Words nearby manslaughter
MANSLAUGHTER VS. MURDER
Whats the difference between manslaughter and murder?
Manslaughter is the legal term for the act of killing someone without intending to, often in an accidental way. Murder is the legal term for the intentional killing of someone or the killing of someone as the result of a complete disregard for their life.
There are many specific conditions and interpretations surrounding what constitutes murder and manslaughter, and laws vary by location. The word murder is also commonly used in more general ways. In legal contexts, though, it’s typically used in a way that implies that the killing was intentional or the result of a complete disregard for the victim’s life, and this is the crucial difference between the words.
In the U.S., manslaughter can be classified as voluntary or involuntary. Voluntary manslaughter often involves a person who kills someone through voluntary actions but without intending to harm them. For example, this could apply to a person who unintentionally kills someone during a fight after having been provoked to fight (especially when their actions are considered to go beyond those deemed appropriate for self-defense). Acts labeled as involuntary manslaughter are often reckless but accidental. For example, the term may be applied to a case in which a driver kills someone as a result of their reckless driving (this is sometimes specifically called vehicular manslaughter).
On the other hand, a person who intentionally runs someone over with their car would likely be charged with murder (unless it involved self-defense). Many jurisdictions classify murders with different degrees. For example, if a person intentionally runs someone over with their car after having planned to do it (that is, after having premeditated it), the act would be called first-degree murder. However, if the killing was intentional but not premeditated, it would be called second-degree murder. Of course, the official charge is typically based on what can be proven during a trial.
Here’s an example of manslaughter and murder used correctly in the same sentence.
Example: The accused was originally charged with manslaughter because it appeared to be a reckless driving accident, but the charge was changed to first-degree murder when the police discovered journals in which the driver had written plans to kill the victim and make it look like an accident.
Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between manslaughter and murder.
Quiz yourself on manslaughter vs. murder!
Should manslaughter or murder be used in the following sentence?
There is clear evidence that the defendant intended to kill the victim, and therefore the charge must be _____.
How to use manslaughter in a sentence
Facing more than $30 billion in potential liabilities, the company sought bankruptcy protection last January and just emerged from Chapter 11—after pleading guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter—this summer.PG&E’s new CEO is the first woman to leap from top of one Fortune 500 company to another|kristenlbellstrom|November 19, 2020|Fortune
Burley served seven years in prison after the 2010 drug-planting incident and also was convicted of manslaughter in state court, while Matthews served more than two years in prison.Baltimore approves more than $10 million in new police settlements|Justin Fenton|November 18, 2020|Washington Post
Prosecutors said they were investigating charging the hackers with negligent manslaughter.Fact check: Ransomware did not lead to a woman’s death in Germany|Aaron Pressman|November 16, 2020|Fortune
The Park Police officers involved have since been charged with manslaughter.Fairfax County police chief to step down in February|Justin Jouvenal|November 5, 2020|Washington Post
He was charged with attempted manslaughter, but the charge got reduced to aggravated battery.
After four years, two trials, an adoption, and multiple jury scandals, polo mogul John Goodman was found guilty of manslaughter.Money, Murder, and Adoption: The Wild Trial of the Polo King|Jacqui Goddard|October 28, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Mitchell was convicted of manslaughter, and sentenced to 10 to 20 years.
And so, in the end, he accepts a plea bargain: involuntary manslaughter, three years in prison.‘Kill Team’: The Documentary the Army Doesn’t Want You to See|Andrew Romano|July 26, 2014|DAILY BEAST
They employ an individual that not only has a serious drug problem; he was convicted of vehicular manslaughter.The NFL’s Mindless Misogyny: Why Was Ray Rice Given a Slap on the Wrist for Beating His Fiancée?|Robert Silverman|July 25, 2014|DAILY BEAST
White had been convicted of voluntary manslaughter, the lightest possible sentence for his crime.Castro Street’s Hot Cop Is the Batman to Sexy Mug Shot Guy’s Joker|Itay Hod|July 9, 2014|DAILY BEAST
After they've done a wood-cutting job they come down and blow the money in; and this man ended up with manslaughter.Summer|Edith Wharton
If they have wherewithal to persuade the Jury to bring it in Manslaughter, what are they the worse for it?The Beggar's Opera|John Gay
Ve got Tom Vildspark off that 'ere manslaughter, with a alleybi, ven all the big vigs to a man said as nothing couldn't save him.The Pickwick Papers|Charles Dickens
His ticket was taken from him and he barely escaped being tried by an American court for manslaughter.The Viking Blood|Frederick William Wallace
The last class may rise to a high degree of enormity, such as manslaughter, but these crimes are rarely possible of restraint.Courts and Criminals|Arthur Train
British Dictionary definitions for manslaughter
Cultural definitions for manslaughter
The unlawful killing of a person, without malice or premeditation. Involuntary manslaughter is accidental, such as running into someone with a car. Voluntary manslaughter is committed in the “heat of passion,” as in a spontaneous fight in which one person is killed by a strong blow. Manslaughter is usually considered less serious than murder. Both murder and manslaughter are types of homicide.