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Criminal Law Essay on Homicide

According to the latest official statistics, there are more than 500 000 cases of homicide every year.

More than 30% of all cases occur in Africa. Americas are on the second place. Asia is known for 5% of all the cases of homicide that are reported in the world annually. What is homicide? Why does this problem exist? How can it be solved? Criminal homicide is the action of killing a person by another person. The killer could have killed the victim intentionally and unintentionally. Despite the actual intention, both variants are treated like homicide and are punished strictly. When you try to analyze the problem of homicide, you will learn that there are many types of this crime. I will try to analyze them below.

Homicides are divided into murder, manslaughter, killing at war, artificial death or euthanasia and execution. All these cases belong to different sorts of crime. Murder is the easiest and the most understandable kind of homicides. A murderer is the criminal who kills intentionally. Who wants to kill the definite person or group of people and does his best to reach this goal. He has a specific plan of his actions and possesses specific tools for it. Of course, there are spontaneous murders but the source of this action is the same. A person has decided to murder another person. Murder is a serious crime and it is punished strictly. If we speak about the USA, murderers receive life imprisonment or life penalty.

The first punishment is the most common one. When a criminal murders another person, he is imprisoned for his entire life. In fact, many criminals are released after 20 or 25 years of imprisonment if they behave well. Judges believe that these people have changed and gone through the process of socialization. Of course, no one guarantees life imprisonment for dangerous murderers and serial killers. When one murders a group of people applying sophisticated or brutal approach, he is punished more strictly. Capital punishment is the only way out in this case. However, serial killers belong to the specific and uncommon group of criminals. They are believed to suffer from psychological diseases. Therefore, many dangerous criminals receive life imprisonment and constant work with a psychologist or psychotherapist. Nowadays, the law is more loyal to human life. Thus, the worst criminals are not executed. This issue is very controversial and disputable.

Manslaughter is another type of homicides that is believed to be less felonious than murder. Manslaughter is characterized with the particular circumstances of this crime.

Although there is a voluntary manslaughter, the killer is not punished strictly if had to defend himself, his family or the surrounded people. Moreover, he could be provoked by the victim. Manslaughter is often conducted in the heat of passion caused by provocation and improper behavior of the victim. There is also involuntary manslaughter when a person does not intend to kill another person. Although the killer is provoked, he does not plan anything but to injure or calm down the irritant. He kills her by mistake or accidentally.

It is very difficult to punish someone who kills another person at war. If we think soberly, people are supposed to kill one another at war. However, this ‘right’ touches upon soldiers.

When one decides to kill an innocent person, he can be punished strictly. However, it is difficult to prove that the crime took place in the whole. If an innocent person is killed at night, the killer will hardly be punished inasmuch as he could have confused her with an enemy.

In many countries, euthanasia is supposed to be a crime. The physicists who agree to reduce the patient’s suffering can be imprisoned for their ‘kindness’. They are treated like criminals because they kill patients who can live a few weeks or months more. This case is also debatable. I guess it should belong to the ethical and moral issues than to criminal justice.

The problem of homicide is urgent and complicated for the objective analysis. Everyone has the right for self-defense. However, people must not kill other people for self-defense.

When something of this kind happens, it is difficult to differentiate a murder from a manslaughter. Many criminals who kill other people intentionally say that they have done it in the heat of passion or involuntarily. Therefore, it is important to investigate such cases scrupulously in order to avoid misunderstandings and unfair punishments.

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