlawful killing of another person when it is done without malice is known as manslaughter. It could be an emotional response or an impulsive choice. Second-degree murder and criminal homicide are other names for it. It indicates that it is more terrible than homicide and murder while also being less brutal. Although a person can have a very detrimental impact on something, it won't be as horrible as murder provided you can demonstrate your point. Manslaughter comes in two flavours: voluntary and involuntary. When someone kills another person voluntarily, it signifies that they did so after being provoked by the victim or just out of rage. A punishment of up to 11 years in jail is possible. Unintentional death caused by one's activity is referred to as "involuntary manslaughter" This kind of offence carries a maximum 4-year prison sentence. Consider the possibility of a manslaughter accusation in the absence of sufficient proof. Manslaughter can be charged in place of a murder to carry lighter punishments.

Typically, manslaughter falls into one of two categories:

Voluntary Manslaughter

When the murderer finds their spouse having a lover, for example, this is referred to as voluntary manslaughter. The murder can even be referred to as a crime of passion in these circumstances. It might even happen when a woman kills a rapist to escape. When the murderer finds their spouse having a lover, for example, this is referred to as voluntary manslaughter. The murder can even be referred to as a crime of passion in these circumstances. It might even happen when a woman kills a rapist to escape. When the killer is temporarily mad or not in the correct frame of mind, it is still considered voluntary manslaughter. In general, voluntary manslaughter can refer to any situation in which someone kills another person on purpose, yet the events leading up to the homicide allow the killer's actions to be both justified and deplored. Depending on the details, the punishment for this could be less severe or even the same as for murder.

Involuntary Manslaughter

When a victim is killed unintentionally or accidentally, it is called involuntary manslaughter. This can include violence without a deadly weapon, intoxicated driving, or carelessness. Constructive manslaughter and criminally negligent manslaughter are additional classifications for involuntary homicide. A few examples of constructive manslaughters are occurrences involving intoxicated driving and running red lights. Criminally negligent manslaughter is, as the name implies, negligently-caused homicide. This will result in a punishment that is less severe than murder but could yet be as severe as voluntary manslaughter.

What is Homicide?

The act of one human murdering another human, which may be both lawful and criminal, is referred to as homicide. Homicide also refers to accidental self-defence deaths as well as killing someone with the intent to commit a crime. According to the penal code, not all homicides are punishable, and the outcome depends on the sort of homicide. Manslaughter and murder are examples of homicide. When it is unclear how or why a victim died, this phrase is frequently used. Once something has been established and made plain, it is referred to in words. Homicide is the straightforward killing of one person by another without any premeditated motive. It may be both unlawful and lawful. They are frequently excused and justified. One might kill someone else to save someone else or themselves, for instance. Then there won't be any consequences for that. However, it is necessary to show that there was only a desire to save rather than kill.

When one person kills another, it is called a homicide. It might be lawful or unlawful. Homicide comes in a variety of forms, including first-degree, second-degree, and justifiable homicide. Murders committed in the first degree are ones where the perpetrator had the intent to kill the victim. It is extremely violent, and those found guilty could face life in prison. It is an unjustified and criminal killing. Manslaughter, a type of criminal homicide that is less vicious than murder, is second-degree murder. Since it is not done maliciously, the effects may be less severe. It is typically done when the accused is agitated and enraged or when the accused has committed an error. Because the killing was done for a good and moral reason, justified homicides are not as cruel. It is acceptable and justifiable if someone killed another person out of self-defence.

The killing of another human being is referred to as homicide. When someone purposefully ends another person's life, it is called intentional homicide. Homicide can occasionally happen by mistake, for instance when someone passes away as a result of carelessness or recklessness. In some situations, such as when a victim murders to defend oneself, homicide may be acceptable. However, most people consider homicide to be a crime. Even though homicide is one of the most serious crimes a person can do, different countries have different laws regarding punishment.

Homicide comes in three different forms:

Justified Murder

This murder is committed for a larger benefit. Under specific, rigorously demonstrated circumstances, this killing is seen to be excused. A person who posed a threat to the safety of society, such as a rapist, a murderer, etc., may be killed in a case of justifiable homicide. Self-defence-related homicide is also regarded as a legal homicide.

Felony Murder

Criminal homicide is the intentional death of another person to damage them. Criminal homicides include unintentional homicides in which an innocent person dies by mistake. In many jurisdictions, the death penalty is usually applied to cases of criminal homicide. Murder, voluntary or involuntary manslaughter, and aiding a suicide are all considered criminal homicides. The harshness of each punishment, however, changes depending on the circumstance.

State-Authorized Homicide

When the killer has gotten state approval, homicide has been authorized by the government. This includes the government military, the death penalty, and war (i.e., police, FBI, sheriff, etc.).

Main Difference Between Homicide and Manslaughter In Points

  • The killing of another human being is referred to as homicide. A type of homicide known as manslaughter occurs when the murderer kills a person without intending to do so.
  • A fatality that was unintentionally brought on by negligence or carelessness is known as involuntary manslaughter, as in the case of a driver who struck and killed a pedestrian while texting and driving. Homicide is a serious felony that carries a significant prison term for those found guilty.
  • Manslaughter can have serious repercussions but is less serious than murder because homicide is frequently justified and excused.
  • Homicide is not as brutal as manslaughter, which is second-degree murder and less brutal than murder.
  • Manslaughter is committed under duress or in response to provocation, whereas homicide is the killing of someone else out of self-defence.


Both of them either involve taking a life even if it must be taken, or they are merely emotional reactions. Even if you were guilty of manslaughter and murder and did it on purpose, you will still need to get a strong attorney to represent you. They can assist you in expressing your goals and providing the best possible defence in court.

You can be charged with murder in homicide cases without hiring a defence attorney and defending yourself in court. The same is true for manslaughter instances. In both situations, it is essentially up to the person to provide the best information possible to enable escape.



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"Difference Between Manslaughter and Homicide." Diffzy.com, 2024. Fri. 23 Feb. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-manslaughter-and-homicide-889>.

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