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Numbers 35:15-29[edit]

Numbers 35:15-29 is the legal trial of the accused manslayer and the legal judgment. Just thought this might be important in the religion part. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Glorthac (talkcontribs) 19:34, 20 December 2008 (UTC)


The statistical entries on prevalence of murder in various countries are presently scattered throughout the article. I'd suggest they'd be better gathered into one section, perhaps in a wikitable. Comments? LeadSongDog 14:32, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Does this link belong in this article?[edit]

The very last external link, Murder Capital of the World. - Pop Rock Band from Boston, does not seem to belong in this article on the crime. I'm not removing it in case its inclusion was previously discussed but could someone else involved in this article take a look at it? Thanks, CWPappas 04:57, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

I removed it as spam. Bearian 19:36, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Third degree murder[edit]

Can someone clarify this in the Murder#Degrees of murder section? It appears to be rather vague, and I can seem to imagine any "other murder" that wouldn't already be classified in the first two degrees. Is it a result of my ignorance in the matter of murder classification, or is the claim in need of assessment/improvement?--C.Logan 00:44, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Clean up[edit]

I was bold. I edited out lots of extra verbiage, and added cites and tags. Bearian 19:35, 16 October 2007 (UTC)


Just in case anyone else see this, it is a parody: Man Sentenced To 3 Months Probation For 17th-Degree Murder, 'The Onion, October 16, 2007, retrieved 10/17/07 [1]. Bearian 19:26, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Abortion See Also, II[edit]

I have removed the link to abortion from the See Also section for the following reason: abortion is currently legal in the USA and most of the western world. Thus, it does not fit the stated definition at the beginning of the article. Whether or not you personally believe it should be illegal has no bearing on whether it currently is or not. Having the link in the See Also section strongly implies that abortion is an instance of murder, which it is not, under current legal codes. WP is not a political battleground (or shouldn't be, at least), so don't reinsert it until the government(s) converge on its illegality. 05:39, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. Linking abortion is merely pushing someone's own point of view.—Esurnir 00:10, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure I understand the logic. Abortion is not legal worldwide, under current legal codes. And in legal localations, it is by no means a fringe concept that abortion is a "form of murder." Additionally, abortion as fetal homicide is addressed directly in the article. Abeall (talk) 17:59, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Most of the SEE ALSO topics are forms of murder: matricide, deicide, etc. Abortion isn't a form of murder. So it doesn't fit in with that group. The other group is things having to do with murder: killology, capital punishment, etc. So it doesn't fit in with that group. It is good that it is in the article, that makes it clearer that it isn't needed in the SEE ALSO section. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:43, 7 January 2011 (UTC)


I propose to archive the talk page which become excessively long up to the Statistic section. Is there anyone who think we should do something else or do you agree ?—Esurnir 00:14, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Undeclared POV?[edit]

The introduction, and specifically the section beginning Legal Analysis of Murder seems to be written from a specifically American point of view (is the "felony/murder doctrine" used more widely?), but there's nothing to indicate this in the text; it appears to be implying that this legal analysis is generally appropriate, regardless of jurisdiction. There's a vague mention of Common Law, but that applies to most of the Commonwealth, as well as to America. I'm not 100% sure that this doesn't apply to Common Law jurisdictions in general, but if someone who knows more than m could see if they think it needs a rewrite... --wintermute (talk) 21:06, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

The Legal Analysis of Murder section takes the English common law approach to murder. Roughly 2/3 of US states have changed the definition of murder to a variation of the following:

Model Penal Code. Part II. Definition of Specific Crimes. Offenses Involving Danger to the Person. Article 210. Criminal Homicide.

210.1 Criminal Homicide (1)A person is guitly of criminal homicide if he purposely, knowingly, recklessly or negligently causes the death of another human being. (2)Criminal homicide is murder, manslaughter or negligent homicide 210.2 Murder (1)Except "a homicide...committed under the influence of extreme mental or emotional disturbance for which there is reasonable explanation or excuse," criminal homicide constitutes murder when: (a)it is committed purposely or knowingly; or (b)it is committed recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life. Such recklessness and indifference are presumed if the actor is engaged or is an accomplice in the commission of, or an attempt to commit, or flight after committing or attempting to commit robbery, rape or deviate sexual intercourse by force or threat of force, arson burglary, kidnapping or felonious escape.

2.02.(2)(a)Purposely. A person acts purposely with respect to a material element of an offense when:(i)if the element involves the nature of his conduct or a result thereof, it is his conscious object to engage in conduct of that nature or to cause such result; (b)Knowingly. A person acts knowingly with respect to a material element of an offense when: (i)if the element involves the nature of his conduct, he is aware that it is practically certain that his conduct will cause such a result; (c) Recklessly. A person acts recklessly with respect to a material element of an offense when he consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the material element exists or will result from his conduct. The risk must be of such a nature and degree that, considering the nature and purpose of the actor's conduct and the circumstances known to him, its disregard involves a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a law-abiding person would observe in the actor's situation.

That is the uniform example of the definition of murder in the majority of U.S. jurisdictions. A reckless homicide that does not manifest extreme indifference to human life is manslaughter. Notice the absence of "malice aforethought" in the Model Penal Code definition. Murder is an English word that had a very specific definition at common law. That definition is represented here. Technically, any discussion of "murder" in a non-English common law system should be described as "criminal homicide." Criminal homicide is the neutral term. Because this is an article about murder, the English common law definition is appropriate and is intrinsically a world wide view of the English term. While some may prefer the U.S. definition here, the general term is more useful to English speakers wishing to know how native English speakers handle their homicides. The specifics of murder vary greatly among jurisdictions. The U.S. has 52+ definitions with 2/3 adopting variations of the above. The general definition given is sufficient and does not overly confuse the issue by discussing the differences around the world. Legis Nuntius (talk) 04:19, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Murder outside of real-life[edit]

The topic of murder figures large in fiction (just ask Miss Marple), movies, et cetera. Some mention of the subject should be made, even if it's just a link to another article.LeadSongDog (talk) 22:34, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Neutrality background/murder in the Bible[edit]

This section needs a NPOV for two reasons

  • It disputes early translations of the bible such as the Latin vulgate. The number of Orthodox Christian religions including Catholics, which use the "early translations" exceed 1 billion. this is obviously a Protestant/Orthodox issue and unnecessary to a legal article on murder.
  • The section is entitled "Background", when it is essentially Murder in Abrahamic tradition. The 12 commandments is not the first instance of murder as a crime. Murder in the bible is not the background. Western cultures rejected the eye for an eye theory by grading murders. Manslaughter or negligent homicide would necessarily require execution under eye for an eye. Supreme Court Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes among others identified this distinction. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Legis Nuntius (talkcontribs) 15:19, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
I've attempted to clean this up some, but it still needs work, especially because it completely lacks any Jewish or Islamic interpretation: does it differ substantially? How? Also NPOV would demand comparable paras for other major religions' prohibitions.LeadSongDog (talk) 22:26, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
I've changed the section name, but can't see any instances of it disputing the Latin vulgate translation (all it's doing at the moment is anylysing it) so someone must already have fixed that. Smartguy777 (talk) 07:04, 29 April 2008 (UTC).
  • In the Abrahamic relgions, God commits murder on a regular basis and orders his followers to do it as well. That leads to some ambiguity. It should be made clear that when God commits a murder or orders it done, followers of the religion don't consider it murder.

Opening Blurb[edit]

i added this '(and often the most serious)' but please feel free to remove if you think it is too messy (talk) 13:46, 26 January 2008 (UTC)


The article is rather unclear as in my opinion too often the word 'murder'is used where it should be 'killing' or 'homicide'. Definitions like "it is or is not murder if the murderer....." That already implies that it is a murder otherwise there would be no murderer. Also, I get the feeling that the definitions of murder in the article regarding the USA, do not differentiate clearly enough with 'manslaugther' The general definition of murder in this article is 'with Malice aforethought'(which basically is 'intent') whereas 'manslaugther' (in it's own article) can also be with intent (voluntary manslaugther).

As such, the section on murder in the netherlands -though largely correct in its own right- combines discusion of the two: "Murder" is planned and with the intention to kill, whereas 'doodslag' (literally 'deadbeating') sees the intent to kill at th every moment but without planning. 'doodslag' therefore could indeed be compared to 'voluntary manslaugther' but the two systems do not fully cover eachother. [ed] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:58, 7 February 2008 (UTC) Article

List of notable murders?[edit]

If there is a list of notable suicides, why isn't there a list of notable murders? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Saberwolf116 (talkcontribs) 23:42, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Because the truly notable ones are the ones who never get caught. (talk) 20:54, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

i agree-- a list of notable murder cases will provide a useful background-- the case histories will allow a clarification of the usage of the term, as well as potential disagreements in formal argumentation regarding the differences 'murder', 'manslaughter', as well as the issues of premeditation and intent-- in some cases, the issue of intent is questionable, in others-- the issue of premeditation-- as in, killings in self-defese, 'crimes of passion' (which lack premeditation and therefore fall under some other category?)-- such a list would be very useful. --narkeus. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:43, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

Statute of limitations[edit]

I know that, for my for my own jurisdiction, there is no limitation on the time in which the state can bring a murder charge. My impression is this is generally true for jurisdictions in the U.S.A. Even if only some jurisdictions follow this, it should be noted. I will check for a citation, but if anyone else has one, feel free to add the info.InMyHumbleOpinion (talk) 08:33, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Remove 3.4.1 Insanity[edit]

I propose removing this section

Everything in it appears to refer to a defense to any crime. The section is not specific to murder. Even if it were, it is not a mitigating factor that leads to a lesser offense, but a not guilty. Granted, jurisdictions that use that then have mental health commitment available, but again, that is for any crime.

This section is distinguishable from diminished capacity and what is awkwardly titled "Unintentional" in that those sections deal with how those situations change murder to manslaughter, something particular to murder, as opposed to affecting murder the same as any other crime, by giving a not guilty by reason of insanity.

Self defense is also distinguishable, but not for the reasons listed. If a person acts in self defense in any battery/assault/murder/injury to person crime, then the person is not guilty. However, the bit about it not being self defense 'if the killer established control of the situation before the killing took place.' I think the real distinction, or at least another distinction, is that when you lethal force, it's not self defense unless it was necessary to prevent lethal force (as opposed to any force) against yourself. Also, with exceptions, there is a duty to retreat before using lethal force in self defense, where there generally is no such duty before using non-lethal force in self defense.InMyHumbleOpinion (talk) 08:50, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

I don't have a wiki account, but I felt I had to comment on this point. I agree with the sentiment that Insanity Defense is not specific enough to murder to be on this page. Propose for clarity:

Remove all defenses EXCEPT for passing references and give them their own page(s), ie.

"As established by precedent in American Jurisprudence, multiple legal defenses exist for the criminal charge of "murder." Among these are insanity (under McNaughten Rule, for citation), forced complicity (referred to by laypeople as blackmail or "he made me do it"), diminished capacity, and justifiable self-defense. Note that this list is not inteded to be comprehensive."

And then hyperlink each defense named for it's own page that will then show the USC text and any other global information available. You need to mention which jurisdiction (in this case American) so people don't scream bias.

One point regarding "self-defense": No matter what direction the offender is facing, if they are moving AWAY from you it is no longer self-defense as they are considered to be in retreat. If you 'attack' at that point you then become the aggressor. For example, someone bashes in your front door and stops cold at the site of you behind a loaded gun. If he steps towards you then you may shoot him "in self-defense". If he steps back and away (while still facing you) and you shoot him it is a crime on your part as he was considered to be in retreat. KY has recently changed their interpretation to allow for the "defensive attack" of a home invader wether or not he is in retreat, but this has yet to be put to the test in court.

--a prelaw student in KY, USA. (talk) 14:07, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Mitigating circumstances[edit]

I can not speak for all countries but in most countries, mitigating circumstances do not determine the difference between murder and manslaugther as the article says. The difference between the two is with malice aforethought or not. Mitigating circumstances may make a difference in the punishment, but not in the fact wether something is murder or not. This may lead to the fact that e.g. someone might receive 9 or 12 years for a murder and another 15 years for manslaugther, depending on the mitigating circumstances. 16-3-2012 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:27, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

Viking section[edit]

I think the information on weregild is pertinent, but the section is misleading as it suggests that it the concept only belonged to the Vikings (and I think Vikings as used here isn't appropriate either, but that's a lesser issue). The Wikipedia article on weregild itself references a good portion of the cultures of Europe practicing some form of weregild. In fact, the word itself is Germanic in origin. The bit about unjust killing I'm less sure of, but the Vikings were not the only warrior culture and I find it hard to believe a number of other cultures failed to recognize something similar.

