(A) The killing of any human being by another through an act or omission, whether or not criminal in nature. Non-criminal acts include killing during war or when justified legally via self-defense. Criminal homicide is a term denoting homicide the act of purposefully, knowingly, recklessly or negligently causing the death of another person (such as intentional murder.) (B) crim. law. According to Blackstone, it is the killing of any human creature. 4 Com. 177. This is the most extensive sense of this word, in which the intention is not considered. But in a more limited sense, it is always understood that the killing is by human agency, and Hawkins defines it to be the killing of a man by a man. Homicide may perhaps be described to be the destruction of the life of one human being, either by himself, or by the act, procurement, or culpable omission of another. When the death has been intentionally caused by the deceased himself, the offender is called felo de se; when it is caused by another, it is justifiable, excusable, or felonious. 2. The person killed must have been born; the killing before birth is balled foeticide. 3. The destruction of human life at any period after birth, is homicide, however near it may be to extinction, from any other cause. 4. 1. Justifiable homicide is such as arises, 1st. From unavoidable necessity, without any will, intention or desire, and without any inadvertence in the party killing, and therefore without blame; as, for instance, the execution, according to law, of a criminal who has been lawfully sentenced to be hanged; or, 2d. It is committed for the advancement of public justice; as if an officer, in the lawful execution of his office, either in a civil or criminal case, should kill a person who assaults and resists him. See Justifiable Homicide.
Law Dictionary – Alternative Legal Definition
The killing of any human creature 4 Bl. Comm. 177. The killing of one human being by the act, procurement, or omission of another. Pen. Code N. Y. s 179. The act of a human being in taking away the life of another human being. Sanders v. State, 113 Ga. 267, 38 S. E. 842; People v. Hill, 49 Hun, 432, 3 N. Y. Supp. 564; Maher v. People, 10 Mich. 212, 81 Am. Dec. 781; State v. Lodge, 9 Houst. (Del.) 542, 33 Atl 312; Com. v. Webster, 5 Cush. (Mass.) 303, 52 Am. Dec. 711.
Homicide is not necessarily a crime. It is a necessary ingredient of the crimes of murder and manslaughter, but there are other cases in which homicide may be committed without criminal intent and without criminal consequences, as, where it is done in the lawful execution of a judicial sentence, in self-defense, or as the only possible means of arresting an escaping felon. The term “homicide” is neutral; while it describes the act, it pronounces no judgment on its moral or legal quality.. See People v. Connors, 13 Misc. Rep. 582, 35 N. Y. Supp. 475.
Classification. Homicide is ordinarily classified as “justifiable,” “excusable,” and “felonious.” For the definition of these terms, and of some other compound terms, see infra. Culpable homicide. Described as a crime varying from the very lowest culpability, up to the very verge of murder. Lord Moncrieff, Arkley, 72. Excusable homicide. The killing of a human being, either by misadventure or in self-defense. U. S. v. King (C. C.) 34 Fed. 306; State v. Miller, 9 Houst. (Del.) 564, 32 Atl. 137; State v. Reynolds. 42 Kan. 320, 22 Pac 410, 16 Am. St. Rep. ,483; Hopkinson v. People. 18 111. 265: Bassett v. State, 44 Fla; 2, 33 South. 264. The name itself imports some fault, error, or omission, so trivial, however, that the law excuses it from guilt of felony, though in strictness it judges it deserving of some little degree of punishment 4 Bl. Comm. 182. It is of two sorts, either per infortunium, by misadventure, or se defendendo, upon a sudden affray. Homicide per infortunium is where a man, doing a lawful act. without any intention of hurt, unfortunately kills another; but, if death ensue from any unlawful act, the offense is manslaughter, and not misadventure. Homicide se defendendo is where a man kills another upon a sudden affray, merely in his own defense, or in defense of his wife, child, parent, or servant, and not from any vindictive feeling. 4 Bl. Comm. 182. Felonious homicide. The wrongful killing of a human being, of any age or either sex. without justification or excuse in law; of which offense there are two degrees, manslaughter and murder. 4 Bl. Comm. 190; 4 Steph. Comm. 111. Homicide by misadventure. The accidental killing of another, where the slayer is doing a lawful act unaccompanied by any criminally careless or reckless conduct. “State v. Miller. 9 Houst. (Del.) 564, 32 Atl. 137; U. S. v. Meagher (C. C.) 37 Fed. 879. The same as “homicide per infortunium.” Homicide per infortunium, Homicide by misfortune, or accidental homicide; as where a man doing a lawful act without any intention of hurt, unfortunately kills another; a species of excusable homicide. 4 Bl. Comm. 182; 4 Steph. Comm. 101. Homicide se defendendo. Homicide in self-defense; the killing of a person in self-defense upon a sudden affray, where the slayer had no other possible (or, at least, probable) means of escaping from his assailant. 4 Bl. Comm. 183186; 4 Steph. Comm. 103-105. A species of excusable homicide. Id.; 1 Russ. Crimes, 660. Justifiable homicide. Such as is committed intentionally, but without any evil design, and under such circumstances of necessity or duty as render the act proper, and relieve the party from any shadow of hlame; as where a sheriff lawfully executes a sentence of death upon a malefactor, or where the killing takes place in the endeavor to prevent the commission of felony which could act be otherwise avoided.