• Robert Skuce

Different types of Murder or Manslaughter


If you are like me, then you love to watch crime shows on television. If you do, then you are familiar with the terms first-degree murder, second-degree murder, felony murder, manslaughter, and involuntary manslaughter. However, you may be confused as to why there are different classifications of murder.


Just as there are many ways you can kill someone, there are also many ways you can be charged with that murder.


Here we will cover the different types of murder and what they mean. Afterward, the next time you are watching a crime show with your significant other, you can explain what the terms mean without batting an eyelash, leaving them dumbfounded on how you know.

Types of Murder


First-degree murder – This type of murder is done by poisoning, torturing, or is any kind of willful and planned murder. Stabbing, shooting, strangulation are all types of murder commonly found under first-degree. Other types are intentional acts or attempts of terrorism and intending to create a significant risk of death.


Second-degree murder – This type of murder is intentional but isn’t planned out. So you do mean to kill the person, but you do it at the moment and not by pre-planning the execution of the murder. Russian Roulette is a form of second-degree murder, as is someone keeping a gun on their person for protection and pulls it out to kill someone out of anger.


Felony murder- This is when someone is killed during the execution of another crime, whether intentional or not. For example, you go to rob a house and are surprised by the homeowner, and you kill them. This is a felony murder. Or you discharge your weapon while robbing a house and accidentally kill the house owner, still felony murder. If you are a group of people and one discharges their weapon by accident, all of you can be charged with felony murder.

Voluntary manslaughter – this is the act of killing as defined by murder, but the killing was committed because you were provoked. For example, someone breaks into your home and threatens your family, you take out a weapon and kill the robber.


Involuntary manslaughter – This type of manslaughter is killing someone unintentionally. One of the biggest and most common sources of involuntary manslaughter is vehicular manslaughter, where a drunkard gets behind the wheel and causes an accident that results in the death of innocent bystanders.


Vehicular homicide – what this is, comprises as a crime that involves someone dying who isn’t the driver because the vehicle was used as a weapon. If it were an unintentional death, it would be called vehicular manslaughter. Often times, vehicular homicide and vehicular manslaughter have other charges associated with it, such as reckless driving, driving under the influence, etc.


As you can tell, no matter what you think about someone killing someone else, there are degrees of murder. Each one comes with its own legal term. In my books, you will find first or second-degree murders the most, but that’s not always the case. You will have to read them to find out what other types of murder are found within the pages.

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Copyright © 2016 Robert Skuce - All Rights Reserved.