The information itself is relevant, but should possibly be moved up in the article, in a history section. Maybe near the Bible section. And, of course, it should give a better picture of the full range of cultures that used weregild.

By the way, The Common Law also makes references to weregild and practices that surround it, if I remember correctly.InMyHumbleOpinion (talk) 09:17, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

austrian law[edit]

Perhaps we should add the Austrian definition of murder which is very large and by this unique:

§75 of criminal law reads: "The one who kills someone else shall be punished by imprisonment from 10 to 20 years or by life long imprisonment." —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dr.leben (talkcontribs) 18:29, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Murder is legal, too[edit]

Since when does murder only include "unlawful" life-ending? Does that mean executions, abortions, wars, etc., aren't murders? I previously understood that the distinction was that these don't fall within the realm of "homicide" laws. I mean, they're still murdering them; it's just not considered unlawful. Maybe we need some kind of three-sided Venn diagram to illustrate the difference between "homicide", "murder", and "killing". (talk) 00:27, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

As you use the word, it's a moral definition; this article is about the legal definition. Jurisdictions tend to legitimise homicides which would otherwise be murder by providing exceptions such as you mention. Moral philosophy is outside the scope of this article. --Rodhullandemu 00:31, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

Murder is not only a legal concept. If this article is to be purely restricted to the legal notion, then it should be moved to murder (law) or some such. That said, I would certainly not like to see the article become a refuge for polemics regarding abortion etc. At most there might be a small section referencing the views of various thinkers and groups on these topics. --Trovatore (talk) 00:53, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

I think you have it exactly backwards. Homicide is any killing of another. It does not become murder (and therefore a crime) unless it is both unlawful, and done with the requisite state of mind. This is why, for example, a killing that is made in self-defense, which is no crime, is called "justifiable homicide." See Kinsey v. State, 65 P.2d 1141, 1152 (Ariz. 1937) ("Under our law, ‘homicide,’ which may be defined as the killing of a human being by another, must be either (a) justifiable, (b) excusable, (c) manslaughter, (d) murder of the second degree, or (e) murder of the first degree. No other class of homicide is possible."), cited with approval in ROLLIN M. PERKINS & RONALD N. BOYCE, CRIMINAL LAW 46 & n.1 (3d ed. 1982). Although a relatively old treatise, it was cited with approval in Holloway v. United States, 526 U.S. 1, 10 n.8, 12 n.12 (1999), Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 837 (1994), and on several other occasions, leading me to believe it is a respected and reliable source. MrArticleOne (talk) 15:46, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
Note, also, that this conforms with dictionary definitions. For example, the 4th edition of the American Heritage Dictionary defines it as "[t]he unlawful killing of one human by another, especially with premeditated malice." MrArticleOne (talk) 20:39, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
Dude, you can't refute the claim that something is "not only a legal concept" by citing law cases. I mean, obviously. Murder is also a moral concept, and distinct from "homicide". No one would claim, for example, that a purely accidental killing is murder, either in a legal or moral sense, but it's still homicide. --Trovatore (talk) 20:42, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
I noted the dictionary definition to establish that the non-legal definition mirrors the legal definition, at least on the issue of lawfulness, which is what prompted this conversation thread in the first place. The original poster asked whether executions, wars, and whatnot were "murders," and neither the law nor common layman's usage reflects that they are. Your point, that it is not confined to just the legal definition, seems to support the notion that "murder" should be considered broader than just the traditional common law definition. However, on this matter, the traditional common law definition and common actual English usage overlap on the issue of whether an act must be unlawful for it to amount to murder. MrArticleOne (talk) 20:53, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
That's one entry in one dictionary. I am fairly certain dictionaries can be found that will document the common actual English usage that has nothing to do with law, or at least not Man's law. People really do use the term that way, and they're not wrong. As I say, I don't want this article to become a collection of polemics on the topic, but I don't think it can be ignored altogether. --Trovatore (talk) 21:05, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
Virtually identical definition in my Random House Dictionary ("the killing of another human being under conditions specifically covered in law."). MrArticleOne (talk) 21:20, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
The problem, as I see it, is that activists seeking to make a rhetorical point will sometimes sloppily refer to something they are opposed to as "murder" in order to associate it with the moral opprobrium that attends the concept of "murder." MrArticleOne (talk) 21:30, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't agree that this is "sloppy". They may be wrong on whether a particular instance of killing is murder, but they are not wrong that that question is not purely a legal one. Oh, they'd be wrong in a legal brief, of course, because there the legal sense of the word is assumed. But in the real world there's also natural law or moral law, with its own notion of "murder" over which the courts have no jurisdiction. --Trovatore (talk) 21:38, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
If it isn't supported by solid dictionary evidence that it is typical common usage, then it's really more of a poetic point that's being made, no different than if I said cutting down a tree is "murder" of the tree. I'm certainly free to make that point if I'm writing in an environmentalist newsletter; it isn't good form for an encyclopedia. MrArticleOne (talk) 21:42, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
It is typical common usage, and there's nothing poetic about it. It expresses a claim of moral fact. The claim may be true or not true, but there is a fact of the matter about it, unlike in poetry. If the dictionaries don't recognize this, that's unfortunate. --Trovatore (talk) 21:46, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
Note, also, that a hypothetical definition of "murder" that incorporates a "moral law," such as that all killing of another is wrongful, makes "murder" identical to "homicide." This makes the concept of "murder" as distinguished from "homicide" useless as an analytic tool. It would be pointless to have separate articles on this project about the two. The concepts that have been debated here more properly belong either in the article on homicide (for example, the article on homicide may note that at law, not all homicide is criminal, and thus not all murder, but that some moral theorists argue that all killing of another is wrongful and ought to be considered murder) or else in a separate article altogether on the morality of killing. MrArticleOne (talk) 02:22, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
Huh? If all killing of another were wrongful, then you could at least argue that murder in a moral sense would be coextensive with homicide (still not a given, as there could be a moral category for wrongful kiling that's not murder). But that isn't the case; there are instances in which the killing of another is not morally wrongful. Virtually everyone will agree with that; even the most extreme sort of pacifist must allow that a purely accidental killing is not a moral wrong. I think you're looking at this as a lawyer (you are a lawyer, I'm guessing?), and of course in the context of legal analysis, you're right. But that is not the only relevant context. --Trovatore (talk) 02:46, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
It is the only relevant context to the extent that we have separate articles for "murder" and "homicide." The distinguishing characteristic of murder from homicide is that it is done unlawfully. All of the rest is debate about whether certain homicides should be considered murder, which has nothing to do with what actual murder is (only what some people argue that it ought to be). Murder is an intrinsically legal concept; indeed, both dictionary definitions I mentioned earlier prefaced the definition with the explanation "Legal." (They also contained the definition for a "murder" being a group of crows, but that's obviously neither here nor there.) MrArticleOne (talk) 03:00, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
That's the (or at least a) distinguishing characteristic in the legal context. In the moral context murder is still not the same thing as homicide, and I don't know why you keep claiming that; I've already refuted it quite definitively. As for it being intrinsically a legal concept, you're just wrong. --Trovatore (talk) 03:04, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
It is absolutely an intrinsic legal context, because in world where the concepts of both "homicide" and "murder" exist, the only difference is the difference imposed by the law, that the killing homicide be unlawful. MrArticleOne (talk) 03:07, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
That is false. The concept of "murder" exists in moral law, and is not the same as homicide (which is not a moral concept, just a purely descriptive one), and whether a homicide is murder according to moral law has nothing to do with what any legislature or court has said. --Trovatore (talk) 03:10, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
I can't say as that makes any sense to me. It certainly doesn't deny that murder is the unlawful killing of another (with malice aforethought, but we're not debating that). You're just picking a different legislator. If Malaysia decided to legalize "eye for an eye" vengeance-killing, that would not be murder there just as it would be murder here; substitute "God" for "Malaysia" and the analytic framework is the same. It still must be unlawful to be distinct from homicide. MrArticleOne (talk) 03:33, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
No, because the term "lawful" rarely refers to moral or natural law. It's more limited to human law than the term "murder" is. (It's true that it can be used in the sense of moral law; it's just rarer). --Trovatore (talk) 03:38, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
Citation? —Preceding unsigned comment added by MrArticleOne (talkcontribs) 03:40, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
It's my sense of the language. If you restrict "murder" to mean "unlawful killing", it appears to me that you are talking about legislatures and courts, whereas "murder" is not only about legislatures and courts. When people claim that various sorts of killings are murder, you may agree with them or not, but they are in general not speaking metaphorically or poetically; they are making a claim of fact, and not one as trivially refutable as finding a statute that says that sort of killing is not murder. --Trovatore (talk) 03:45, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
Your "sense of the language" is not controlling here; the article must be verifiable. The assertion that certain sorts of things "are" murder, without qualification, does properly belong in the sense of metaphor or poetry, because, according to the cooperative principle, our rhetorical exchanges are supposed to make a good-faith effort not to talk past each other. Appealing to a moral law as the referent for what constitutes the legal standard by which an act of homicide will be held to be murder breaks the ground rules that, in the civil realm, the laws in question are the civil laws. MrArticleOne (talk) 04:05, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
But it's not a given that we are talking about the "civil realm". As for verifiability, I'm certain we can find writings that speak of murder in other than a legal sense. And no, using moral law to speak of what "is" murder does not belong to metaphor or poetry, not if you believe in moral realism (and that there is a category of murder within factually existing morality). --Trovatore (talk) 04:10, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

(outdent)Just in case someone wants to read this.LeadSongDog (talk) 04:47, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps the page should mention that the word "murder" (in English) did not historically mean killing someone but, rather, stealthily killing someone. Because in the Old Days killing someone face-to-face, in front of witnesses, was not necessarily a crime. Gradually "murder" acquired a more general sense of "intentional homicide," but this was not its original meaning. (talk) 19:42, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
This is half true. In the "Old Days," or more specifically at Common Law, Bracton (1210 - 1268 AD), described the term "murder" as: Murdrum vero est occulta extraneorum et notorum hominum occisio a manu hominum nequiter perpetrata, et quae nullo sciente vel vidente facta est praeter solum interfectorem et suos coadiutores et fautores, et ita quod non statim assequatur clamor popularis. "Murder is the secret slaying of man by the hand of man, (whether those slain are known or strangers,) (committed wickedly,) done out of the sight of and unknown to all except the slayer alone and his accomplices and abettors so that no public hue and cry immediately pursues them, and (where) who the slayer is cannot be ascertained."[2] Bracton also described the crime of homicidius as: Voluntate, ut si quis ex certa scientia et in assultu praemeditato, ira vel odio vel causa lucri, nequiter et in felonia et contra pacem domini regis aliquem interfecerit. "By intention, as where one in anger or hatred or for the sake of gain, deliberately and in premeditated assault, has killed another wickedly and feloniously and in breach of the king's peace."[3] He further goes on to describe murdrum as a subset of homicidius as we do today. Where the above claim concerning "Old Days" errs is the "face-to-face, in front of witnesses, was not necessarily a crime." Homicidius was very clearly a crime against the crown (contra pacem domini regis) "against the peace of our lord and king" even when face-to-face and in front of witnesses. You can very clearly see how the definition of murder has evolved from the common law. We have Voluntate, the "intent" which would exclude accidental deaths and the insane. We have assultu praemeditato "by premeditated assault" or "aforethought." We have ira vel odio "anger or hatred" or "malice." Finally we have contra pacem domini regis "against the peace of our lord and king" or "unlawful." (talk) 23:45, 13 October 2008 (UTC)


Would you, dear admins, please delete this "(1)" from the section about German criminal law. It is about Mord. This seems to have been forgotten by some previous contributors. Thank you. Hans Rosenthal (ROHA) (15072008) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:37, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

 Done --Rodhullandemu 16:13, 23 July 2008 (UTC)


This part of the article compares murder rates in different contries. Theese are however hard to compare, because of different legal definitions of the term "murder". I think this should be reflected in this paragraph. -- (talk) 05:10, 26 August 2008 (UTC)


Just to inform you all, I made some changes to this article on the "The Netherlands" section,

Jouke Bersma —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:23, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Are multiple murders rare?[edit]

Are most murders are committed by someone who has never murdered before (either because crimes of passion are more common than organized crime, or because the justice system prevents murderers from re-offending most of the time)? Statistics on this would be an interesting insight. -- Beland (talk) 18:53, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

Concepts for inclusion: Misdemeanor murder, Crime of passion, Depraved heart murder, Double murder, Murder conviction without a body[edit]

Hi big editors, I found these pages Misdemeanor murder, Crime of passion, Depraved heart murder, Double murder, Murder conviction without a body - that warrant mention within the main article on murder. Perhaps in the 'see also' area. Cheers.

