Voluntary and Involuntary Manslaughter

Voluntary Manslaughter

- It is not a specific charge in itself but rather arises from a charge of murder to which a special and partial defence has been pleaded.

- They are called special since they may only be pleaded in defence to murder and partial because if successful results not in acquittal but in a conviction for manslaughter.

- This allows the judge to exercise discretion in choosing the appropriate sentence.

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Involuntary Manslaughter

- D does not have the mens rea for murder

- 'the unlawful killing of a human being under the Queen's Peace without malice aforethought'

- Developed through common law

- The maximum sentence is life imprisonment, the judge has discretion, so may even pass a non-custodial sentence.

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