Manslaughter vs. Murder

Difference Between Manslaughter and Murder

Murder and manslaughter can be differentiated on the basis of the intention behind them.  In manslaughter, the killer has no intention to kill the other person but he did so, while in murder a killer had intended to kill another person.

Manslaughter and murder are two words that are used interchangeably by the layman, yet forensics defines the two as distinct. Although the concept behind killing is same, it is the intention of killing that distinguishes the two. It is no surprise that the difficulty in differentiating between these two concepts on the basis of degrees of the killing has always been confusing. Popular forensic serials on TV, help science buffs separate them from each other.


Manslaughter is categorized in two forms, voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter. Under the voluntary manslaughter, the killer has no pre-planning to kill another person, but must kill to protect his own life as there is no other way out. It is present also as a murder “in the heat of the moment” such as when a victim wants to free themselves from a rapist. Involuntary manslaughter happens as an involuntary deed that again had no pre-planning but happened suddenly. This may be the result of a fight that erupted and one person unintentionally killed another person to protect himself. The intention of killing as in the voluntary manslaughter is not present in the involuntary manslaughter, but perhaps just happens due to a heavy blow to the victim’s body.

In manslaughter, the killer has no plans to kill someone and hide their bodies after the other person was killed.


When a killer comes with an intention to kill another person to death would be known as murder. This can be done in the most brutal manner as much possible and this type of murder is known as first degree murder. In this case, the killer comes with a comprehensive plan on how to kill the person, where and how to hide the body, how to protect fingerprints or hair or any form DNA falling to the crime scene and how to escape.

The difference between manslaughter and murder

The difference between manslaughter and murder is the intent of the killer. In manslaughter, the killer has no intention to kill the other person, but it just happens. In the murder, the killer comes with complete preparation with intent to kill another person in cold blood.

The sentence for someone committing these either crimes is differerent. Because manslaughter is not intentional, the sentence for manslaughter is less than for someone who has committed the murder.

In Short:

Although the two acts of murder are not excusable but manslaughter is always one degree below the murder. In both cases, the attackers must be committed based on evidence that is proved beyond reasonable doubt and such actions can’t be forgiven and as argued by the most, should be penalized in this way.



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