(I'm not personally able to edit the main article in its protected state) —Preceding unsigned comment added by AB Danuvius (talkcontribs) 18:32, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

Murder after intimidation[edit]

Any murder is almost ALWAYS planned and deliberate (on purpose) if the accused intimidate the victim FIRST then murder the victim. It is called "Bullying then Murder". Anyone who intimidate then murder while intoxicated can be excused in United States but cannot be excused in Canada. Intoxication may not reduce the crimes of the murder in Canada if resulting murder is considered to be planned and deliberate (on purpose). ONLY mental illness CAN be a defence and can reduce to manslaughter or even an acquittal.

Danielcg (talk) 08:30, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

This would need a source. As far as UK law is concerned, your first sentence isn't necessarily so; all of the circumstances are taken into account, and the deciding factor is whether the accused intended to kill or cause grievous bodily harm. --Rodhullandemu 13:47, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
I agreed your comment. I do not have any source but I am only focus on Canada laws, not UK or US. However, Canadian Criminal Code did specify an intimidation but not clear. It points to Section 423.1 but not Section 423. So therefore the murder while committing direct intimidation (not covered in Section 423.1) may be subject to jury discretion and the circumstances. I will examine that section and may update here. By my opinion, Canadain Criminal Code law should be changed to says "Murder while committing the intimidation" should point to Section 423 rather than Section 423.1. Also, most murders are done AFTER committing an intimidation directly on the victim are usually planned and deliberate; again the decision are up to the jury. -- Danielcg (talk) 05:37, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
Intoxication is no defense in most US jurisdictions. The Supreme Court decided that there is no right to the intoxication defense in Montana v. Egelhoff, 518 U.S. 37. (talk) 07:30, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

Sources: Hong Kong[edit]

I have added a link to the Ordinance mentioned within the article as a reference source. The reference links to Bilingual Laws Information System, a site owned and managed by the Department of Justice of Hong Kong. Someone please check if this source I added is enough to fulfill the "reliable sources" needed for that section. Talk2chun (talk) 23:44, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Pseudo-etymology in the intro[edit]

"The word murder is related, in old English, to the French word mordre (bite) in reference to the heavy compensation one must pay for causing an unjust death" This sounds like a typical folk etymology story. The actual etymology does mention "mordre" (and murdrum), but the connection to the compensation seems spurious and unsupported by the Chaucer quote given as reference. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:10, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Reference to the Rothenburg case in Germany[edit]

The article currently states that "The German "Bundesgerichtshof", the highest German court of appeal, eventually convicted him of murder." While not being a law scholar, I believe this to be technically speaking incorrect. As far as I can remember the Bundesgerichtshof handed the case back to the trial court, overturning the original verdict and strongly suggesting that a murder conviction would be appropriate. The trial court eventually followed that suggestions. However, somebody who has some expertise in the field should check up on that. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:44, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

Recent Edits regarding Interracial Murder[edit]

You could point out it does not display interracial murder statistics as opposed to black vs white if you wish to pervert the course of human justice. If you are an academic criminologist you know this is "criminal". But you can if you want, you shouldn't just delete my edit you can elaborate on it if you want and you definitely shouldn't revert my edit where I removed information without a citation, since that information is apparent from the lack of citation and your reversion of it weakens the paragraph, unless you have an axe to grind of course. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:15, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

The only "axe I have to grind" is that this article should reflect its reliable sources and preferably, be broadly based. Affinity crime is an important issue here, but if you feel you can improve the article by citing such sources, fine. However, it's a legal, rather than a criminological article as it currently stands, and such subtleties might be better spun off into a separate article. Rodhullandemu 23:23, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

"whoever kills a human being out of murderous lust"[edit]

Is that the correct translation? German jurisprudence somewhat flippantly calls the first 2 qualifiers of Mord "Mordlust und Lustmord". But the English term "lust" has a strong sexual connotation, whereas Mordlust has explicitly none (Lustmord - correctly rendered here as "to satisfy his sexual desires" - on the other hand has). But Mordlust and Lustmord are two independent qualifiers, and thus the translation is too literal in the case of Mordlust. An example of Mordlust would be a spree killing; "out of desire to kill" [implying: with no other motive at all, killing for killing's sake] might be a more appropriate translation. Dysmorodrepanis (talk) 11:08, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Manslaughter definitions[edit]

Why do so many of the sections have definitions of manslaugher (and other types of non-intention homicides)? I can understand if those jurisdictions define murder as 'homicides that are not manslaugher', since then a definition of manslaughter is needed to explain what murder is. But most jurisdictions define manslaughter as 'homicides that are not murder'. As it is right now, at the start of the article, under "Legal Definitions: Exclusions", the article specifically says Unlawful killings without malice or intent are considered manslaughter. That should be enough for this article. More detailed definitions should belong in manslaughter. If there is enough concensus, I propose removing the manslaughter defintions from the following sections: Canada, possibly England and Wales, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, and Sweden. (There may be more, but those are the ones I've spotted for now.) All of these sections are going beyond the scope of this article, and should have the manslaughter content moved to manslaughter. Singularity42 (talk) 23:15, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

Causes of murder[edit]

It's a bit curious there isn't the slightest discussion on why murders happen. The article is almost entirely focused to the legal dimension, ignoring the sociological and psychological. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:04, 13 September 2009 (UTC)


Can we please find a non-American source that confirms that murderess is in use or disuse? Many terms that are not in use in the US are commonly used elsewhere. I hear murderess all the time. If a non-American source says this too, both should be referenced; otherwise, the statement needs to be clarified or removed. — Skittleys (talk) 03:18, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

Sounds weird to me (in Australia). I think it's quite out of place and in disuse but I'm not an academic resource though, so this comment's not worth much.Gregory j (talk) 05:07, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

"Murderess" is "proper" - as in, technically correct. But it's not tactical language, nor is it politically correct...I personally don't care if something is PC or not but if someone did, or if you thought your audience did, then you would use murderess when appropriate. It's the same with actor and actress, with author and authoress, with aviator and it doesn't matter so much its status as far as in use or in disuse is concerned (I think, anyway)...what matters is that people know how to appropriately use the term, and then they can choose to use it or not as they see fit. If you're aiming for succinctness, maximum readability, and the most bang for your buck as far as word volume is concerned, you'd use murderer. If gender remained unspecified to this point and you wanted to clue people in to the murderer's female nature at this point, you could say murderess - much easier and more rolling-off-the-tongue than saying "the female/lady/woman murderer" or "the murderer, who was female" et cetera - see where I'm goin'? Do you see what I did there? -- (talk) 08:05, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

I see where you're going,, and it's a detour. The question at hand is whether the article should say that the term "murderess" is disused. It hinges on whether there are citations for that statement, and not simply whether the statement is true. Your argument, that "murderess" *ought* to be used because it packs much meaning, is yet another step removed from relevance. Feel free to start a campaign to encourage the word's use, and subsequently to encourage reliable sources to note the usage, and then get back to us. TypoBoy (talk) 12:38, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

Oshrenko family murder[edit]

During the media coverage of the Oshrenko family murder on Channel 2 News, they said that a few MPs proposed to make murdering children under 13 years of age punishable by death. I don't remember which MPs, though, but I still think it's worth mentioning. Siúnrá (talk) 06:34, 5 November 2009 (UTC)

Can animals murder?[edit]

There is no mention of the concept extending to other species. Have no notable biologists or zoologists found the concept useful to describe animal behavior? It seems to me that there is a differnce between predatory killing, even when it is intra-species, and the killing of another of one's species in order to get some kind of genetic advantage, as in when a male dies of wounds inflicted during rutting behavior, or the killing of cubs by a male lion after initially overthrowing an alpha male, or the fratracide of cookoos, and so on. As we are not memebers of these species, we see these as natural animal behaviors without the judgementalism of using the word "murder", but an article about murder should discuss it's origin in biology if reliable and notable thinkers can be quoted and cited. Chrisrus (talk) 05:59, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

I seem to remember a bit of a debate was caused in one of the African nations (I forget which) when a chimpanzee killed a baby; the debate was whether the chimpanzee had the mental capacity to understand it's actions and thus form the pre-meditation and forethought aspect needed for murder, there was also debate that if it could be proved whether the chimpanzee had sufficient mental capacity to stand trail. Sanguis Sanies (talk) 05:46, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
Interesting. Since I wrote this I've remembered only once in the lifetime of watching nature documentaries when the term was applied to an animal. The crew had captured something extraordinary: on a very crowded African velt, thousands of antelope crushed together desparately trying to find a mate. Battles were everywhere, but they were mostly of the common face-to-face variety. Caught on tape, and repeated slo-mo so we had to believe what we had seen, a fight between two bucks was ended when suddenly an interloper put his head down and speared one of the two combatants in the side and ran off. It was a shocking sight, and the writer decided to have the narrator use the word "murder" to describe it. I've never seen anything like it before or since. Cannibalism you hear applied to animals fairly frequently, apart from this case nature documentary writer seem to have very little use for the word murder. Chrisrus (talk) 05:06, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

Organization of the article[edit]

This article is in genuine need to be cleaned up and reorganized. Many parts of the article refer to various unlawful homicides, such as manslaughter, infanticide, suicide etc. In my humble opinion, these should not be cramped into the article of murder, but should rather be placed in the article of homicide[[4]]. It is more preferable to concentrate on the crime of murder in this article.

It is reasonable to include attempted murder in this article, but I don't think we should be seeing all the manslaughters and suicides around. Craddocktm (talk) 15:27, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

Split /Murder in the United States[edit]

"It has been suggested that this section be split into articles titled Murder in the United States."

I agree. Please split "murder" into separate articles by country, or at least by region to make info easier to find. Auntsylvie (talk) 18:28, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Necessity defense[edit]

Could someone add a link about the 'Necessity Defense' under the section describing degrees of murder in the United States.

And possibly add another series of articles as to how the defense might be used. Auntsylvie (talk) 18:34, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

That's ridiculous and I can't believe it was ever allowed. Abortion is legal. From the perspective of law, you don't have any right to take any action in order to stop it, especially murder. If it were vigilantism for an illegal action, it would still be murder. Vigilantism against a legal action - it's just compounding things. It doesn't matter if you personally think it should be illegal or not. What you think the law should be is not the law. If it were necessary, the state would be taking action. If the state is not taking action because it's not against the law, you are in no position to pre-empt it with your own personal definition of necessity. (talk) 10:40, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

I don't think the expression "abortion is legal" is strictly accurate. My understanding is that the law of Kansas does not authorise abortion under all and any circumstances whatsoever. See George Tiller#Trial and acquittal which I think relates to this particular case.

For the necessity defence in relation to murder in England and Wales, see e.g. R v Dudley and Stephens where it was not allowed at all. James500 (talk) 11:32, 4 October 2011 (UTC)


Hi. For me, the Hungarian, the degrees of murders are totally impossible to be understood by the article. Please enlight them more. (talk) 23:34, 4 May 2010 (UTC)


Can someone find and add a cite to the Quran? Bearian (talk) 15:30, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

A mess[edit]

"Legal analysis of murder" and "Legal definition" are largely redundant and should be merged. But both Common Law definitions should, in my view, be preceded by historical definitions from The Bible, The Koran, and others. But to the readership we are addressing, the Common Law version would seem to be the mainstream from which all modern jurisdictions (particularly Western jurisdictions) take their cue. It's perhaps about time that Murder in English law be split off, not as a POV-fork, but as a basis from which the later developments can be argued. Rodhullandemu 23:27, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

Hmm. I thought Murder in English law would be a WP:REDLINK, but it isn't, yet is sorely inadequate. The Common Law definitions and history would seem to belong there, with proper links back to this article. Rodhullandemu 23:30, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

"manslaughter" section is overly focused on provocation/heat of passion[edit]

The murder distinguished from manslaughter section mentions only the partial defense of provocation; that's by no means the only reason for a manslaughter verdict. Possibly the author was thinking of a specific jurisdiction?

