Not all murders are intentional.
A few of the murders that are reported on the news are often not intentional, but as a result of self defence or human negligence. That doesn’t make it any less a crime, of course, a person lost their life because of you. You will be punished.
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Involuntary manslaughter refers to murders that are unintentional, and are as a result of human negligence or recklessness. For instance, if a person is driving under influence and runs over a grown man crossing the street. This is a typical example of involuntary manslaughter, and an example of involuntary vehicular manslaughter- we’ll discuss more in detail later in this article.
Even though the crime has been done, a person has been killed, still, cases of involuntary manslaughter are cut some slack on the basis of intent. The person didn’t intend to kill the other person, but somehow the circumstances were against him and the act was done.
Voluntary manslaughter is where a murderer intends to kill someone for their personal motive or gain, like a serial killer. Of course, the punishment and years in prison are more harsh than a person who didn’t intend to commit manslaughter.
Involuntary Vehicular Manslaughter
Involuntary vehicular manslaughter is basically when a person is behind the wheel and unintentionally kills someone on the road, or in another vehicle. The most common reasons for this are drunk driving or the driver being heavily intoxicated on drugs, that they lost control of the vehicle and caused damage on the road. Moreover, a driver could fall asleep while driving, or using their phone where they’re distracted and hit someone on the road.
Involuntary Manslaughter Examples
The most typical example of involuntary manslaughter is driving under influence– a person who is heavily intoxicated runs over someone on the street. Even though drunk driving is a crime in itself, this act is sided with involuntary manslaughter because of the clean intention of the driver.
Another example is texting and driving. A teenage driver is texting on her phone and is distracted, so she hits a car on the road. The other driver dies on the spot. This would be involuntary manslaughter.
A doctor treating his patient forgets to check air vessels, and the patient in the hospital dies due to loss of oxygen. The doctor could be charged with involuntary manslaughter, because the doctor didn’t intend to kill the patient. Since he was negligent on his part, the patient died.
Involuntary Manslaughter Cases
On March 15, 2015, Jason Kimmel, Sr. was driving recklessly and erratically when he lost control and crashed. Kimmel’s friend, Keith Sun Bear, was killed when he was thrown out of the vehicle. Kimmel’s blood alcohol concentration was .345- more than four times the legal limit.
Because the victim was a Native American, the case fell into the purview of the federal legal system. A federal grand jury indicted Kimmel on charges of involuntary manslaughter only a few weeks later. The man pled guilty in the death of his friend, and was sentenced to two years in prison, followed by two years probation.
Michael Jackson’s doctor, Dr. Conrad Murray, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in 2011. The dose of the drug propofol that Dr. Murray gave to Jackson caused his death. Dr. Murray administered the drug but did not realize his actions would result in the death of the singer. During the trial, the prosecution argued that it was Dr. Murray’s reckless treatment of Jackson that ultimately led to his death.
Involuntary manslaughter can occur in several different situations involving drugs. A mother, Stephanie Greene in South Carolina was taking narcotics and then breastfed her child while on narcotics, and the baby passed away as a result of a drug overdose. The drugs passed from the mother to the child through the breast milk. The mother, Miss Greene, was convicted in April of 2014 for involuntary manslaughter with 20 years in prison.
In 2010, Mehserle was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in state court after he accidentally drew his pistol instead of his stun gun and fatally shot an unarmed man. At the time of his conviction, he received a two-year prison sentence. California’s sentencing guidelines mandated a two- to four-year sentence.
Morgan was found guilty in federal court of killing a man while driving recklessly and under the influence of alcohol in 2011. He was charged in federal court because the killing took place on federal land. At the time of his conviction, he was sentenced to a 12-month prison term and three years’ of supervised release.
Involuntary Manslaughter Sentence
Although involuntary manslaughter sentences differ among the states, the crime is usually treated as a felony at both the federal and state level. This means that it can be punished by at least 12 months imprisonment, fines and probation, among other sentences.
The base sentence for involuntary manslaughter under federal sentencing guidelines is a 10 to 16 month prison sentence, which increases if the crime was committed through an act of negligence. The minimum sentence for involuntary vehicular manslaughter is higher still, although judges may use a certain amount of discretion in those cases.
In federal court, an involuntary manslaughter charge can result in a sentence of imprisonment for one to six years, while many states provide for a range of sentences depending on the severity of the negligence or the underlying misdemeanor.
One of the most significant aggravating factors is intoxication. For instance, for an individual who has previously been convicted of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, the California Penal Code imposes a sentence of 15 years to life in prison, and some jurisdictions additionally impose restrictions on parole.
In Ohio, those found guilty of vehicular manslaughter can face imprisonment for up to 90 days and a suspension of their drivers’ license for up to three years. However, if the driver did not have a valid license or had any prior convictions for similar offenses, they could instead face six months in jail. In many other states, vehicular manslaughter penalties can depend on the specifics of the case.
Involuntary manslaughter is when a person unintentionally kills another person due to negligence on his part. In such cases, the punishment is a little lighter and less harsh than a voluntary manslaughter or serial killing.
The average imprisonment is from 6 months up to 6 years- depending on the state and the magnitude of the crime. There have been numerous cases of involuntary manslaughter throughout history and how the criminal was punished under the law.