manslaughter,n. The unlawful killing of a human being without malice aforethought. — Also termed (in some jurisdictions) culpable homicide. Cf. MURDER. [Cases: Homicide 654.] — manslaughter,vb.

first-degree manslaughter.See voluntary manslaughter. intentional manslaughter.See voluntary manslaughter.

involuntary manslaughter.Homicide in which there is no intention to kill or do grievous bodily harm, but that is committed with criminal negligence or during the commission of a crime not included within the felony-murder rule. — Also termed negligent manslaughter; second-degree manslaughter; manslaughter in the second degree.Cf. ACCIDENTAL KILLING.

[Cases: Homicide 659.]

“Involuntary manslaughter is a ‘catch-all’ concept. It includes all manslaughter not characterized as voluntary.” Rollin M. Perkins & Ronald N. Boyce, Criminal Law 104 (3d ed.


“The only differences between the legal use and the everyday use of ‘voluntary,’ ‘not voluntary,’ and ‘involuntary’ seem to be (a) a more frequent use of ‘involuntary’ as a synonym of ‘not voluntary’ and (b) a technical use of ‘involuntary’ in the crime of ‘involuntary manslaughter,’ where it seems to have the meaning of ‘unintentional.’ Thus, as contrasted with ‘voluntary manslaughter,’ there is no suggestion that death, as contrasted with harm, was intended or foreseen. Though it is often confined to cases of assault and battery where death results, for example either from the withholding of food or from excessive chastisement of a child, some jurists say that it can be due to any unlawful and dangerous action causing death.” Alan R. White, Grounds of Liability 61–62 (1985).

manslaughter in the first degree.See voluntary manslaughter. manslaughter in the second degree.See involuntary manslaughter.

misdemeanor manslaughter.Unintentional homicide that occurs during the commission of a

misdemeanor (such as a traffic violation).

negligent manslaughter.See involuntary manslaughter. second-degree manslaughter.See involuntary manslaughter.

voluntary manslaughter.An act of murder reduced to manslaughter because of extenuating circumstances such as adequate provocation (arousing the “heat of passion”) or diminished capacity. — Also termed intentional manslaughter; first-degree manslaughter; manslaughter in the first degree.[Cases: Homicide 658.]

[Blacks Law 8th]