Justifiable Homicide

Definition - What does Justifiable Homicide mean?

A justifiable homicide is a homicide that is committed by someone who is judged not to be criminally liable for the homicide. However, state laws and the exact circumstances surrounding the killing determine if it is excusable or not.

Classic examples of justifiable homicide include killing in self-defense or a killing committed by the police that was necessary in the line of duty.

Justifiable homicide is different to homicide under mitigating circumstances.

Justipedia explains Justifiable Homicide

The development of a legal classification for justifiable homicide springs from the cultural understanding that there are times when killing another human being is justified.

For example, when a person reasonably fears that their life is in danger from an attacker, and reasonably believes that killing the attacker is the only way to save themselves, the attacker’s death may be deemed a justifiable homicide. In this example, the person acting in reasonable self-defense would not be guilty of a crime.

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