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Homicide (Latin homicidium, homo human being + caedere to cut, kill) refers to the act of killing another human being.[1] It can also describe a person who has committed such an act, though this use is rare in modern English. Homicide is not always an illegal act.

Homicidal crimes

Criminal homicide is a malum in se crime, and every legal system contains some form of prohibition or regulation of criminal homicide.

Homicidal crimes in some criminal jurisdictions include:

Many forms of homicide have their own term based on the person being killed.

Non-criminal homicide

Main article: Justifiable homicide

Homicides do not always involve a crime. Sometimes the law allows homicide by allowing certain defenses to criminal charges. One of the most recognized is self defense, which provides that a person is entitled to commit homicide to protect his or her own life from a deadly attack.

Some defenses include:

State-sanctioned homicide

Homicides may also be non-criminal when conducted with the sanction of the state. The most obvious example is capital punishment, in which the state determines that a person should die, but homicides committed during war are usually not subject to criminal prosecution as well.


Part of this article consists of modified text from Wikipedia, and the article is therefore licensed under GFDL.