Murder vs Manslaughter
Unfortunately, when you are looking for the differences between murder and manslaughter, someone has still been killed. It may be a brutal homicide that took a deranged killer years to plan, or it might be someone talking on their cell phone, missing a stop sign, and running over a pedestrian. While one event is a heinous crime and the other a terrible accident, someone is still dead. The distinctions between murder and manslaughter are therefore of much more interest to the courts and the killer, rather than the victim.
Definition of Murder and Manslaughter
Murder ‘“ is defined by both English and American courts as using violent means to deprive another human being of life with malicious intent.
Manslaughter ‘“ also has a similar definition in England in America. It refers to taking the life of another human being but without malice.
The most important distinction between murder and manslaughter is the intention in the mind of the killer. Murder is the successful attempt to kill someone whereas manslaughter is the horrible outcome of an unintentional action.
Degrees of Murder and Manslaughter
Murder ‘“ has three different degrees in the United States. All three degrees still indicate that the killer had the intention of harming or killing his victim in mind before committing the action.
1st degree murder ‘“ refers to any murder that was premeditated
2nd degree murder ‘“ refers to a homicide that took place at the same time as another felony (e.g. killing a bank teller during a robbery)
3rd degree murder ‘“ refers to death that takes place when the original intent was simply to harm the victim
Manslaughter ‘“ has two different categories depending on whether or not the homicidal actions were planned before they took place.
Voluntary manslaughter ‘“ in most commonly awarded when the convicted can prove temporary insanity. It is also used if a person has been provoked to commit actions they wouldn’t normally engage in.
Involuntary manslaughter ‘“ is the charge levied when someone accidentally kills someone else while committing a misdemeanor and had no intention of killing anyone. Throwing a brick through a window and killing someone from the blow is an example. It can also happen if a professional charged with keeping a patient alive is negligent in his duty and the patient dies as a result. Hitting someone with your car while drinking is one of the most common causes of involuntary manslaughter.
Punishment of Murder and Manslaughter
Murder ‘“ generally brings a life prison sentence and may incur the death penalty in some states.
Manslaughter ‘“ is usually punished with a short or suspended prison sentence, a fine, and community service, depending on the circumstances.
1. Murder differs from manslaughter because the former is done with malicious intent.
2. Murder happens when someone dies because of a planned murder or the outcome of a felony or beating whereas manslaughter happens when someone dies because of negligence, the outcome of a misdemeanor, or from a car accident.
3. The punishment for murder is much harsher than for manslaughter.