What is the Difference between Homicide and Murder? (FAQs)

There is a lot of confusion between Homicide, murder, and manslaughter as distinct criminal offenses.

To make matters worse, there are a legal phrase like “felony murder” that can be also confusing. In the end, all murders are acts of violence against the nature of humanity.

This article helps to clarify the difference between Homicide and Murder.

What is Murder?

Murder is the unjustified killing of another person for no good reason, and especially the unjustified killing of another person with bad intentions.

Depending on where you live, this state of mind may be what makes murder different from other types of illegal killing, like manslaughter.

What is Homicide?

A homicide occurs when someone kills another person. Legal and illegal killings fall under this umbrella term. It’s not a crime if a soldier kills another soldier in combat, for example.

Killing another person is not always a felony in certain circumstances. Therefore, the distinction between murder and manslaughter is the difference between an illegal and a legal killing.

Types of Murder

1. First-degree murder:

First-degree murder crime or first-degree murder is one in which the victim’s death results from a premeditated, deliberate, and intentional act.

For a crime to be considered first-degree murder, there must be key elements: wilfulness, deliberation, and premeditation.

2. Second-degree murder:

Second-degree murder is defined by actions that lead to death without aforethought.

Second-degree murder generally refers to intentional killings that do not qualify as first-degree murder.

For example, if a woman gets into a fight with a market ticket seller and then kills him with a piece of broken glass after the fight, this is second-degree murder.

Read also: Difference between 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree Murders? (FAQs)

Penalty For Murder

For murder, many states have mandatory minimum punishments. 

First-degree murder carries a mandatory minimum sentence typically higher than second-degree murder sentences.

First-degree murderers who are found guilty may also face the death penalty. 

Many states and the federal government still use the death penalty. 

The maximum punishment for those who don’t is Life Without Parole Sentencing (LWOP). 

Second-degree murder defendants frequently receive a sentence of years in prison instead of a life sentence.

Read more:

Why Do People Kill

Humans are the only species that kill themselves for reasons beyond just survival. High cases of murder like the bombers or serial killers are very far from the norm.

There is always a flock of warnings that surface before any killing occurs. The issue is that many people are blind to these little details. Here are some of the reasons people kill:

1. Drugs and alcohol involvement:

The use of drugs and alcohol is one of the most frequent high-risk behaviors linked to violence in the United States.

NB: Criminal activity and violence are often fueled by the use of alcoholic drinks. Overindulgence in alcoholic drinks can weaken inhibitions, impair judgment, and increase the likelihood of aggressive conduct.

2. Domestic Violence:

To put it simply, domestic abuse is a pattern of behavior intended to establish or retain power and control over a partner in a domestic relationship.

When your partner insists on having the final say in everything, when your partner yells at you, when your partner calls you names, these are all warning signs that almost all domestic violence cases involve.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Difference between Homicide and Murder:

What is the most terrifying true crime case?

The Zodiac killer.
The Taman Shud case.
Tara Calico case.
The severed feet mystery.

Who is the biggest serial killer ever?

Dr. Harold Shipman

What makes serial killers tick?

The killer is driven by a desire to cruelly manipulate the lives of those he targets. Here, murder is committed for reasons other than “profit.” The murderer may see the victim’s death as a “symbolic” opportunity.

How are murderers made?

Psychological or physical abuse, dysfunctional families, or emotionally distant or absent parents are all common childhood traumas among serial killers. There is a common thread running through the stories of most serial killers: trauma. Their emotional response has been suppressed because of this trauma.


The above shows a big difference between Homicide and murder. Both are out rightly wrong and should be avoided as the penalty might be grievous and likely to end in the death penalty.

Avoiding unnecessary drama that will lead to any of the above vices is the key to staying alive.

Awesome one; I hope this article answered your question.

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ST Admin
ST Admin

Hello, I am ST Admin! For five years, I began actively assisting students in Europe, the United States, and Canada in their pursuit of college advice and scholarship prospects. I am the Administrator of www.schoolandtravel.com at present.

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