Thursday, February 11, 2016

Intent in Murder

Murder is the intentional killing of another human being.

The key is intention – an action that results in the death of another person without intent is homicide and can be manslaughter (a very serious crime) but it is not murder.

The Criminal Code provides:

Culpable homicide is murder

(a) where the person who causes the death of a human being

(i) means to cause his death, or

(ii) means to cause him bodily harm that he knows is likely to cause his death, and is reckless whether death ensues or not;

Notice it is possible to commit murder without caring one way or the other if someone dies but you have to knowingly cause bodily harm that you know is likely to lead to death.

Now murder comes in two forms – first and second degree. The both carry a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment but parol is easier and more rapidly available for second degree murder. That said in both cases there must be the intention to kill.

You cannot be convicted of murder in Canada unless you have the specific intent for murder.

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