Homicide

What is a Homicide?

Today's letter is "H"

A homicide is the killing of one human being by another

There are varying degrees of homicide with far reaching ramifications and consequences. In Louisiana a person convicted of first degree murder will be punishable by either death or life imprisonment, a conviction of second degree murder carries a mandatory life imprisonment sentence, as well. In Louisiana, life...means...life. You will be sentenced to spend the rest of your natural life in prison without ever having the benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence.




In Louisiana, we have five grades of criminal homicide:
(1) First Degree Murder

(2) Second Degree Murder

(3) Manslaughter

(4) Negligent Homicide

(5) Vehicular Homicide


LSA-RS 14§30.  First degree murder
A.  First degree murder is the killing of a human being:
(1)  When the offender has specific intent to kill or to inflict great bodily harm and is engaged in the perpetration or attempted perpetration of aggravated kidnapping, second degree kidnapping, aggravated escape, aggravated arson, aggravated rape, forcible rape, aggravated burglary, armed robbery, assault by drive-by shooting, first degree robbery, second degree robbery, simple robbery, terrorism, cruelty to juveniles, or second degree cruelty to juveniles.
(2)  When the offender has a specific intent to kill or to inflict great bodily harm upon a fireman, peace officer, or civilian employee of the Louisiana State Police Crime Laboratory or any other forensic laboratory engaged in the performance of his lawful duties, or when the specific intent to kill or to inflict great bodily harm is directly related to the victim's status as a fireman, peace officer, or civilian employee.
(3)  When the offender has a specific intent to kill or to inflict great bodily harm upon more than one person.
(4)  When the offender has specific intent to kill or inflict great bodily harm and has offered, has been offered, has given, or has received anything of value for the killing.
(5)  When the offender has the specific intent to kill or to inflict great bodily harm upon a victim who is under the age of twelve or sixty-five years of age or older.
(6)  When the offender has the specific intent to kill or to inflict great bodily harm while engaged in the distribution, exchange, sale, or purchase, or any attempt thereof, of a controlled dangerous substance listed in Schedules I, II, III, IV, or V of the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law.
(7)  When the offender has specific intent to kill or to inflict great bodily harm and is engaged in the activities prohibited by R.S. 14:107.1(C)(1).
(8)  When the offender has specific intent to kill or to inflict great bodily harm and there has been issued by a judge or magistrate any lawful order prohibiting contact between the offender and the victim in response to threats of physical violence or harm which was served on the offender and is in effect at the time of the homicide.
(9)  When the offender has specific intent to kill or to inflict great bodily harm upon a victim who was a witness to a crime or was a member of the immediate family of a witness to a crime committed on a prior occasion and:
(a)  The killing was committed for the purpose of preventing or influencing the victim's testimony in any criminal action or proceeding whether or not such action or proceeding had been commenced; or
(b)  The killing was committed for the purpose of exacting retribution for the victim's prior testimony.
LSA-R.S. 14:30.1

Second Degree murder is the killing of a human being:
(1) When the offender has a specific intent to kill or inflict great bodily harm; or
(2) When the offender is engaged in one of the enumerated felonies (not required for first degree murder), even though he has no intent to kill or inflict great bodily harm. The list includes, but not limited to: forcible rape, aggravated arson, aggravated burglary, armed robbery, cruelty to juveniles and many others
(3) When the offender unlawfully distributes or dispenses a controlled dangerous substance, which is the direct cause of death of the recipient 
(4) When the offender unlawfully distributes of dispenses a controlled dangerous substance, to another, who, subsequently distributes or dispenses such CDS to another, which is the direct cause of the person's death 
{This portion of the statute should seriously alarm anyone engaged in the distribution of narcotics}
LSA-R.S 14:31
A Manslaughter is:
(1) a homicide which would be murder, but the offense is committed in sudden passion or heat of blood immediately caused by provocation sufficient to deprive an average person oh his self control and cool reflection.
(2) a homicide committed, without any intent to cause death or great bodily harm
(a) When the offender is engaged in the perpetration or attempted perpetration of an felony not listed for first or second degree murder or any intentional misdemeanor
(b) When the offender is resisting lawful arrest
Manslaughter is punishable at hard labor for not more than forty years. So, yes, with some exceptions, of course, (like in the conviction of manslaughter of a child under the age of ten) which requires the first ten years be without benefit of probation, parole of suspension of sentence), a person convicted of manslaughter could receive a probated sentence.
Negligent Homicide: LSA-RS 14:32
A negligent homicide is either of the following:
(1) The Killing of a human being by criminal negligence
(2) The killing of a human being by a dog or other animal when the owner is reckless and criminally negligent in confining or restraining the dog or animal
Penalty: Imprisonment, with or without hard labor for up to 5 years
Vehicular Homicide:
This is causing the death of a human being while driving a car or other craft, while under the influence of alcohol or drugs or while impaired by alcohol or drugs




7 comments:

  1. So they can't be tried for vehicular manslaughter due to negligence or reckless driving unless under the influence?

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  2. This is also useful knowledge when watching detective/crime shows on tv.

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  3. Interesting, I didn't realize they broke down into so many categories. With the various degrees of homicide, it has to get tricky if a case could fall under more than one.

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  4. Looks like Louisiana has it pretty well define and simplified. Curious it looks like the felony murder scenario is blurred a little between a couple offenses. It there not a clear definition of felony murder (as I understand it to be*) on the books?

    *and I understand that to be a crime of say robbery, burglary, B&E, etc. that results in the death of the victim either accidently or on purpose. And if more than one person is involved in the base crime all parties are equally guilty of the death.
    and charge of felony murder.

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  5. G'day, just popped in from the A-Z challenge. Very throrough and interesting post. Goes to show that murder isn't just murder.

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  6. Fascinating, really, how other circumstances define the type of murder. Negligence is an interesting concept, especially the part about dogs. Definitely a lot of possibilities here for crime drama!

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  7. Well it's nice to know that in some states, life really does mean for life.


    Terrific A to Z theme. Lots of interesting things to learn here.

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