I've noticed that a lot of the legal articles seem overly specific to UK law, or maybe even England-and-Wales law. My guess is that means that there are a few editors contributing a lot on law, who happen to come from England. That's not a problem per se; the best solution would be to get more American legal scholars to contribute. I can't help with that (I'm not a lawyer, Jim, just a simple country mathematician.) But it would be good at least to acknowledge the specificity by saying in UK law or some such. --Trovatore (talk) 21:46, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

Legal analysis of murder[edit]

This section begins with William Blackstone (citing Edward Coke), setting out the common law definition of murder. This definition begins with "when a person, of sound memory and discretion, unlawfully killeth any reasonable creature in being and under the king's peace, with malice aforethought ..."

However in the four essentials of murder which directly follow, "unlawfully" has disappeared. This does seem to me to be a serious omission. It may be claimed that this is covered by "malice aforethought" but I would prefer the illegality to be made more explicit. (talk) 21:34, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

You are correct; "unlawful" and "with malice aforethought" cover different issues, and it should be made plain that "unlawfully" is intended to exclude killing sanctioned by the State, i.e. executions, killing during the course of war, etc. Rodhullandemu 21:42, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

In the Council of Europe Member States (that's 47 countries!), all intentional killings by the State in peacetime are by definition unlawful. Even in times of war the death penalty is now unlawful.

Therefore it's wrong to say executions are an exception to the concept of unlawfulnness.

This article is in VERY serious need of revising to remove completely the imprecision (its a mix of old, no longer current English law, and heavily peppered with vague sweeping statements about American law.

There not only needs to be country-specific articles, there needs to be articles for each of the 50 states, and other United States jurisdictions such as Federal, Military, Commonwealths (e.g. PR) and other territories (e.g. AS). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:26, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

Death Penalty is harsher?[edit]

The opening intro for this article states that in the US, people convicted of murder may be punished by life-time prison sentences, or "even the death penalty". The word "even" assumes that the death penalty is somehow a harsher punishment. This is certainly up for debate as many people would consider a life-time prison sentence to actually be a harsher experience. Basically, the wording is very biased and opinionated; something Wikipedia must avoid. Thank you. Sdukeminloodwig3 (talk) 18:35, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

unlawful killing[edit]

What does it mean "unlawful"? How to prove a killing was unlawful? For example, was killng of Jews by the Nazis unlawful, so was it murder according the German criminal code of 1871? Is killing unlawful only if the killed is a citizen? Does specific order to kill somebody make the killing lawful? Does killing somebody when being on duty (such as killing by police when trying to arrest somebody) makes the killing lawful? Is killing by a secret service officer according his orders a murder (for example, the man who killed Trotsky - he was awarded, so he was not a criminal according the Soviet law)? I noticed that while in the Crimilal Code of the RSFSR the definition of murder included "unlawful", currently this property has been dropped. Does it mean any solder who kills somebody in a battle can be tried for murder? --MathFacts (talk) 16:44, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Third degree murder[edit]

Despite being redirected to a (currently non-existing) section in this page, third degree murder is not defined here. -- (talk) 21:40, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

The line about "third-degree murder" under California's 2007 law is repeated all over the Internet now, but I can't find it in any reliable legal source. I am not a lawyer, but I suspect it is inaccurate. The 2007 California DUI law changed the penalties for the various degrees of vehicular homicide. It did not create a third degree of murder. The practice of charging certain drunk drivers with second-degree murder is based on the idea of implied malice, and it is rooted in state case law. Iglew (talk) 07:39, 27 December 2010 (UTC)


Murder is the leading cause of death for African American males aged 15 to 34. {{Where?)) (talk) 06:32, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

In 2006, FBI's Supplementary Homicide Report indicated that most of the 14,990 murder victims were Black (7421). (talk) 06:32, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

Consider inclusion[edit]

An anonymous editor placed the following passage in the section on exclusions where it plainly did not belong:

The terms homicide and murder have come to be considered synonymous in general vernacular and news media, even though they are not always so.

I have removed it. I will leave it until it is decided what to do with it. It may be true but needs to be sourced. James500 (talk) 20:53, 18 September 2011 (UTC)

I would dispute that without a reliable source to back it up. In my experience, the news media will call any type of culpable homicide (bad/drunk driving causing death, manslaughter, infanticide, etc.) a homicide, not just murder. So without a reliable source, I don't think it could be added to the article. Singularity42 (talk) 03:39, 19 September 2011 (UTC)


An editor removed some "see also" links as linkfarm". I don't think there were too many links. What do other editors think? Bearian (talk)

badly written article[edit]

The article is much too technical for most readers to understand. It is also of very little use to most readers. The problems include confusing language, verbosity, confusing and missing content, unhelpful links, and confusing layout (order of presentation).

  • The lede's use of the difficult (and apparently outdated, i.e. incorrect) term "malice aforethought" and the link to the even more confusing and chaotic article on that are big problems.
  • The lede does not even mention the extreme injustice and pain experienced by the victim, only the grief and harm experienced by others and society in general.
  • The article is so verbose and chaotic that it is hard to tell if this bizarre exclusion is also true of the article itself.
  • This bizarre situation is a good summary of how incorrect this and other (especially legal) articles can become when they present things in excessively technical, in this case legal, terms. It's as if the concentration on the legal analysis and definition of murder has made the writers of the article forget that human beings are not robots, which can be turned off with a switch. Murder (and capital punishment) is a process, not the flip of a switch, and it always takes time. "Murder" is not just a legal definition and a relevant after-the fact law-enforcement and legal process / analysis / investigation.
  • The article uses confusing terms such as "at common law" instead of "according to" or "in common law" without explanation. If this and similarly confusing terms are unnecessary legal jargon, they should be replaced by the terms used in general English.
  • Such confusion is compounded by sloppy punctuation resulting in incomprehensible statements such as "At common law life ended with cardiopulmonary arrest".
  • The article should first present what general readers first need and expect, including 1) a definition / explanation of murder in plain English and 2) the law-enforcement and legal consequences in plain English and 3) the Epidemiology section, and sections like "Legal analysis of murder" and "Origins" should come later.
  • In addition, the verbosity and confusion of the article could be reduced dramatically by incorporating the legal analysis in the definition, and using explanations in plain English.
  • The "Origins" section says nothing about the origin(s) of murder and should be called "History", i.e. incorporated in that section

--Espoo (talk) 09:23, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

  • The term "malice aforethought" is not out of date. It is expressly preserved by section 1 of the Homicide Act 1957. If it has a counter-intuitive meaning (which what I presume you mean by "difficult") that is just tough because there is nothing that can be done about it until Parliament and (with a few exceptions that didn't receive the common law of England into their own law) every legislature of every former colony actually abolishes it.
  • The use of legal terms cannot be avoided in an article on a criminal offence.
  • The expression "at common law" is general English and is not confusing at all.
  • The expression "at common law life ended with cardiopulmonary arrest" is perfectly comprehensible.James500 (talk) 11:26, 8 December 2011 (UTC)
The expression "at common law life ended with cardiopulmonary arrest" might be perfectly comprehensible to you, but its vocabulary isn’t the style used by the vast majority of the population. Perhaps “in the eyes of the law, death occurs when the heart stops beating” would be more appropriate. I believe that legal jargon belongs in the law books (where its grammatical style and verbosity is not only appropriate, it is essential to quantify the precise nature of its meaning); WP though should have a plain English explanation of the aforementioned jargon (where its common terms and context are not only appropriate, they are essential if we want to get the point across to the average reader. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Thatmanfez (talkcontribs) 11:27, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
Agreed - WP:TONE explicitly discourages the use of "legalese". --McGeddon (talk) 11:54, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
That is only an essay. James500 (talk) 12:07, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
It's based on the manual of style. MOS:JARGON says much the same thing - we should adopt a tone that makes even technical articles "accessible to as many readers as possible". --McGeddon (talk) 12:29, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
  • "Cardiopulmonary arrest" isn't legal jargon, it is a medical term.
  • That term can be explained by a link to the article on it, which I have just added.
  • "In the eyes of the law" would be meaningless. To begin with, which law? You will not be able to remove a reference to the common law of England from that sentence, and there probably isn't another name for it. And the link to the article Common law above on the page should explain what that is.
  • "Its vocabulary isn’t the style used by the vast majority of the population". Reliable source for that please. I would be suprised if the vast majority of the population did not know what cardiac arrest is. In any event, I am not convinced that that matters. This isn't the Simple English Wikipedia. James500 (talk) 12:03, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
  • A "simple" explanation of some legal terms would probably be misleading, because their meaning is not simple. James500 (talk) 12:07, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
Well, we already have an explanation in the same sentence ("the total and permanent cessation of blood circulation and respiration"), which seems fine. I think the common misconception about "cardiopulmonary arrest" is that people think it's a specific medical term for "heart attack" - it perhaps wouldn't hurt to add "the stopping of the heart and" to the existing explanation.
I imagine User:Thatmanfez was suggesting "in the eyes of common law" as a clearer alternative to "at common law", and just dropped a word by mistake. I'd agree with this, although "in common law" would also work, without losing anything. --McGeddon (talk) 12:29, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

I am tempted to reply to that by saying that the common law, not being an animal, doesn't have any eyes, and that a person with a weak grasp of English might conceivably find that metaphor even more confusing than "at common law". I have seen "at common law" and "under the common law" in books. I don't recall seeing "in common law" before today, and I am not sure whether it is grammatically correct. A search of google books produces more results for "at common law" than "in common law", and those seem mostly to be using "common law" as a noun adjunct to modify the meaning of words like "jurisdictions" or "countries" or etc, i.e. they are not references to the common law itself but to a particular group of countries or jurisdictions or etc. James500 (talk) 13:43, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Fair point. Most of the book results for "at common law" appear to be legal textbooks, or date from the 19th century; "under the common law" looks like it might be the most widely-understood phrasing to use here. --McGeddon (talk) 14:03, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

I do agree with the suggestion above that the greater part of the sections "legal analysis of murder" and "legal definition" should probably be merged into one section headed "definition" as that is what they seem to be about. I do not recall seeing the term "legal analysis" elsewhere and I suspect that the author of that section may have invented it himself. James500 (talk) 13:58, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Statute of limitations[edit]

I would like a source for "In most countries, there is no statute of limitations for murder." I know that in Norway there is a 25 year statute of limitations for murder, and it wouldn't surprise me if something similar was the case in many other European countries. (talk) 19:58, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 23 March 2012[edit]

A link to the page should be included in the attached photograph with caption:

American Ryan Holle was convicted of first-degree murder for lending his car to a friend. He was convicted under a legal doctrine known as the felony murder rule.[29]

Best regards, Toni

Coarasa (talk) 07:18, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

 Done Dru of Id (talk) 09:21, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Otzi the Iceman - that's a little ridiculous[edit]

Due to the circumstances surrounding the death of Otzi the Iceman, it should read "homicide", not "murder", lacking documentary evidence that he was in fact murdered. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:12, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

Felony murder rule[edit]

The content concerning felony murder needs to be changed because it is false.

There are two approaches to felony murder: statutory and Common law.

Common law felony murder is a strict liability offense, which means that mens rea is not an element of the crime. Some jurisdictions have placed restrictions on the common law rule and require that the defendant have the specific intent to commit an inherently dangerous felony as the article states, but this is a very particular rule only followed by a minority of jurisdictions such as California. The majority of jurisdictions do not follow the common law rule or do not have this particular exception.

