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Some homicide forms do not constitute acts that are criminal but murder is criminal homicide (Simon 2009).
The circumstances that surround a killing are the determinants if it was criminal or not. In earlier days, homicide was divided into two categories; non-felonious and felonious. The latter was premeditated and deliberate killing and was therefore termed as murder. The former included excusable homicide, which was not classified as a crime, and justifiable homicide, which was a crime, but the offender was pardoned. The classification has since changed with the modern statutes. There are two categories namely manslaughter and murder. Murder is further classified into first degree that involves a killing intention that is premeditated and second degree whose intention to kill is not premeditated (Malmquist 2006).
The most important elements in first-degree murder are intent and premeditation. Intentional crimes are committed purposely and knowingly. Crimes that are intentional are organized in advance. In the mentioned elements’ perspective, such homicide is neither an accident nor a moment’s incidence. Another form of first-degree murder is felony murder, since it applies in circumstances where a person dies as a felony is perpetrated. This is so even though the death was entirely unplanned or accidental. The difference between the first and second-degree is that, even though the guilty person kills intentionally, there is no prior plan and the crime is not given forethoughts, because acting is often on impulse (Simon 2009).
Manslaughter involves unintentional killing, which results from criminal negligence of a person, or human life disregard that is reckless. Manslaughter is classified as voluntary and involuntary. The former is used in the designation of acts secondary to provocation or passion crimes. The killing is intended as much as there was adequate provocation encountered by the
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