Involuntary Manslaughter

Topics: Manslaughter in English law, Law, Manslaughter Pages: 4 (1342 words) Published: April 22, 2012
Principles of Manslaughter

Manslaughter seems to be the most flexible and elusive type of homicide as far as the court system goes. The law has gradually made successful differentiations and weeding out about how it recognizes murder on the one hand, based mainly, though not exclusively, on an intention to kill. Manslaughter on the other hand, based mainly, though not exclusively, on the absence of intention to kill. This may be because manslaughter is generally divided by lawyers into two categories, voluntary and involuntary manslaughter. The former concerns instances when the intention to kill is found, but the defendant successfully raises partial defenses such as provocation, diminished responsibility or killing in the act of a suicide pact. Then later concerns homicide in so many and varying conditions. Generally speaking however there are three categories of involuntary manslaughter which will be the focus of this essay. These three categories will be evaluated on a principled basis by starting with an analysis of negligence manslaughter, followed by an evaluation of reckless manslaughter, to end with a critique of unlawful act manslaughter. Although true negligent manslaughter mainly concerns professionals who are somehow negligent in the performance of their duties, the principles of the offense are normally employed to determine the existence of a duty of care. This means if A has caused the death of B by alleged negligence, then, in order to establish civil liability, the plaintiff must prove that A owed a duty to B to take care, that that duty was not discharged, and that the default caused the death of B. To convict A of manslaughter, the prosecution must prove the three things above mentioned and must satisfy the jury, in addition, that A's negligence amounted to a crime. However, the courts may recognize new categories of duty relationships which could lead to retrospective law decision making....
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