The intent to commit an inherently dangerous felony has to do with the judge made limitations concerning foreseeability and merger which modified the original common law rule. There are two further divisions concerning foreseeability used in those jurisdictions that still use the common law felony murder rule

  • The killing was a foreseeable result of the commission of the felony
  • The killing was a proximate cause of the commission of the felony

Some killings could be not foreseeable in the commission of the felony, but still be a proximate cause of the felony. Some courts don't like charging people with felony murder when someone has a heart attack from the fright of the robbery whereas other jurisdictions do not have a problem with this. Other killings can be foreseeable and proximate causes of the felony, but not part of an inherently dangerous felony. Manufacturing crystal meth, while a felony and dangerous activity, is not an inherently dangerous felony under the common law rule so an explosion which kills other individuals would not be felony murder under those jurisdictions which require an inherently dangerous felony. However, these would qualify for felony murder in jurisdictions which do not require an inherently dangerous felony as a basis for the crime where the common law rule is still followed.

The majority of jurisdictions do not follow the common law rule, which is why the article needs to be changed. The statutory approach has two consequences for mens rea and felony murder: either mens rea is imputed with the felony, or there is a rebuttable presumption that the mens rea existed.

Most jurisdictions define felony murder as applicable only to a list of enumerated felonies in the felony murder statute. When a person is found guilty of a felony on the list of enumerated felonies and a homicide occurs while the actor is engaged in, is an accomplice for, or is in direct flight from that felony, then he is guilty of felony murder. This includes negligent and reckless homicides. In some jurisdictions, the person who provided the burglary tools can be guilty of felony murder if the person who committed the burglary commits a homicide in the course of the felony, even when the homicide would be manslaughter otherwise such as a struggle with the homeowner in the dark where he falls and breaks his neck.

In some jurisdictions, there is a rebuttable presumption that the defendant possessed the mens rea requirement for the murder. In the above example, the jury instruction would be that they were permitted to infer that the defendant intended a homicide as a result of his supplying the tools necessary for the burglary. This presumption can be rebutted by defense evidence such as credible testimony that the defendant did not know, but should have known that the tools supplied would be used in a burglary even though the defendant had no direct knowledge that a burglary was to be committed. In these cases, the prosecution is not required to prove that the defendant had the specific intent to supply instruments of crime in furtherance of a felony.

The felony murder rule has been eliminated in most countries and the common law felony murder rule has been eliminated in most jurisdictions in favor of the statutory rule. Only a handful of jurisdictions still follow the definition in the article of requiring the specific intent to commit an inherently dangerous felony.

The article should state that felony murder is a rule which imputes the crime of murder onto a defendant when a homicide occurs in the course of a felony. Felony murder has been abolished in most jurisdictions which choose not to hold defendants liable for killings they had no intention to commit. A minority of jurisdictions, including the United States, apply a statutory scheme for applying the felony murder rule, or in a handful of jurisdictions, the alternate, common law felony murder rule. The statutory felony murder rule imputes liability for murder when the defendant is found guilty of a felony on an enumerated list of crimes that fall under the felony murder statute. In these cases, the intent element of the crime is either imputed or presumed through perpetration of the felony. The common law felony murder rule is a strict liability offense which does not require proof of intent. Some case law in these jurisdictions have limited the rule to apply to only those instances where the defendant had the specific intent to commit an inherently dangerous felony or when the homicide occurred as either the proximate cause of the felony or the homicide was a foreseeable result of the underlying felony.

The internet is overflowing with law school outlines that demonstrate this. The wikipedia article on murder does not need to be reserved to the rule that appears on United States bar exams. Bar exam law is not how the real law works in the United States. Gx872op (talk) 17:45, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

Too country specific[edit]

While as an academic lawyer this discussion about felonies is all highly interesting, it is incredibly US-biased.

The concept of felony (that is, ANY felony, not just murder) does not exist in a very large number of jurisdictions.

And it doesn't even exist in England, whence the US concept originates.

The last vestiges of felony were abolished over 40 years ago. This means that very few native speakers of modern(British) English understand the word 'felony' except in the context of something they hear on US cop shows, thinking it's an American word meaning 'criminal offence' unless they are a lawyer, academic or possesses an above-average knowledge of legal history and US law.

It's quite appropriate in any article on the US legal system, It's not appropriate in any general article. (talk) 07:46, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

Confusion between homicide and murder[edit]

Why does the article talk about homicide when it is about murder? Sometimes it talks about both within the same paragraph. I won't even try to correct it, since that would mean rewriting the whole thing. Who wrote this mess? Firrtree (talk) 21:37, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

The words "homicide" and "murder" are essentially synonyms, except that the former is a technical legal term, while the latter is a vernacular term. Both denote unjustified killing, by which I mean any killing outside of either self-defense or combat (and by combat I mean as part of a legally declared war between sovereign states, as opposed to street gang quote-on-quote "wars"). The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 06:55, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
No, sorry, that's not right at all. A homicide is any killing of a human being, lawful or not, justified or not, accidental or not. --Trovatore (talk) 11:41, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

Philosophy and science[edit]

Is there an article that explains the philosophical and scientific reasons for murder? Portillo (talk) 07:12, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

Moral dimension[edit]

The lead says that "Murder is the unlawful killing, with malice aforethought, of another human, and generally this state of mind distinguishes murder from other forms of unlawful homicide (such as manslaughter)."

I see two problems with that definition:

1. According to it, a judicial murder is not a murder at all, because it's by definition lawful. Murder is not only an unlawful act, but also an immoral one.

2. Malice aforethought is a concept unique to the US. Why is it even included in the lead?--Brazzon (talk) 15:58, 2 May 2013 (UTC)

Hmm, you might want to read those articles you linked to a bit more carefully. LeadSongDog come howl! 22:00, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
That was an exaggeration, but it's true that malice aforethought is a concept that is at present used almost exclusively only in the US.--Brazzon (talk) 02:37, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

(1) IIRC, what is sometimes referred to as "judicial murder" does not, in at least some jurisdictions with which I am familliar, amount to the criminal offence of murder. The word "murder" can have more than one meaning. Wikipedia is not a dictionary so we don't put things in the same article just because they have the same name. (2) The concept of malice aforethought is retained for the United Kingdom by section 1 of the Homicide Act 1957. James500 (talk) 09:04, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

Jesus fuck, of course it doesn't amount to the criminal offence of murder, when the definition of a "criminal offence" is entirely dependent on what the government wants it to be! No government can have a judical murder in its legal code, but it's a murder nevertheless. That's why it's called a judical murder. Wikipedia is not a dictionary, it's an encyclopedia. And this is not a colloquial or hyperbolical meaning, it's a part of the very definition of what constitutes murder.
I don't know anything about the UK legal code, but even if it was true, it wouldn't change any thing about the fact that most countries in the world don't know that term.--Brazzon (talk) 12:08, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

Some people might consider what they refer to as "judicial murder" to be "murder". A municipal lawyer might insist that the expression "judicial murder" is a contradiction in terms. The fact that two things are referred to by the same name does not mean that they are the same thing or that they should be included in the same article. There might actually be a case for treating each national offence that is called "murder" (and they are not technically the same offence either) as a distinct subject and having this page as a disambiguation page or as a discussion of the etymology and usage of this common noun in English (a word can sometimes be notable as a word). "That's why it's called judicial murder" is not a valid argument. There would have to be reliable sources expressly asserting that they are the same thing, and simply using the same word is not necessarily sufficient. By your logic Rape (country subdivision) would have to be included in the article Rape because it is called "rape". The offence (or offences) called "murder", on the one hand, and "judicial murder" on the other, are both (or are all) forms of homicide, but whether they are the same form is not clear to me at this time. James500 (talk) 09:28, 4 May 2013 (UTC)

"it's a part of the very definition of what constitutes murder" - What definition would that be and where is it published? James500 (talk) 10:20, 4 May 2013 (UTC)

reversion of edit??[edit]

hello-- i am not certain who else is participating on this article. is there some way in which we can agree to the necessity of certain edits? for instance , in 'legal analysis of murer' -- the quote clearly refrences the phrase 'any reasonable creature', and by another person-- to suggest that it says 'by a human being' i believe is a inaccurate interpretation-- suggestive of a bias towards homicide. should this not be corrected? to quote," of a human – This element presents the issue of when life begins. At common law a fetus was not a human being. Life began when the fetus passed through the birth canal and took its first breath. " -- the above quotation says, however, nothing of this sort-- and this interpretation is far from neutral. "-- when a person, of sound memory and discretion, unlawfully kills any reasonable creature in being and under the king's peace, with malice aforethought, either express or implied.[3]" --- the quotation clearly refers to 'any reasonable creature'-- the edit that was reversed makes this distinction-- although it is not unreasonable to refer to the argument regarding abortion somewhere in this argument-- as in contemporary America, the issue of if Abortion should or should not be classified as 'Murder' has been a important issue-- to make reference to the issue here is indicative of a non-neutral POV, and interpretative bias-- I believe the revision is superior.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:56, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

Hello, IP. Calling murder "the unlawful killing, with malice aforethought, of any creature possessing the capacity to demonstrate cognitive function and behavioural self-regulation, by any other creature/person," as if the term, by most WP:Reliable sources, applies to killing some non-human animals (considering that some of them possess the capacity to demonstrate cognitive function and behavioural self-regulation), is what is non-neutral POV, per our WP:Neutral policy. A human fetus is human, and fetal rights are covered by some murder laws. Your interpretation of murder is unsourced and original research; see our WP:Verifiability and WP:Original research policies. As for "any reasonable creature" in the Legal analysis of murder section, that is one person's -- William Blackstone's -- definition. That section starts out with a historical account, how William Blackstone defined murder, and then goes into how the law of today defines murder. Murder is not defined by any reliable source the way you have defined it. Not by dictionaries,[5][6] encyclopedias or law. That's why I reverted you. Flyer22 (talk) 11:58, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

But this article does not refer to 'Homicide'-- which is specifically the murder of a human being-- 'murder' in this article is more genral, and refers to killing in general-- i understand that in contemporary terms, the issue of abortion seems to be the most relevant, but it is an issue of limited historical importance. furthermore, we are dealing with the definition of something, which though it exists in legal terminology, is not itself strictly a legal concept-- 'murder' in this sense is any kind of killing, with the exception that it be intentional and malicious. in this sense, it differs from the dictionary definition of "killing" : to deprive of life in any manner; cause the death of; slay. -- in that it may be possible to 'kill' without intention or malice, but it is not possible to murder without intention or malice-- the restriction to human subjects seems to me specific to a definition of homicide (which is also a strong contemporary association with our TV climate of CSI and Law and Order and the like). it may be possible to say, 'he stepped forward carelessly and the ant was killed.'-- but is not proper to say 'he stopped forward carelessly and the ant was murdered.'-- i think this is the more vital distinction.-- i believe that the definition i am providing is more suggestive of neutrality and more consistent of of the appropriate usage of these terms-- 'a murder' is not limited to a homicide, but may be distinguished from killing in the respect of premeditation and intent. other definitions provided of murder, collins dictionary: "to kill brutally", American Heritage "to kill unlawfully", -- it is also useful to study the origin of the words, I will reproduce here: "partly from Middle English murther, from Old English morthor; partly from Middle English murdre, from Anglo-French, of Germanic origin; akin to Old English morthor; akin to Old High German mord murder, Latin mort-, mors death, mori to die, mortuus dead, Greek brotos mortal" -- this from, Merriam-Webster-- judging from this perspective, it appears the word means to be bring about the death of, in an illegal fashion-- contrasted with homicide, 'in sense 1, from Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin homicida, from homo human being + -cida -cide; in sense 2, from Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin homicidium, from homo + -cidium -cide' --- where he see that the prefix 'homi', in this case refers to the human victim of the 'cidium' which is the removal or abnegation of the life (as in suicide or regicide, the killing of oneself or of a king, yes?)-- but the term murder lacks this specificity (though i notice some other definitions include this, seemingly in accordance with legal usage-- the idea that murder is limited to human persons)-- i believe the definition i have provided is more accurate, and more suggestive of a neutral perspective, and consistent with the origin of the word. -narkius. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:15, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

