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A and B are both guilty of felony-murderWhere a co-felon is killed, either accidentally by another co-felon, or by a third party such as the police or the victim, jurisdictions differ on application of felony-murder rule and some states do not recognize the act as murder
ManslaughterManslaughter historically was divided into voluntary and involuntary homicideMany state statutes now have only one crime of manslaughter, but specify the kinds of acts which are governed by the statuteOther states have added vehicular manslaughter as a chargeInvoluntary manslaughter is death that occurs without intent, but as a result of unlawful activityVoluntary Manslaughter differs from murder charges in that it is not accompanied by premeditation or malice and is based on circumstances that mitigate the crime (the death)Mitigating factors:Heat of the MomentImperfect” self-defense and necessity
Provocation and Heat of Passion All states provide for lesser charge of murderto voluntary manslaughter where an intentional killing occurs in the “heat of passion”Sufficient and Adequate Provocation: The provocation must be of such a nature and be so great as to overcome or suspend an ordinary person’s exercise of good judgmentThe circumstances “provoking” the killing must be such that a reasonable person would lose self-control which is determined by The Test of the Reasonable Person Cooling of the Bloodor reasonable time to cool off, is a factor that must be considered if there is an interval between the provocation and the killingIf the defendant had adequate time to “cool off” the provocation ceases to be a mitigating factorThird Party Provocation claim could be asserted to reduce a murder charge to manslaughter only if the victim was also the one doing the provocative acts
Imperfect Self-Defense or NecessityPerfect Self-Defense: The homicide is either justifiable or excusable, and it carries no criminal liabilityThe defendant must be free of fault in causing the confrontation and deadly force must be reasonableImperfect Self-Defense: A homicide in which the killer subjectively, but unreasonably, believes that his or her conduct was necessary or does not meet the requirements of Perfect Self-DefenseIt does not justify the killing, but mitigates the guilt of the defendant from murder to manslaughterBecause necessity or coercion is never a defenseto taking another’s life, such circumstances in many state statutes may reduce the crime to manslaughter
Involuntary ManslaughterNo intent to kill is necessary, but death occurs because of unlawful acts. Sometimes called unintentional or unlawful act manslaughterInvoluntary Manslaughter is often charged when extreme negligence, or wanton, or reckless conduct by the defendant brings about an unintended or accidental deathExtreme negligence and failure to act can constitute