Criminal (felonious) Homicide:

     This page is continued from Criminal Law Self-Help >>>> Various Crimes and Corresponding Laws >>>> Various Forms of Homicide:


felonious homicide (18c) Homicide committed unlawfully, without legal justification or excuse.  *  This is the category into which murder and manslaughter fall. [1]

1. Murder, in some one of the degrees of the offense, or manslaughter, depending upon the presence or absence of malice, express or implied, or upon the fact that the homicide was committed by the slayer while in the perpetration of another felony. 26 Am J1st Homi § 2.

The killing of a human creature of any age or sex, without justification or excuse.  This may be done either by killing one’s self, or another man.  The term therefore includes self-murder, murder and manslaughter. See 4 Bl Comm 188-190. [2]

1. The killing of a human being without justification or excuse, that is, murder or manslaughter. [3]

homicidium ex voluntate – Voluntary or willful homicide.
     See criminal homicide.

reckless homicide (1866) The unlawful killing of another person with conscious indifference toward that person’s life.

vehicular homicide (1952) The killing of a person as a result of the unlawful or negligent operation of a motor vehicle. — aka automobile homicide. [1]


murder – the killing of a human being with malice aforethought.

manslaughter – the unlawful killing of a human being without malice aforethought.

  • voluntary manslaughter – a homicide committed with provocation or in the heat of passion.— aka first degree manslaughter; intentional manslaughter; manslaughter in the first degree; unintentional murder.
  • involuntary manslaughter – homicide with no intention to kill or do grievous bodily harm, but committed with criminal negligence or during the commission of a crime not included within the felony-murder rule. — aka second degree manslaughter; negligent manslaughter; manslaughter in the second degree.

Determining If a Felonious Homicide is Murder or Manslaughter:

heat of passion – rage, terror, or furious anger suddenly aroused by another person’s words or actions, thereby reducing a murder charge to manslaughter. — aka sudden heat of passion; sudden heat; sudden passion; hot blood; sudden heat and passion; furor brevis.



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[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black & Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-62130-6

[2]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations
Third Edition
 by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931

[3]:  Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition
by Jack Ballantine 
(James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.


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