Not sure where you got those above definitions, but besides the reliable sources cited in the article, here are the various dictionary definitions:
  • Oxford Dictionary: the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another [7]
  • Merriam-Webster Dictionary: the crime of unlawfully killing a person especially with malice aforethought [8].
  • Collins Dictionary (worldwide): the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another [9]
  • Collins Dictionary (American): the unlawful and malicious or premeditated killing of one human being by another; also, any killing done while committing some other felony, as rape or robbery [10]
  • American Heritage Dictionary: The killing of another person without justification or excuse, especially the crime of killing a person with malice aforethought or with recklessness manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life.[11]
Your own comparison of various sources to derive your own interpretation of the definition is original research and synthesis of sources, which is not allowed for an encyclopedia article. Singularity42 (talk) 11:40, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
Thank you, Singularity42. IP, I don't have anything more to state to you on this subject. I haven't even read your reply yet, though I will later. Flyer22 (talk) 12:41, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

-- Yes, I used those same sources, just moved beyond what appears to the primary usage of the term 'murder', which appears to be as a result of a contemporary bias-- we use the term 'murder' only to refer to homicide-- this is not indicative of neutrality-- we have for our definition the following ESSENTIAL charateristics: *that the killing be unlawful-- we may all agree that the term murder may only be used in the sense of a unlawful killing, *that 'murder' refers to the cessation of life, *that a murder is a deliberate rather unintentional act --- this from our above mentioned definitions-- the functional definition we derive from American Heritage and other dictionaries, thus, is a reflection of contemporary usage in the legal community-- in order to clarify this definition, which I might add, is further complicated by our usage of the Edward Coke citation, which refers to the killing of 'any reasonable creature', which is certainly not a reference to homicide-- we may wish to create some means to eliminate this confusion: that in contemporary American legal communities, ONLY the murder of human beings is considered to be a form of crime, and that the killing (intentional, deliberated, or other) of non-humanoids is not considered criminal-- therefore, our definition would be consistent-- murder can only refer to homicide as that is the only form of killing prohibited by American law-- otherwise, I suppose we must find some other legal reference.. but thank you for your response, --Autinaurk — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:02, 25 May 2013 (UTC)

Blackstone's Commentaries is a "book of authority". This means that, subject to certain qualifications, what the book says has the force of law in England. It is not, as Flyer22 contends, just one person's definition. The definition is taken from Coke's Institutes (3 Inst 47) which is even more authoritative as to what the common law of England is. The expression "any reasonable creature" is also used by Archbold Criminal Pleading, Evidence and Practice (1999 edition, paras 19-1 and 19-15) which altough not authoritative is highly regarded. The editor of this last book submits that the word "reasonable" refers not to the victim's mental capacity, but instead to his appearance, and also that the word does not include a monstrous birth. James500 (talk) 05:57, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Whether one person's definition or not, what I stated about not including "any creature" or "any reasonable creature" to start off the definition of murder in the lead, as though inclusion of either wording is the general/is a common definition of murder, is valid and is supported by WP:UNDUE WEIGHT. It's clear from my and Singularity42's posts above that the lead should not start off using "any reasonable creature" and that "any reasonable creature" should instead be presented as one definition of murder lower in the article, as it currently is. Furthermore, you are still building legal articles mostly around British law, which is not valid per WP:Worldwide view. Flyer22 (talk) 06:46, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
  • I have not argued that that expression should go into the lead.
  • There is no worldwide definition of murder, because there is no worldwide law of murder, so all I can do is offer national definitions. That said, the common law of England forms part of the law of many other countries constituting a large portion of the world.
  • For the avoidance of doubt, putting a dictionary definition of murder (that is, a non-technical one) into the lead would appear to violate WP:NOTDICTIONARY, as would basing the scope of this article on what ordinary dictionaries say.

James500 (talk) 14:07, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Yes, there is a worldwide definition of murder; murder is first and foremost defined as the intentional killing of a human being by another human being in the majority of sources...reliable and non-reliable, American and non-American, dictionary and non-dictionary. The majority of sources use "intentional" or "malice" in some way. That definition is technical and is not simply a "dictionary definition"; this is because that is the way it is generally defined by law, with slightly different wording and bigger expansions (subdivisions). Of course there's non-intentional murder, but that is not how murder is defined in the majority of cases. And rarely ever is killing a non-human being defined as murder. Also, do read WP:NOTADICTIONARY. Using a dictionary source or "dictionary definition" of murder does not violate WP:NOTADICTIONARY; that policy is not about never using a dictionary as a source or never using a "dictionary definition," especially since many Wikipedia articles, WP:Good articles and WP:Featured articles included, have etymology or similar sections based on such sources or definitions. You can go ask on the WP:NOTADICTIONARY talk page if you need clarification on that. Or, hey, I would do it so that you have that clarification. Murder is usually not some difficult thing to define that should require a non-dictionary source/non-"dictionary definition"; if it were autism, which should require a medical source (especially an authoritative one), because a dictionary source/dictionary definition is not most reliable for medical topics, that would be different. But because laws define murder differently, though are in agreement that any intentional killing of a human being by another human being is murder, it would be inappropriate to use an American legal source or British legal source, and so on, to define the initial line of murder in this article. That is what you need to understand about defining legal articles the way you do, often basing the scope of the article on what the British legal systems state...and causing some people to tag those articles as needing to be "globalized."
To partly reiterate, WP:NOTADICTIONARY's intention is that the article does not read like a dictionary for the most part or in its entirety. It is not against using dictionary sources/dictionary definitions. Such sources/definitions should be used when appropriate, and one of those sources, or a source/definition from an encyclopedia (preferably one that is international and not simply American, British, or so on) is appropriate for defining the initial definition of murder in this article. Flyer22 (talk) 15:15, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

I do not consider your claim to have looked at the majority of sources on this subject to be plausible. How many sources have you looked at? A number will suffice. James500 (talk) 22:41, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

I did not state that I have looked at the majority of sources, because obviously looking at the majority of them -- which includes not just ones I find in English -- is not possible. But stating that you "do not consider [my] claim to have looked at the majority of sources on this subject to be plausible" is like stating that WP:UNDUE WEIGHT is not plausible when it states, "Giving due weight and avoiding giving undue weight means that articles should not give minority views as much of, or as detailed, a description as more widely held views. Generally, the views of tiny minorities should not be included at all, except perhaps in a 'see also' to an article about those specific views. For example, the article on the Earth does not directly mention modern support for the Flat Earth concept, the view of a distinct minority; to do so would give undue weight to it."
While the search engine test is not perfect, it is often the main or only thing to rely on, even if not absolute, when it comes to determining various issues on Wikipedia, including naming seen at Wikipedia:Disambiguation#Determining a primary topic. It does not take a genius to know that the majority of sources no longer describe the Earth as flat. Similarly, going by Google searches (whether regular Google, Google Books or Google Scholar), any non-Google searches, dictionary or encyclopedia books found in any library, or by legal definitions, and/or personal experience, it does not take a genius to know that murder is generally defined as the intentional killing of a human being by another human being (and note that I am not speaking of killings protected by law, such as execution or self-defense, obviously). The Wikipedia community, if brought into this through a WP:RfC or otherwise, would mostly or unanimously state the same thing. Arguing against it is silly and a waste of time. This Wikipedia article, which appears to have been mostly crafted by you, though you still have not made the majority of edits to it, also makes that clear. Flyer22 (talk) 23:27, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

This Wikipedia article was not mostly crafted by me. My edits to it consist, as far as I can remember, chiefly of the reversion of vandalism. James500 (talk) 00:12, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

Please provide the links for the search engine test that you have done, as it not clear to me what you have done, or how to reproduce your results. It is not obvious to me that murder is generally defined in the terms that you have described. For all I know, it might, for example, be generally defined as involving malice aforethought rather than an intention to kill. James500 (talk) 02:11, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

No, I will not, because of everything I stated above. I did not recently do any searches on this matter because I already know what the results will be...per what I stated above. You can easily do a variety of searches on this topic yourself. I find this discussion between you and I to be bizarre. And, quite frankly, I'm not sure if you are trying to be antagonistic or not. Above, I also clearly included malice. And sure, malice, in law or otherwise, does not always mean "intent to kill"...but it does include it (as the "intent to do harm" includes, among other things, murder). And if the intention was not to kill, the act is generally not classified as murder, especially not as first-degree murder. This article, with its sources (and, yes, I'm still convinced that you added most of the British ones to this article), is perfectly clear that murder is generally distinguished from other killings of a human being by the intent to kill in a way that is unlawful and/or with malice. Furthermore, malice aforethought, like malice, often means "intent to kill"; it is not as though they always only mean "motivated by ill will" or "desire to cause pain, injury, or distress to another" without the intention to kill. Flyer22 (talk) 03:15, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

You have not looked at the page history and there are no diffs that support the claim you make above that I have added most of the British sources to this article because it simply is not true. I am not prepared to continue to participate in this conversation as I do not think that it would be constructive. James500 (talk) 04:05, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

I have looked at the page history, just not extensively to verify what you have contributed to this article. But it is set up with a lot of stuff about the British legal system, and, from what I have seen, you have done that type of setup with most Wikipedia legal articles you have edited (which is why I pretty much stated so more than once above). And you have participated in discussions on this talk page, sometimes justifying the setup of this article in the face of complaints about it. But if you are not the one who is mostly responsible for this article's layout/content, then there is nothing more to state about you mostly being responsible for its layout/content. Flyer22 (talk) 04:25, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

This article bears no significant resemblence to anything that I have written. The comments you have made about my editing are unwarranted. James500 (talk) 15:41, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

How are they unwarranted, when, like I stated above, you need to understand that it is inappropriate to base a legal article about a general legal concept almost entirely on American or British law, or mostly with regard to how any country's legal system works? I reiterate that you are "often basing the scope of an article on what the British legal systems state...and causing some people to tag those articles as needing to be 'globalized.'" You know that you do, and we've discussed this before elsewhere on Wikipedia. Despite my having pointed out WP:Worldwide view to you before, you have not stopped formatting worldwide legal concept articles mostly toward British law. And, yes, this article is not too dominated by British law as other worldwide legal concept articles you have edited, so that's a plus. But the Definition section starting off with British law definitely resembles some of your other work, even before the recent merge you made. However, like I stated, "if you are not the one who is mostly responsible for this article's layout/content, then there is nothing more to state about you mostly being responsible for its layout/content." Flyer22 (talk) 16:04, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

Your comments are unwarranted because they are misleading and you are making them in the wrong forum.

You should realise that I am already well aware of WP:Worldwide. You should realise that I don't need to be told about it. (What you are doing here is very much like templating the regulars). You should realise that if anything I have written does not deal with all the countries that are relevant, that is only due to lack of time and/or lack of sources and is not the result of design. (You should realise that I intend to come back and expand it with respect to other countries as soon as possible). You should realise that the first draft of an article is not expected to be perfect, or even be close to that. You should realise that it is perfectly acceptable to expand a section of an article with a view to spinning it off later. You should realise that the relevant portions of WP:Undue only apply to an article that is already more or less complete, because it would be absurd (and a deletionist's charter) to apply them to an article which requires massive expansion with respect to all countries. You should realise that it is inevitable that Wikipedia articles will normally be built up incrementally in small steps in a very uneven way because of the way Wikipedia works. (I don't mean to assert that this article has these problems).

If my articles are less than perfect in respect to international coverage, I am perfectly entitled to invite you to add more information about other countries (WP:SOFIXIT). I don't recall ever having seen you do that.

The generalisations you are making about my editing are exagerations and you don't have the diffs to back them up. Generally my articles contain plenty of information about other countries for which sources are readily accessible in English. I don't recall having discussed WP:Worldwide with you. The definition section bears no significant resemblance to anything that I have written and is chiefly about American law.

