Bryant & Stratton College
May, 2, 2015
List and describe the three forms of criminal homicide.
The three forms of criminal homicide are:
“Murder is typically broken down further into several sub-categories. The most common are first and second degree murder. First degree murder is the most serious of all homicide charges. It applies to situations in which someone is accused of killing another person after having planned to kill the victim. It requires malice (evil intent) and forethought (planning). These cases are usually considered among the most heinous crimes and as such, the most severe punishments are usually reserved for these convictions, including life in prison or the death penalty” (HG.org, 2015).
Second degree murder is similar to first degree murder in some ways but differs as well. Second degree murder is when a person doesn’t have to time to plan the crime.” Some states also apply the label of second degree murder to situations in which someone's actions were so wanton and reckless that the death of another person was readily foreseeable, even if killing someone was not the intention, such as driving at speed into a crowd of people. Second degree murder is also very serious, and in most situations the defendant will face life in prison or a similarly harsh sentence, though the death sentence is not an option” (HG.org, 2015).
“The charge of manslaughter is reserved for instances where the accused did not plan the crime nor did he or she intend for the victim to die because of his or her actions. Manslaughter charges usually arise out of accidental circumstances where a person died because of the event. For example, a doctor who prescribes drugs that can have a lethal interaction for a patient, a parent that leaves a baby in a hot car, or a driver who causes a fatal car accident. Sentences for those convicted of manslaughter vary widely depending on state laws and the circumstances of the event in question, but are usually somewhat less than second degree murder” (HG.org, 2015).
‘Justifiable homicide is reserved for situations where an individual killed another in self-defense or similar circumstances. This really is not a legal charge, but rather a classification that police can use in an event where an individual died but no crime was committed, or as a defense in a homicide prosecution. Because the killing was justifiable, the person who committed the killing will not be held criminally liable for the death, though civil penalties may still apply under certain circumstances” (HG.org, 2015).
Using the virtual library and internet sources provide one real world case example (so you will have a total of three examples) of each of the three types of criminal homicide. Be sure to cite your sources.
Case#1- George Zimmerman & Trayvon Martin (Murder)
‘On February, 2012 Zimmerman, a white male of his panic descent, shot and killed a teenage black male named Trayvon Martin Zimmerman was acting in the capacity of a neighborhood Watch Captain for a gated community in Sanford, Florida. According to the CNN's "The Trayvon Martin Case Fact Sheet, "Trayvon Martin was visiting his father after receiving a ten day suspension from school. The ten day suspension stemmed from school officials’ discovery of drug related residue in Trayvon's book bag. While walking to his father's house in the gated community, Trayvon was pursued by Zimmerman. Zimmerman called 911 to report that he was observing a suspicious person in the gated community that he served as Watch Captain. The 911 operator instructed Zimmerman not to get out of his SUV to confront Trayvon. Zimmerman ignored these instructions and confronted Trayvon. Zimmerman's decision to confront Trayvon led to a Fight that ended with Zimmerman shooting and killing Trayvon. Initially, the Sanford Police Chief, Bill Lee, Refused to arrest Zimmerman,