Murder vs Manslaughter
Murder is a crime committed when a sane person (with sound mind) unlawfully kills another person, with intentions to cause grievous bodily harm or kill the victim. Attempted murder is generally a type of assault with a similar level of gravity as some murders, but the victim here does not die. Manslaughter occurs when a person kills another with the intention to hurt or exert some force on them but not actually to kill them.
There are several types of manslaughter. The most common one arises in cases when the person was fully aware that their behavior involves a risk of causing death or fatal injuries, but goes ahead with taking the risk. For instance, if one was to inflict a hard blow on the head of a person with a weapon and it killed the victim without that specific intention, then the killing was done recklessly.
Corporate manslaughter is another form of manslaughter. An example is an outbreak of a disease to the public, and causing death. In such cases, the owner of the building or business could be charged with criminal charges regarding their premises or products.
To be convicted of murder, the prosecutor has to show that when the accused unlawfully killed the victim, it was done with the aforethought of malice. This is essentially the element that differentiates murder from manslaughter. The aforethought of malice means there should be a specific intention to kill the person or cause grievous bodily harm to them. Lawyers refer to this element of this offence as the mens rea or in simpler terms the mental element of the crime. Don’t forget that the prosecution does not necessarily mean that there should be prove for any premeditation or ill will towards the victim.
All these cases require the best manslaughter barristers, with the highest level of experience and skill, as murder carries the ultimate penalty of execution or mandatory life imprisonment. Moreover, a conviction for crimes involving the use of firearms usually carries a 3 years minimum sentence in a federal penitentiary. The ability to reduce a murder allegation to the level of manslaughter will offer the court a considerable lesser option of non-custodial or a determinate sentence.
Besides the complete defenses such as self-defense and alibi, murder cases feature three other special partial defenses that are specially argued in order to reduce the offence to voluntary manslaughter. To prepare a strong defense against such charges, the lawyer must be fully aware of all the legal issues involved in the case, and consider any violations to the Charter rights of the accused during the trial. Choosing the best murder and manslaughter barristers to help you handle a murder trial is probably the most important decision that has to be made.
If the jury finds the defendant not guilty of the murder charge, the defendant can alternatively be convicted, if it is appropriate to do so depending on the circumstances; for grievous bodily harm with intent, manslaughter, attempted murder, assisting or encouraging suicide, infanticide, and wounding with intent.