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

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

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second degree manslaughter:
(18c)

1. Homicide in which there is no intention to kill or do grievous bodily harm, but that is committed with criminal negligence or during the commission of a crime not included within the felony-murder rule. — aka involuntary manslaughter; negligent manslaughter; manslaughter in the second degree.  Cf. ACCIDENTAL KILLING. [1]

1. The unintentional killing of another occasioned by a person engaged at the time in doing some unlawful act not amounting to a felony and not likely or naturally tending to endanger life, or engaged in the doing of a lawful act in an unlawful manner. 26 Am J1st Homi § 18.

The killing of another without malice and unintentionally,

(1) in doing some unlawful act not amounting to a felony or naturally ending to cause death or great bodily harm, or
(2) in negligently doing some act lawful in itself, or
(3) by the negligent omission to perform a legal duty. Commonwealth v Comber, 374 Pa 570, 97 A2d 343, 37 ALR2d 1058. [2]

1. The unintentional killing of a human being by a person engaged in doing some unlawful act not amounting to a felony, or in doing some lawful act in a manner tending to case death or great bodily injury.  [3]

     Excerpt from Rollin M. Perkins & Ronald N. Boyce’s Criminal Law (3d ed.l982):

      “Involuntary manslaughter is a ‘catch-all‘ concept.  it includes all manslaughter not characterized as voluntary. [4]

     Excerpt from Alan R. White’s Grounds of Liability (1985):

     “The only differences between the legal use and the everyday use of ‘voluntary,’ ‘not voluntary,‘ and ‘involuntary’ seem to be

(a) a more frequent use of ‘involuntary’ as a synonym of ‘not voluntary’ and
(b) a technical use of ‘involuntary’ in the crime of ‘involuntary manslaughter,’ where it seems to have the meaning of ‘unintentional.’

     Thus, as contrasted with ‘voluntary manslaughter,’ there is no suggestion that death, as contrasted with harm, was intended or foreseen.  Though it is often confined to cases of assault and battery where death results, for example either from the withholding of food or from excessive chastisement of a child, some jurists say that it can be due to any unlawful and dangerous action causing death. [5]

Related Terms:

felony-murder rule – death which occurs by accident or chance during the course of the commission of a felony is first degree murder.

References:

Disclaimer: All material throughout this website is compiled in accordance with Fair Use.

[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.

[4]: Rollin M. Perkins & Ronald N. Boyce, Criminal Law 104 (3d ed. l982).

[5]: Alan R. White, Grounds of Liability 61-62 (1985).

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