Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    A killing of one person by another. See 10 Mich. 212, 81 Am. Dec. 781.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    The killing of any human creature, 4 Bl. Comm. 177. The killing of one human being by the act, procurement or omission of another. Pen. Code N. Y. § 179. The act of a human being in taking away the life of another human being. Sanders v. State, 113 Ga. 267, 38 S. E. 842; People v. Hill, 49 Hun. 432, 3 N. Y. Supp. 564; Maher v. People, 10 Mich. 212, 81 Am. Dee, 781; State v. Lodge, 9 Houst (Del.) 542, 33 Atl. 312; Com. v. Webster, 5 Cush. (Mass.) 303, 52 Am. Dec. 711. Homicide is not necessarily a crime. It is a necessary ingredient of the crimes of murder and manslaughter, but there are other cases in which homicide may be committed without criminal intent and without criminni consequences, as, where it is done in the lawful execution of a judicial sentence, in self-defense, or as the only possible means of arresting an escaping felon. The term "homicide" is neutral; while it describes the act, it pronounces no judgment on its moral or legal quality. See People v. Connors, 13 Misc. Rep. 582, 35 N. Y. Supp. 475. Classification. Homicide is ordinarily classified as "justifiable," "excusable," and "felonious." For the definition of these terms, and of some other compound terms, see infra.
    —Culpable homicide. Described as a crime varying from the very lowest culpability, up to the very verge of murder. Lord Moncrieff, Ark-ley, 72.
    —Excusable homicide. The killing of a human being, either by misadvenfure or in self-defense. U. S. v. King (C. C.) 34 Fed. 306; Slate v. Miller, 9 Houst. (Del.) 564, 32 Atl. 137 ; State v. Reynolds, 42 Kan. 320, 22 Pac. 410, 16 Am. St. Rep. ,483; Hopkinson v. People. 18 111. 265; Bassett v. State, 44 Fla. 2, 33 South. 264. The name itself imports some fault, error, or omission, so trivial, however, that the law excuses it from guilt of felony-, though in strictness it judges it deserving of some little degree of punishment. 4 Bl. Comm. 182. It is of two sorts,
    —either per infortunium, by misadvenfure, or se defendendo, upon a sudden affray. Homicide per infortunium is where a man, doing a lawful act, without any intention of hurt, unfortunately kills another; but, if death ensue from any unlawful act, the offense is manslaughter, and not misadventure. Homicide se defendendo is where a man kills another upon a sudden affray, merely in his own defense, or in defense of his wife, child, parent, or servant, and not from any vindictive feeling. 4 Bl. Comm. 182.
    —Felonious homicide. The wrongful killing of a human being, of any age or either sex, without justification or excuse in law; of which offense there are two degrees, manslaughter and murder. 4 Bl. Comm. 190; 4 Steph. Comm. 111.
    —Homicide hy misadventure. The accidental killing of another, where the slayer is doing a lawful act, unaccompanied by any criminally careless or reckless conduct. State v. Miller, 9 Houst (Del.) 564, 32 Atl. 137; U. S. v. Meagher (C. C.) 37 Fed. 879. The same as "homicide per infortunium."
    —Homicide per infortunium. Homicide by misfortune, or accidental homicide ; as where a man doing a lawful act, without any intention of hurt, unfortunately kills another; a species of excusable homicide. 4 Bl. Comm. 182; 4 Steph. Comm. 101.
    —Homicide se defendendo. Homicide in self-defense ; the killing of a person in self-defense upon a sudden affray, where the slayer had no other possible (or, at least, probable) means of escaping from his assailant. 4 Bl. Comm. 183186; 4 Steph. Comm. 103-105. A species of excusable homicide. Id.; 1 Russ. Crimes, 660,
    —Justifiable homicide. Such as is committed intentionally, but without any evil design, and under such circumstances of necessity or duty as render the act proper, and relieve the party from any shadow of blame ; as where a sheriff lawfully executes a sentence of death upon a malefactor, or where the killing takes place in the endeavor to prevent the commission of felony which could not be otherwise avoided Moran v. Peoria, 163 III. 382, 45 N. E. 230; Kilpatrick v. Com., 3 Phila. (Pa.) 238; State v. Miller, 9 Houst (Del.) 564, 32 Atl. 137 ; Richardson v. State, 7 Tex. App. 493.
    —Negligent homicide. In Texas, the act of causing the death of another by negligence and carelessness in the performance of a lawful act. Anderson v. Slate, 27 Tex. App. 177, 11 S. W. 33, 3 In R. A. 644, 11 Am. St. Rep. 189; Pen. Code Tex. art 579.