What is the Law on Manslaughter in Maryland and What are the Punishments for it?
This piece provides an understanding through the intricacies of the meaning of Manslaughter, it's major types, levels/ degrees of manslaughter and the penalties for committing manslaughter in Maryland, a mid- Atlantic region of U.S. state.
Meaning: The term Manslaughter can be defined as an illicit, heinous, deliberate act of killing a human being by the other, in the absence of a malice motive. The term manslaughter is also presented and defined under the common law system.
Manslaughter is considered as an extremely serious offense in most of the countries across the globe. Manslaughter is considered different from murder as the latter is marked by the presence of malice motive. The blameworthiness is less in manslaughter and it is considered less severe on moral grounds as first mentioned by Draco, a legislator from Athens in 7th century BC.
Major types of Manslaughter: (1) Voluntary manslaughter: The manslaughter that occurs when an individual provokes another individual to a degree that is adequate enough to provoke a normal person to lose his calm and self-control and kill another one is called voluntary manslaughter.
In this, the crime is not planned in advance. It is more of a crime done in a sudden heat of the moment such as killing a burglar by a woman during a house robbery.
(2) Involuntary manslaughter: The manslaughter in which an individual kills another in absence of any intention is called involuntary manslaughter. It can further be classified into
• Constructive manslaughter: A killing without intent while committing a prohibited act further resulting in killing and thus the person constructively gets guilty of manslaughter too is called constructive manslaughter. A person trying to disobey the civil laws indulges in a fight with another person or peace officer and kills them.
• Criminally negligent manslaughter: When a person due to carelessness or not discharging their duty well, kills another person comes under criminally negligent manslaughter. Such as a doctor who doesn't treat the patient well and the patient dies because of it.
• Manslaughter by the vehicles or dosages of toxins/poison/venom
Levels of manslaughter: Under the laws of various countries, manslaughter is seen usually under different levels called degrees. Commonly, three levels of manslaughter are as follows
A) First-degree Manslaughter: A person with the direct intention of killing a person or injuring a person seriously comes under the first-degree manslaughter.
B) Second-degree Manslaughter: A person when kills another person thoughtlessly or hastily comes under second-degree manslaughter.
C) Aggravated second-degree manslaughter: A person when kills another person thoughtlessly or hastily who's a peace officer or an officer appointed by the government and discharging his duties.
What are the general laws for manslaughter in Maryland?
Maryland Criminal Law Article Section 2-207 defines Manslaughter in the law of Maryland. Manslaughter in Maryland is considered as common law and can be either voluntary or involuntary, on the basis of whether it was deliberate or not.
Involuntary manslaughter is considered as accidental manslaughter caused by an individual's negligence. The most typical form of involuntary manslaughter is vehicular killing due to driving a car, motorbike, boat, or any other vessel due to negligence without giving any major thought. Maryland lacks the laws including killings caused by driving under the influence of alcohol.
The killing of another individual through gross inattention or criminal inattention behavior includes operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol/drugs, rash driving, or other behavior that pose serious threats to human life. Voluntary manslaughter is a killing marked by intention on the basis of adequate provocation that would result in killing in the sudden heat of the moment.
Penalties and punishments concerned with manslaughter in Maryland:
The law of Maryland takes criminal offenses seriously and the accused is subjected to the punishment accordingly. As a result of this, the following are the punishments decided by the law for the offenses:
Voluntary Manslaughter results in either up to 10 years in jail or up to 2 years in jail and a $500 monetary fine. Involuntary Manslaughter results in punishment up to 10 years in jail and a $500 monetary fine.
• Vehicular manslaughter with gross inattention is an offense that can be punished by up to 10 years in jail and a $5,000 monetary fine or both.
• Vehicular manslaughter with criminal inattention is an offense that can be punished by up to 3 years in jail and a monetary fine up to $5,000.