Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 25, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952637 | Print ISBN: 9780761923879 | Online ISBN: 9781412952637| Publisher:Sage Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Homicide, or one human being killing another, is a general term that may refer to a noncriminal act as well as to the criminal act of murder or manslaughter. Scholars have classified homicides in many ways, including broad classifications using legal and motivational models. These classifications illustrate what for most societies is the most visible and notorious crime. According to the legal model, homicides divide into those that are nonfelonious and those that are felonious. Nonfelonious homicides, furthermore, may be justifiable or excusable. Justifiable homicides are completely justified, as when a judge sentences a criminal to death or when a jailor carries out a death sentence. In contrast, a person committing an excusable homicide is at fault to some degree but not enough to have committed a felonious homicide. There are two basic kinds of excusable homicides. First, misadventure occurs when there is death during the commission of an act, ...