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Criminal LawText, Cases, and Materials

Criminal Law: Text, Cases, and Materials (10th edn)

Jonathan Herring
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date: 30 November 2023

p. 2205. Homicidelocked

p. 2205. Homicidelocked

  • Jonathan HerringJonathan HerringProfessor of Law, Exeter College, Oxford


This chapter discusses homicide in the criminal law, which can be divided into the following categories: murder, manslaughter, infanticide, and a number of specific offences concerned with causing death while driving—with the first two categories being by far the most important. It considers suicide pacts, mercy killing, and euthanasia; homicide statistics; non-homicide killings; and diminished responsibility. Significant academic and political energy is put into homicide law, considering the relatively few homicide offences that take place each year. What this reveals is that the law’s approach to homicide has great symbolic importance in both political and legal terms.

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