Quite apart from all of that, this talk page is not an appropriate venue for criticisms of my editing outside of this article which ought to be made, if anywhere, on my user talk page. James500 (talk) 01:04, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

My comments about your editing are not unwarranted; they are not because they have to do with the format of this article, a similar format I've seen you apply to articles...but more extensively at those pages (as mentioned above). I kept my comments about your editing on-topic; you are the one who decided to have us focus mostly on that part of my comments. I don't have to realize anything when it comes to Wikipedia, considering that it is me who has had to inform you of certain Wikipedia policies and guidelines during some of our interactions, such as here at the Blackmail article, and even the WP:Worldwide view essay, not the other way around. (By the way, I had forgotten all about that Blackmail article matter until I used Google to pinpoint some of our past interactions; I'd rather not point to any others because I'd rather not interact with you at those articles again.) It should be no surprise to you that I'm tired of seeing you basing the scope of a legal article mostly or almost entirely on what the British legal systems state. Yes, you do that. You've been doing that for years. The Blackmail article is one example. Anyone who decides to spend even two minutes looking into your edit history can see that you do that. That's where the proof is -- the proof is in your contributions, which are obviously public. So you should stop speaking of "exag[g]erations" and having no "diffs to back [up my claims]" when it comes to this matter. I'm also tired of you sometimes waving some British legal code up as a point as if it applies to all of the world. You mentioned that you "intend to come back and expand [those articles] with respect to other countries as soon as possible" and "that the first draft of an article is not expected to be perfect, or even be close to that," but these articles that you formatted in a mostly British fashion have been like that for years. Not to mention...some of us, like me, try to get our contributions right and/or perfect on the first draft (and I'm talking about more than just article creation; for example, I don't create a lot of articles...except for already-existing articles that I mold into my creations). If you were at all in the right to do what you have been doing with regard to the non-global editing style, there would not be editors tagging your work with the globalized tag. You should also read all of WP:UNDUE, considering that what you have cited with regard to it is not supported by that policy. You speak of Wikipedia:Don't template the regulars (an essay). But the regulars should be templated sometimes, meaning when they don't know a policy or guideline or don't know (or have forgotten) a part of it. So, yes, templating the regulars can be valid. But I agree that this discussion is now mostly off-topic. Next time you state "I am not prepared to continue to participate in this conversation as I do not think that it would be constructive.", it would be best to followup on that. Flyer22 (talk) 02:29, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

I do not agree with what you say. In the interests of bringing this to an end, I will not elaborate on that. James500 (talk) 04:15, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

The word "Felony" should not be within this article.[edit]

This is an article about murder, not murder within the USA. To have the phrase "Intent to commit a dangerous felony (the 'felony-murder' doctrine)" under the section Legal Analysis of Murder betrays Wikipedia's neutrality and turns it into an American puppet. Either there should be another page for American definitions of murder, or any mentions of American words should be removed. Dionysos4444 (talk) 04:29, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

Hello, Dionysos4444. A WP:POVFORK or removal is your answer? See WP:Neutrality; the correct action would be to add non-American terminology. This article is supposed to cover various significant viewpoints on the topic of murder. Flyer22 (talk) 04:37, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

"As the loss of a human being inflicts enormous grief upon the individuals close to the victim"[edit]

I contest this on both that it's not true for all people, and most of the time not true in the case of the murderer. It should be toned down to something closer to the truth, or something citable. (talk) 22:08, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

Agreed. Flyer22 (talk) 22:15, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
More important, that sentence is written as if the effect of the murder on the victim is of no particular importance! It definitely needs a rewrite. -- (talk) 09:14, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
I was obviously late to getting around to tweaking the sentence in question, but I finally did, as seen here and here. Flyer22 (talk) 01:13, 27 April 2014 (UTC)
Minutes ago, an IP removed the entire sentence; seen here. Flyer22 (talk) 02:46, 12 October 2014 (UTC)


The article is redirected from "Wilful Murder", but says nothing whatsoever about it. In Canada, the phrase is unheard of. Does it mean "premeditated murder"? What a useless article for some searching "Wilful Murder". — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:47, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

Murther redirect[edit]

Someone PLEASE REMOVE THE REDIRECT from "murther". The extremely obscure etymological word is not discussed in the article and in any case is totally inappropriate use of redirect in wikipedia (as opposed to say wiktionary). This is preventing users from searching for the word, which is a surname for example.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

No. Also, people will be slighlty more inclined to consider your opinions if you don't shout at them using capital letters. Please read this page on the use of capital letters on Wikipedia and this one to learn about civility between editors. Arfæst Ealdwrítere talk! 17:05, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
You're right, WP:R#DELETE says that "If the redirect is a novel or very obscure synonym for an article name, it is unlikely to be useful.", although advises against removing if "someone finds it useful". The murther spelling seems to get about 20 hits a month, but we have no idea whether those visitors are finding it useful or typoing something else.
If you want to open a formal discussion about whether the redirect should be removed, you can do so at Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion. --McGeddon (talk) 09:21, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

The addition of "without excuse or justification" in the lead[edit]

Anythingyouwant, regarding this edit, why do you think that we should have "without excuse or justification" in the lead or for the WP:Lead sentence? I understand that you were going by the second cited source in the lead (a source that I added, in addition to that first one, to show that murder usually refers to the killing of humans and not both humans and non-human animals). But "without excuse or justification" is not how murder is usually defined, unless it is the law stating the killing had an excuse or justification that disqualifies it as murder. And, per WP:Due weight, we should be giving most of our weight to the most common definition. Yes, I know that you kept the most common definition by having the lead state "especially refers to the unlawful killing, with malice aforethought, of another human," but the "without excuse or justification" wording makes it seem as though, as long as the person offers an excuse or what they believe to be justification, the killing is not a murder. And that is not how we should have readers interpreting murder, which is why I removed "excuse" after I made this and this tweak. If we are to go into other definitions of murder in the lead, the WP:Lead sentence should only be the primary definition. That same source you referred to also states that murder is "To kill brutally or inhumanly" and "To put an end to; destroy," but we obviously should not relay murder in those ways in the WP:Lead sentence (or perhaps not in the lead at all), since killing someone does not automatically make the act murder. Flyer22 (talk) 19:42, 7 March 2015 (UTC)

You raised a good point about "excuse" and now it says "valid excuse" which is better. See excuse (legal).Anythingyouwant (talk) 19:45, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
I was going to state the following: "Even though I thought about adding 'valid' to your wording, I have a problem with 'valid excuse' since it makes it seem as though, as long as the person offers what they believe to be a valid excuse or what they believe to be justification, the killing is not a murder. Again, it is the law that decides if the killing had a valid excuse or justification that disqualifies it as murder. And we should be going with the primary definition only for the WP:Lead sentence."
But the lead is better now that I see you added Wikilinks for "justification" and for "valid excuse," explaining the legal aspect. My point was that it is the law that decides. So I didn't understand why you had a problem with the WP:Lead sentence simply stating "is the unlawful killing, with malice aforethought, of another human." But now I see that you mean that the killing can be lawful; yes, I agree with that. Flyer22 (talk) 19:55, 7 March 2015 (UTC) Flyer22 (talk) 19:55, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
Agreed. Murder can even occur in a culture where there's no law against murder, per the cited sources. So the lead now reflects that too.Anythingyouwant (talk) 19:59, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
I wondered if your changes also had to do with cultures that do not have laws against murder, though it's difficult to imagine that any culture does not have them. Since your "justification" and "valid excuse" additions pertain to the law, the WP:Lead sentence still solely pertains to the law, however, as it should, since what is murder is usually a matter of the law. So by "the lead now reflect[ing] [murder occurring in a culture where there's no law against murder]," do you mean that you've tweaked a different part of the lead to relay that? Also, keep in mind that I mean the first sentence when I state "WP:Lead sentence," not the rest of the lead. Flyer22 (talk) 20:29, 7 March 2015 (UTC)

─────────────────────────The phrase "Murder is the killing of another person without justification or valid excuse" is not obviously about law, unless you click on the links. That seems appropriate, per the cited sources. Later in this Wikipedia article, we have sentences like this one about a head-hunter culture in New Guinea: "He needs a name for his child and can receive it only by a man, he himself has murdered." That's an example of lawful murder. You can google "lawful murder" and get a lot of hits.Anythingyouwant (talk) 20:50, 7 March 2015 (UTC)


User:Flyer22, Wikipedia has forbidden me to edit anything about pregnancy, so I'd just like to point out that someone might want to check out the following material for accuracy and consistency:

Anythingyouwant (talk) 02:18, 8 March 2015 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you want me or someone else to change regarding the text in question. Flyer22 (talk) 02:34, 8 March 2015 (UTC)
I'm just pointing out that it's not something that I want to check, or can check, or have checked. Cheers.Anythingyouwant (talk) 03:55, 8 March 2015 (UTC)
You mean that you are topic-banned from editing about abortion? I would rather stay away from abortion topics, especially on Wikipedia. But if this IP keeps adding language that is clearly meant to cover abortion (yes, I see that the IP is trying to cover abortion with that piece), I will start a WP:RfC on this matter. And I might advertise it at the WP:Village pump since WP:RfCs have been a mess of slowness (often unhelpful because of their general inactivity) these days. Flyer22 (talk) 11:49, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
Yup, topic-banned years ago, apparently for life. So it's all yours. :-)Anythingyouwant (talk) 12:51, 15 April 2015 (UTC)


A few hours ago, material in the murder article was removed without any edit summary or talk page discussion.[12]. The edits included deleting a hidden note that had been in the article since last year. I'll restore the material and request some discussion here. Also, why have a category called "banana death"?Anythingyouwant (talk) 12:08, 10 March 2015 (UTC)

I restored the information,[13] but have been reverted without edit summary or talk page discussion.[14]Anythingyouwant (talk) 12:51, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
Allrighty then. I've been reverted again without any edit summary or talk page discussion.[15] This is so typical of Wikipedia.Anythingyouwant (talk) 15:29, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
I left a message for this "editor".[16]Anythingyouwant (talk) 15:37, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
  • I've removed the obvious vandalism, and blocked the editor making the repeated blind unexplained reverts. I am not going to make content decisions, nor am I going to revert one side wholesale, but I don't think restoring to a state before repeated unexplained reverts is going to count against anyone as "edit warring". --Floquenbeam (talk) 15:49, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
Thx Floq.Anythingyouwant (talk) 15:55, 10 March 2015 (UTC)

Proposed merge with Premeditated murder[edit]

Since this does not describe an entirely separate crime, this content holds much more value within the murder article as this essentially is a type of murder. Most jurisdictions even consider premeditation an inherent part of murder. Tvx1 14:13, 17 August 2015 (UTC)

I support the merge. the current article on premeditated murder is very short, very US-centric; not sure that it really serves any useful purpose. However, it's not the case that pre-mediation is always an element of murder; it depends on the law of the jurisdiction. In Canada, for instance, premeditation is what distinguishes first degree from second degree murder. Second degree requires an intent to kill, but not premediation.Mr Serjeant Buzfuz (talk) 10:53, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
I didn't state that it is always the case in my merging proposal, did I? I stated that it is the case in most jurisdictions, which is true. There are of course exceptions, like Canada. Tvx1 11:46, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

NO MERGE -someone with common sence — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:283:4101:E791:3D34:C6FD:2156:97DA (talk) 02:22, 16 October 2015 (UTC)

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What about extrajudicial killing?[edit]

It is the law that makes a killing "murder", so what do we do when the law and/or the government is involved? This article mentions judicial murder, a case which the article deems to be legal (because a judge is involved) but "unethical." Such things have in the past been judged as "crimes against humanity" rather than murder, but they have still carried the death sentence. For a modern example, Saddam Hussein was hanged primarily for his role in the the Dujail Massacre, but this was a lawful judicial proceeding of a government, and Hussein signed the judicial death sentences in his role as head of state.

This article does not mention extrajudicial killing where a person is killed by another person at the order of a government (presumably the kind of thing 007 does, having a license for it), not in time of war, and with no judge or due process involved (so it goes beyond the Dujail Massacre in that regard). Is an extrajudicial killing, such as a targeted assassination by drone strike, "murder"? Is it always murder, sometimes murder, or NEVER murder? That is, is it possible that governments cannot commit murder, no matter what they do? But at the same time, can commit crimes against humanity?

