excusable homicide | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Criminal Law

Excusable homicide refers to a killing that is considered justifiable or understandable under certain circumstances and therefore is not considered a crime.

This is generally a legal concept that varies depending on the jurisdiction. Still, it often includes killings committed in self-defense or in defense of others, as well as killings committed by a person acting under lawful authority, such as a police officer or a soldier.

In some jurisdictions, excusable homicide may also include killings committed in the heat of passion, such as when a person kills another person amid an intense emotional state, such as anger or fear. In these cases, the person who committed the killing may be considered to have acted under a temporary state of mind and may not be held fully responsible for their actions.

It’s important to note that the laws and specific details about what qualifies as excusable homicide may vary between jurisdictions. In some jurisdictions, it may also be referred to as justifiable homicide.

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Last Modified: 01/10/2023


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