What is the Law on manslaughter in Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island, a U.S. state in New England.
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: A manslaughter has the following major types:
(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 :
(a) 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.
(b)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.
(c) 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 Manslaughters: A person with the direct intention of killing a person or injuring a person seriously comes under the first-degree manslaughter.
(B) Second-degree Manslaughters: A person when kills another person thoughtlessly or hastily comes under second-degree manslaughter.
(a) 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 Rhode Island?
Rhode Island Code section Title 11-23-3 defines manslaughter and the further two broad categories of manslaughter as mentioned in the law of Rhode Island. It defines manslaughter as the killing of somebody by another person either deliberately or accidentally.
The involuntary manslaughter according to the law of Rhode island is not a planned killing of a person but occurs in haste or in the absence of giving major thought to it. The voluntary manslaughter is the deliberate, carefully planned, brutal killing of the victim. In a classic case of adultery where a husband kills his wife after he catches her cheating on him crimes under voluntary manslaughter.
Penalties and punishments concerned with manslaughter in Rhode Island:
The law of Rhode Island takes manslaughter as a serious offense and is subjected to the punishment accordingly. As a result of this, the following are the punishments decided by the law for the manslaughter in this U.S. state:
(A) The person guilty of manslaughter is served with a total of 30 years or life in jail.
(B) They are subjected to formal and informal trials.
(C) The law hinders with the right of the accused to keep arms even in self-protection.
(D) The penalty in the form of monetary charges, or in the form of fines as decided by law. Apart from this, elements that influence sentence of the accused include the severity and kind of weapon used; their criminal record; their purpose to do so; and other factors.
Another bill came in 2012 by the Judiciary Committee related to the penalties and punishments in case of involuntary manslaughter, according to which a person is accused of a particular offense and then the offense of misusing the firearm too then he/she will be punished for more than one life sentence. This was the amendment done under this bill in the law of Rhode Island.