Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Homicide Definition:

The act or omission of one human being, which ends the life of another.

Related Terms: Murder, Manslaughter, Justifiable Homicide, Excusable Homicide, Felonious Homicide, Parricide, First Degree Murder, Deliberate

The word includes all occasions where one human being, by act or omission, takes away the life of another.

The 1908 (3rd edition) of Mozley and Whiteley's Law Dictionary defines homicide as:

"The killing of a human being."

William Blackstone, in Book 4 of his Commentaries on the Laws of England, descibes homicide as:

"... the killing of any human creature...."

Blackstone, like John Bouvier and the 1908 (3rd edition) of Mozley and Whiteley's Law Dictionary after him, describe homicide as having three varieties: justificable homicide, excusable homicide and felonius homicide.

Murder and manslaughter are different kinds of homicides.

Executing a death-row inmate is another form of homicide, but one which is excusable in the eyes of the law.

Another excusable homicide is where a law enforcement officer shoots and kills a suspect who draws a weapon or shoots at that officer.

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