Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Parricide Definition:

Killing one's father or another a family member or close relative.

Related Terms: Infanticide, Homicide

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

"He that kills his father; or the crime of murdering a father."

Ballentine defines it as:

"... the murder of one's parents."

Charles Cumstom defined it as:

"... the murder of legitimate, natural or adopted fathers or mothers or of any other legitimate ascendant."

Some jurisdictions and cultures appear to give great weight and value upon their seniors and one can see that parricide is distinguished from murder as a particularly heinous crime. At one time (struck down in 1973), the Criminal Code of Japan provided:

"§200. Parricide. A person who kills his or her spouse's lineal ascendant shall be punished by death or penal servitude for life."


  • Cumston, Charles, Parricide and Justice- An Historical Sketch, 16 Green Bag 578 (1904)

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