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

Manslaughter is a criminal offense involving the unlawful killing of another person without the intent to kill or the premeditation necessary to establish murder.

In other words, manslaughter is a homicide committed without malice aforethought, which means the perpetrator did not intend to cause the victim’s death.

There are generally two types of manslaughter: voluntary and involuntary. Voluntary manslaughter occurs when the perpetrator kills in the heat of passion, which means that they are provoked and their actions are not premeditated. Involuntary manslaughter, on the other hand, occurs when the perpetrator does not intend to kill but their actions are so reckless or negligent that it results in the death of another person.

Manslaughter is a serious criminal offense that can result in significant penalties, including imprisonment, fines, and probation. The severity of the punishment may vary depending on the circumstances surrounding the offense, such as the nature of the victim’s death, the perpetrator’s level of culpability, and the presence of aggravating or mitigating factors.

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Last Modified: 03/10/2023


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