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Homicide, Murder and Manslaughter

Homicide is taking the life of another human being.  “Culpable” homicide is a crime.  The Criminal Code of Canada first defines what “culpable homicide” is, and then breaks it down further into various types of murder, manslaughter or infanticide.

Murder is either first degree murder or second degree murder.  First degree murder is generally considered to be the most serious of all criminal offenses.  Second degree murder is also extremely serious.  Manslaughter, while still extremely serious, is generally considered somewhat less heinous than first or second degree murder.

The punishment for murder is life in prison.  However a person can get out of prison after the expiration of a certain number of years on parole depending on the actual crime and sentence handed down by the sentencing Judge.

Infanticide is a somewhat rare offence where the life of a newly-born child is taken by the mother in circumstances where the mother is “not fully recovered from the effects of giving birth to the child and by reason thereof or of the effect of lactation consequent on the birth of the child her mind is then disturbed”.  Sometimes known as post-partum depression.

If you are charged with murder, manslaughter or infanticide, you definitely need to get a lawyer.  Patrick Penny has experience in defending people charged with murder and he can help you make the best of a bad situation.

Murder Manslaughter

Homicide As Defined In The Criminal Code

222. (1) A person commits homicide when, directly or indirectly, by any means, he causes the death of a human being.

Kinds of homicide

(2) Homicide is culpable or not culpable.

Non culpable homicide

(3) Homicide that is not culpable is not an offence.

Culpable homicide

(4) Culpable homicide is murder or manslaughter or infanticide.

Idem

(5) A person commits culpable homicide when he causes the death of a human being,

(a) by means of an unlawful act;

(b) by criminal negligence;

 (c) by causing that human being, by threats or fear of violence or by deception, to do anything that causes his death; or

 (d) by wilfully frightening that human being, in the case of a child or sick person.

Exception

(6) Notwithstanding anything in this section, a person does not commit homicide within the meaning of this Act by reason only that he causes the death of a human being by procuring, by false evidence, the conviction and death of that human being by sentence of the law.

 

“Murder”, “1rst Degree Murder”, “2nd Degree Murder”,  “Manslaughter” and “Infanticide” As Defined In The Criminal Code

Classification of murder

231. (1) Murder is first degree murder or second degree murder.

Planned and deliberate murder

(2) Murder is first degree murder when it is planned and deliberate.

Contracted murder

(3) Without limiting the generality of subsection (2), murder is planned and deliberate when it is committed pursuant to an arrangement under which money or anything of value passes or is intended to pass from one person to another, or is promised by one person to another, as consideration for that other’s causing or assisting in causing the death of anyone or counselling another person to do any act causing or assisting in causing that death.

Murder of peace officer, etc.

(4) Irrespective of whether a murder is planned and deliberate on the part of any person, murder is first degree murder when the victim is

(a) a police officer, police constable, constable, sheriff, deputy sheriff, sheriff’s officer or other person employed for the preservation and maintenance of the public peace, acting in the course of his duties;

(b) a warden, deputy warden, instructor, keeper, jailer, guard or other officer or a permanent employee of a prison, acting in the course of his duties; or

 (c) a person working in a prison with the permission of the prison authorities and acting in the course of his work therein.

Hijacking, sexual assault or kidnapping

(5) Irrespective of whether a murder is planned and deliberate on the part of any person, murder is first degree murder in respect of a person when the death is caused by that person while committing or attempting to commit an offence under one of the following sections:

(a) section 76 (hijacking an aircraft);

(b) section 271 (sexual assault);

(c) section 272 (sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party or causing bodily harm);

(d) section 273 (aggravated sexual assault);

(e) section 279 (kidnapping and forcible confinement); or

(f) section 279.1 (hostage taking).

Criminal harassment

(6) Irrespective of whether a murder is planned and deliberate on the part of any person, murder is first degree murder when the death is caused by that person while committing or attempting to commit an offence under section 264 and the person committing that offence intended to cause the person murdered to fear for the safety of the person murdered or the safety of anyone known to the person murdered.

Murder — terrorist activity

(6.01) Irrespective of whether a murder is planned and deliberate on the part of a person, murder is first degree murder when the death is caused by that person while committing or attempting to commit an indictable offence under this or any other Act of Parliament if the act or omission constituting the offence also constitutes a terrorist activity.

Murder — criminal organization

(6.1) Irrespective of whether a murder is planned and deliberate on the part of a person, murder is first degree murder when

(a) the death is caused by that person for the benefit of, at the direction of or in association with a criminal organization; or

(b) the death is caused by that person while committing or attempting to commit an indictable offence under this or any other Act of Parliament for the benefit of, at the direction of or in association with a criminal organization.

Intimidation

(6.2) Irrespective of whether a murder is planned and deliberate on the part of a person, murder is first degree murder when the death is caused by that person while committing or attempting to commit an offence under section 423.1.

Second degree murder

(7) All murder that is not first degree murder is second degree murder.

Murder reduced to manslaughter

232. (1) Culpable homicide that otherwise would be murder may be reduced to manslaughter if the person who committed it did so in the heat of passion caused by sudden provocation.

What is provocation

(2) A wrongful act or an insult that is of such a nature as to be sufficient to deprive an ordinary person of the power of self-control is provocation for the purposes of this section if the accused acted on it on the sudden and before there was time for his passion to cool.

Infanticide

233. A female person commits infanticide when by a wilful act or omission she causes the death of her newly-born child, if at the time of the act or omission she is not fully recovered from the effects of giving birth to the child and by reason thereof or of the effect of lactation consequent on the birth of the child her mind is then disturbed.

Manslaughter

234. Culpable homicide that is not murder or infanticide is manslaughter.

Call today.

Patrick Penny: (403) 342-9595.

 

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