Telling Murder from Homicide

As early as possible, it is best to address the doubts we have in our minds. This can help us to tell which is which and would be able to give answers to questions. One of the most interesting “which-is-which” questions that we might have heard of or even have asked ourselves about is: “What is the difference between murder and homicide?” We know that they both involve killing another person but, when do we say that the killing is a homicide or a murder? We will address that question through some information gathered.

What is Murder?

Murder falls under the category of homicides. What made it stand out is the motive behind the killing. The suspect has no valid excuse, such as self-defense, why he killed that person. Some motives are intentional that pushed the perpetrator to kill another person. In other words, it is intentionally killing another person that is not legally justified and was due to malice aforethought.

How do they weigh murder down? Well, there are a lot of factors involved in this type of crime. One type of murder could be premeditated which means that the perpetrator has the time to conceive the crime and how he would execute it. There could be emotions involved like anger or hatred that could be used as the motives for the crime. There is also a kind of murder that happens in the course of crime execution and is termed as felony murder. For example, an arson might claim some lives so those could be charged to the person that has committed arson. The penalty could range from a life sentence without parole to a death sentence.

What is Homicide?

Homicide is a general term for a crime committed by a person killing another person. However, it is also broken down into further categories called a criminal homicide, an excusable and justifiable homicide. Since it is a term for all types of killing, it does not always merit punishments. Murders and manslaughters are often the homicides that were considered to be criminal offenses. However, in critical times, killing a person might be due to self-defense and could not be counted as violating criminal laws if there is evidence that supports the claim. This is in-line with justifiable homicides that were done when protecting one’s self when there are life-threatening situations, or the killing was made in the line of duty which is common among police officers. Some factors need to be considered first before concluding that the homicide would be excusable, justifiable or could be counted as a criminal offense. Some of the factors include the weapons used to threaten the victim, the severity of the attack and as well as the motives and intentions present during the crime.

No matter what kind of criminal offenses there may be, as long as it claimed a life, it is considered as the most serious case in the justice system. We are never given the freedom to kill or claim lives. Now that we are acquainted with the words homicide and murder, we should be in a better position to help with the prevention of these kinds of crimes.