Is it? Have you watched double jeopardy? Or a perfect murder? That does not mean we encourage you to go on a homicide rampage, like in the movie Kill Bill. In this article, we will be merely discussing where the defense can be taken in cases where one is actually a victim rather than the murderer.
Criminal laws vary from one jurisdiction to other in the United States of America. “In most US jurisdictions there is a hierarchy of acts, known collectively as homicide, of which first-degree murder and felony murder are the most serious, followed by second-degree murder and, in a few states, third-degree murder, followed by voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter which are not as serious, followed by reckless homicide and negligent homicide which are the least serious, and ending finally in justifiable homicide, which is not a crime.” However, it is important to note that, with at least fifty-two jurisdictions, the law is simplified as each state has its own version of the criminal code. Sentencing also varies widely depending on the specific murder charge. “Life imprisonment” is a common penalty for first-degree murder, but its meaning varies widely.
Defining Murder & Other Crimes
Murder, or more accurately, Criminal Homicide, is the unlawful taking of the life of another. Murder is typically broken down further into several sub-categories; commonly first and second-degree murder. “First-degree murder is the most serious of all homicide charges and applies to the intentional killing of a person after planning (or premeditation). It requires malice (evil intent) and forethought (planning). These cases are usually considered among the most heinous crimes and as such, the most severe punishments are reserved for them including life in prison or the death penalty. Second-degree murder, on the other hand, usually applies to cases in which the killing may have been intentional but was not premeditated. These are often referred to as “crimes of passion.”
The charge of manslaughter is reserved for instances where the accused did not plan the crime, nor did he or she intend for the victim to die because of his or her actions. A common example is a fatal car accident, particularly when the victim is a pedestrian.”
It is interesting to note that, The federal Unborn Victims of Violence Act, enacted in 2004 and codified at 18 U.S. Code § 1841, allows for a fetus to be treated as a victim of crimes. Subsection (c) of that statute specifically prohibits prosecutions related to consented abortions and medical treatments. “The concept of justifiable homicide in criminal law is a defense to culpable homicide (criminal or negligent homicide). Generally, there is a burden of production of exculpatory evidence in the legal defense of justification. In most countries, a homicide is justified when there is sufficient evidence to disprove (under the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard for criminal charges, and “preponderance of evidence” standard for claims of wrongdoing, i.e., civil liability) the alleged criminal act or wrongdoing. The key to this legal defense is that it was reasonable for the subject to believe that there was an imminent and otherwise unavoidable danger of death or grave bodily harm to the innocent by the deceased when they committed the homicide.” In these cases, a homicide is therefore innocent, or you cannot hold the person committing the said act guilty.
An act that is committed due to the “heat of the moment”, like a jealous husband killing the former lover of his wife. A crime like this will not be considered justified. This is on the understanding that certain or all human beings at one point in case suddenly or unexpectedly lose their temper. When an act or spoken words are deliberately done or said to provoke or to catch a reaction. As such decisions in certain jurisdictions differ on whether such instances should be permitted to forgo liability or simply alleviate to a less significant offense such as manslaughter. A good lawyer sure knows which defenses to be used under which circumstances. In Common law jurisdictions, incitement is a one-sided defense that induces what would have been murder into manslaughter.
Naturally. In instances where an act is committed in pure self-defense and the same can be proved, then there are instances where the rulings of a Court might be different. In any other case, a homicide might be deemed reasonable if it is committed to preventing a further crime from happening that is very grave or serious in nature. These crimes usually include rape, armed robbery, manslaughter, or murder. The victim must reasonably believe, under the totality of the circumstances, that the assailant intended to commit a criminal act that would likely result in the death or life-threatening injury of an innocent person. A homicide performed out of vengeance, retribution for action in the past, or in pursuit of a “fleeing felon” (except under specific circumstances) would not be considered justifiable.
For more information regarding this article, contact @Layman Litigation.
 Murder (United States law) - Wikipedia  Cohen, Thomas H.; Reaves, Bryan A. (February 1, 2006). "Felony Defendants in Large Urban Counties, 2002". Bureau of Justice Statistics. U.S. Department of Justice. Retrieved September 10, 2017.  Murder Law - HG.org  Refer Above Footnote.  "18 U.S. Code § 1841 – Protection of unborn children". Legal Information Institute. Cornell Law School. Retrieved May, 13th 2022.  Justifiable homicide - Wikipedia