Understanding Manslaughter

bloody hand

Understanding Manslaughter

Understanding Manslaughter

Someone is always committing a crime somewhere. That we know for sure. After all, you see someone committing a crime in the local paper every day, if not twice a day! But for the average person, they might not entirely know what they are reading. When someone commits a “murder,” it is technically different than committing “manslaughter.” So, pull up our helpful little chart the next time you’re scrolling through the news…


Murder is just as brutal as it sounds. It is the unlawful, intentional, and malicious killing of another person.


Similar to murder as it involves the death of another person, however manslaughter differs in that it’s determined by a number of legal mitigations.

Types of Manslaughter:

Voluntary Manslaughter

Someone is charged with voluntary manslaughter when they kill someone because they are either provoked by that person for whatever reason, or kill a person as a result or heightened frustration that came from the initial provocation. It’s important to note that voluntary manslaughter encompasses the understanding of provocation as being able to provoke a reasonable, average person, who has not been diagnosed with any mental disorders. Sometimes, voluntary manslaughter is known as “heat-of-passion” or “heat-of-the-moment” killings.

Involuntary Manslaughter

Involuntary manslaughter is actually quite different from voluntary manslaughter for a number of reasons. The first and most obvious is that acts under this classification mean that a person had no implied or expressed malicious intent in killing another person. In effect, involuntary manslaughter is broken down further into two categories: constructive and criminally negligent manslaughter.

• Criminally Negligent Manslaughter

Sometimes known as criminally negligent homicide, this subsection of involuntary manslaughter occurs when someone dies due to another’s recklessness or negligence. This can also result in what is called “willful blindness,” where a defendant knowingly puts themselves in a situation which could render them liable for the death.

• Constructive Manslaughter

Constructive manslaughter happens quite frequently, and is usually considered an “accident” by most people. In effect, someone commits constructive manslaughter when they kill someone without the intention of doing so while simultaneously breaking a law. The best example would be driving through a red light, hitting another person on the road, and killing them in the process. There was no intention to hurt someone, but they died as a consequence of breaking a law.

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