Last Updated: November 19, 2023

What is the difference between murder and homicide?

In the broadest sense, “homicide” refers to any killing of a human being. In legal terminology, “murder” generally involves an intentional and unlawful killing of a human being. Utah’s definition of “criminal homicide” includes: aggravated murder; murder; manslaughter; child abuse homicide; homicide by assault; negligent homicide; and negligently operating a…

In the broadest sense, “homicide” refers to any killing of a human being. In legal terminology, “murder” generally involves an intentional and unlawful killing of a human being.

Utah’s definition of “criminal homicide” includes: aggravated murder; murder; manslaughter; child abuse homicide; homicide by assault; negligent homicide; and negligently operating a vehicle resulting in death.

Each of these crimes are defined by statute and include distinct individual elements in addition to the death of a person. Key differences usually include the actor’s intent (reckless, negligence, intent, etc.) and the circumstances under which the death occurred.

Penalties for criminal homicide can range from the death penalty or life in prison without parole for aggravated murder, to much lesser penalties in cases involving unintentional or accidental death caused by negligent conduct.

Originally Published: November 19, 2023

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