If we cannot agree on what a murder is, we probably should think more about when we use it off-hand in the editorial voice in so many WP articles. For example, "murder" is used descriptively in the WP text about 10 times in the Katyn Massacre, several times descriptively as WP editorial text in Armenian genocide, and more times in The Holocaust article than I want to count. But although 16 civilians died in a deliberate bombing of a TV studio in the NATO bombing of the Radio Television of Serbia headquarters in 1999 (the opinions of Serbian TV were not appreciated), and although this article is listed in category "mass murders in 1999," the word "murder" is never used in the article. Noam Chomsky says the act has all the earmarks of "terrorism" except for being done by NATO, and he has a point. Are terrorism and murder simply deliberate civilian killings that the enemy does? SBHarris 21:42, 10 March 2016 (UTC)

The bit about Australia in the header is somewhat odd.[edit]

Does anyone else find the few sentences about Australia in the main summary of the entry out of place? There are no examples of other countries; just Australia. Attempting to give a nice view of the world's punishments for murder by listing examples is fine, but you can't just list one specific example. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dvalentine (talkcontribs) 01:48, 30 September 2016 (UTC)

Agreed. Even worse is the last sentence talks about the separate offence of manslaughter. I'll remove that first, but all of it should be taken out. AtHomeIn神戸 (talk) 03:16, 30 September 2016 (UTC)

Illegal/unlawful versus immoral/rights violation[edit]

Wikipedia has taken the extraordinary attempt to redefine immoral actions like theft and murder into merely illegal or unlawful actions. The implications of this are severe as they now validate the ability of the government to simply make actions legal to avoid the moral implication and consequences of actions like murder or theft or rape, etc. One has to wonder if the purpose here is to back and validate all actions of the government so that anything the government does can be appropriate to do as long as they are made legal/lawful

The other implication is that the law may now over-ride basic human rights which is an abhorrent idea that Wikipedia now seems to support. Murder is an immoral action that violates our civil right to life - whether it is legal or not is irrelevant to what the term means.HPearce (talk) 13:30, 24 April 2017 (UTC)

I think maybe it's not so much that the article is denying that there is a concept of "murder" other than the legal one, as it is that the article is about the legal concept. Wikipedia is not a dictionary, and an article called foo does not have to cover all possible meanings of the word "foo". Rather, it should cover a topic called "foo", and if there is more than one, then we use disambiguation.
I'm not sure what to do about it. The moral and legal senses definitely overlap; from that point of view, it seems to make more sense to treat them in one article than to have a separate murder (moral) article, which I'm not sure how you'd source anyway.
On the other hand, there is so much to say about the purely legal concept that I understand why editors who write on legal topics would want to keep the focus on that.
If the article is to be specific to the legal concept, then it should probably say so in the first sentence. Maybe something very simple, like
In law, murder is....
Possibly even an article mostly focused on law could still have a section for the moral concept? I don't know. I've toyed with this problem on and off for years, and I don't see a clear solution. --Trovatore (talk) 18:50, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
I don't understand HP's logic. When the government wrongfully kills someone, it is no less morally bad simply because it isn't murder. The same is true when a police officer kills someone but is found innocent of murder. Unless you are speaking in an idiomatic sense, murder most be an illegal killing. It makes no judgment on the morality of the action.LedRush (talk) 21:30, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
One way to put it would be that there is a notion of murder in natural law, and that as long as the article continues to limit itself to positive law, it will necessarily be incomplete. --Trovatore (talk) 21:55, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
But even natural law concepts do not accept that all killings are murder. Self-defence, for example: if someone attacks me with deadly force, but I hit back and kill, natural law concepts don't call that murder. Mr Serjeant Buzfuz (talk) 23:41, 24 April 2017 (UTC)

The title of the wiki article is not the Legality of Muder - but Murder!

Defining all immoral actions as merely a case of legality speaks for itself unless you change the title to "The Legality of MurderHPearce (talk) 23:56, 24 April 2017 (UTC)

We have other words to convey those concepts, whether in natural law or otherwise...there's no reason to change language just because you feel murder = bad and not murder = not bad.LedRush (talk) 00:28, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

I wasn't the one who changed it, just check the definition of THEFT and the history of changes. Only recently did someone decide to insert "illegal" into the definition. Probably for political reasons as "the illegal taking" eliminates taxation as a possibility - just as "unlawful killing" for murder eliminates government murder that has been legalized.HPearce (talk) 02:12, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

I made that change because all three of the cited sources say that theft is illegal. See, there are rules for WP editing, and making up your own definitions and sources isn't one of them. Why not talk about the topic at hand, though? If a government executes a prisoner, it isn't murder. I may believe it is wrong (and I do), but it still isn't murder. How do we know? Because words have meanings.LedRush (talk) 15:36, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
@LedRush: you may be painting with too broad a brush here when you refer to "a government". It is clearly possible for those in power to abuse state mechanisms to kill people in ways that have neither legal nor moral justification, though there may be a pretense of legality. See Stalin, Mao, Hitler for some glaring examples. Only a wp:fringe few would deny that each of their governments engaged in murder on a vast scale. The whole point of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was to acknowledge that some actions cannot ever be truly legal, even for a government. Clearly, competent courts in some jurisdictions continue to pass death sentences under local laws, some of which are carried out. These executions may reasonably be seen as being judicial murders, particularly from outside those jurisdictions, but I think most would argue that the absence of malice makes that term inaccurate. LeadSongDog come howl! 16:40, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
In your example, the killings would be illegal in some jurisdictions.LedRush (talk) 16:52, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
Right, but "illegal" does not by itself make a killing into a murder. There are many varieties of homicide.LeadSongDog come howl! 17:30, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Why is this even up for debate? Of course murder is an unlawful act. Moreover, it is an unlawful killing of another human by a human with malice aforethought. There are many examples of lawful killings. Euthanasia; killing someone, who is trying to kill you, in self-defense; executing the death sentence of someone who has been convicted to it in court,etc... There are many examples of unlawful killings which aren't murder either. Manslaughter indeed is one of them. But there are more examples. If you kill your neighbour's cat because it was annoying you, it isn't murder because the act wasn't committed against a human. If that same neighbour's dog then kills you out of revenge, it isn't murder because the act wasn't committed by a human. Murder is a very strictly defined term. Even the dictionary tells us that. It's not something we should aim to self-define. Sure dictatorships tend to ignore that definition, but Wikipedia is not the place try to correct great wrongs. This talk page isn't the place to discuss the morals of the death penalty either.Tvx1 17:55, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

Agreed. To more directly answer LeadSongDog's questions, illegality is a necessary element to murder, but not a dispositive one.LedRush (talk) 18:16, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

The claim by Ledrush as to documents he cited more likely than not refer to legal documents only ! Of course most/all of them provide only the legal definition of murder. Did he cite any non-legal sources ?

"We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable; that all men are created equal & independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness; ..." Declaration of independence. Here the document clearly states that "right to life" is undeniable and that men are created with that right - meaning they are NOT to be defined by what is made legal or not !

I suggest LedRush change the article title to the "Legal Definition of Murder" rather than claiming murder is merely an unlawful action. If he had really wanted to inform us about the legal definition of murder, he could have written that in as a separate section even. But he chose not to. I would have had no complaints about that. HPearce (talk) 20:36, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

Murder being an unlawful act is not only a legal definition of murder. It's the linguistic definition as well. Any dictionary will tell you that. As explained, there are many examples of unlawful killings which aren't murder. That doesn't make them morally less bad. Neither does it mean that any denial of "right to life" is automatically murder. Again Wikipedia is not the place to right great wrongs.Tvx1 02:29, 26 April 2017 (UTC)

Well if Tvx1 really believes that, then I suppose that had Hitler legalized the killing of jews, then those would not have been murders either. Tvx1 should answer this comment if he is satisfied with the concept of murder as a legal action. You cant't have it both ways unless you only want your government to be able legalize murder. HPearce (talk) 19:38, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

I'm fine with that: murder is not strong enough a word for the atrocities which Hitler committed, and I wouldn't want The Holocaust minimized by reducing it to simple murder.LedRush (talk) 21:53, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
Pointless hypothetical question. He didn't legalize it and it was utterly wrong no matter what word it's described with.Tvx1 02:02, 28 April 2017 (UTC)

"murder is not strong enough a word for the atrocities which Hitler committed, and I wouldn't want The Holocaust minimized by reducing it to simple murder."

To be honest, the Holocaust is not the first thing that comes to my mind when thinking of Hitler and murder. The Night of the Long Knives (1934), was a swift campaign of extrajudicial executions intended to eliminate rival factions within the Nazi Party, and Hitler's political rivals from other parties. The victims included both some of Hitler's oldest allies, and old enemies with whom he wanted to settle a score. The "official" death toll was 85 dead, but historians estimate that at least 200 people were killed. A source from the 1930s actually estimated the casualties to be 400 people, but it is biased and its accuracy its doubtful.

The most prominent victim was Ernst Röhm, a decorated veteran of World War I, founding member of the Nazi Party, and close friend to Hitler since 1919. He had dared question Hitler's leadership and the wisdom of his decisions. Röhm was framed as a traitor and as an agent of France within German ranks. He was captured and pressed to commit suicide, but refused to do so. He reportedly told his captors: "If I am to be killed, let Adolf do it himself." Two of them executed him instead.

The most unusual victim was music critic Willi Schmid. He had no political affiliation, but was arrested and executed. The executioners reportedly mistook him for a man called Willi Schmidt, a Nazi officer who was listed as an intended victim for the purge.

As a teenager, I came across a book covering the Night in detail, and found the calculated execution campaign to be a memorable instance of how people can kill their own allies to stay in power. Dimadick (talk) 00:10, 10 May 2017 (UTC)

I just removed "unlawful" from the first sentence, and then discovered this section. I removed it because it is redundant. The sentence reads "Murder is the killing of another human without justification or valid excuse,...", which seems sufficient to me. It makes it clear that not all killing is murder, but that murder is killing without legal justification or excuse. Removing the redundant word better captures the real ambiguity in the term, that arises in the case where a killing is technically lawful, but controversial—where the justification of the killing is in dispute or is viewed differently by different people. The sentence continues "...especially the unlawful killing of another human being with malice aforethought," which captures the most common case of murder as an unlawful killing.--Srleffler (talk) 01:51, 26 June 2017 (UTC)

I would might agree with you if the lead said "legal justification or valid legal excuse", but it doesn't. Just because the actor believes they have a justification or a valid (for them) excuse does not make an unlawful killing something other than murder; the justification or excuse must be judged sufficient in a court of law (or at least by the legal system, in the form of a prosecutor) to support prosecution for a lesser charge or none at all, which is why the word unlawful is used. The lead here has been discussed ad nauseum, and the current wording reflects consensus. Please leave it alone. General Ization Talk 01:57, 26 June 2017 (UTC)

seemingly contradictory data from 2 presumably reliable sources[edit]

Federal Bureau of Investigation 2014 - Murder Victims, Number of deaths: 11,961

U.S. National Center for Health Statistics 2014 - All firearm deaths Number of deaths: 33,599

1a16 (talk) 19:52, 3 June 2017 (UTC)

Why do you think this data is contradictory? Most firearm deaths are not murder. Firearm death statistics include suicides and lawful killings, such as by police officers in the line of duty.--Srleffler (talk) 01:53, 26 June 2017 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 21 January 2018[edit]

The third element of the common law definition of murder (through criminal act or omission) needs to be removed, as does its accompanying explanation (in section "Definition"). You will note that the source is lecture notes from St Andrews University, but the notes are from a PHILOSOPHY lecture and nowhere is the term "common law" mentioned. In Scotland, murder is LEGALLY defined as "an intent to kill or an act of wicked recklessness", and per that same philosophical source, an omission to save (where the death is foreseen but unintended) does not equal an act of killing (where the death is foreseen and intended).

Under the common law, an omission can NEVER constitute a crime unless a duty of care exists and the accused breached that duty.

For example, if a visitor to a chemical plant noticed that a methane stopcock was open and failed to close it, resulting in the deaths of fifty persons with oxygen deprivation or third-degree burns as the cause, that person would not be considered guilty of any common-law crime. Only were he not a visitor but, for example, the plant manager (who owed a duty of care towards his personnel) or a policeman (who owed a duty of care towards taxpayers) would he be guilty.

Now, imagine there's a Crown dependency by the name of Sainte-Marie. Noticing that the Indictable Offences Act of 1957, passed by the Sainte-Marian House of Assembly, failed to make provision for a few crimes, HM Parliament passes the Homicides Act 2019, which reads in part:

1. Section 419 is added to the Indictable Offences Act 1957 of Sainte-Marie, to read:

419. Murder. Any person X who, maliciously and except as otherwise permitted by law, in relation to any person Y,

a) encourages, occasions, or causes the death of Y, b) omits, in a situation where Y is in manifest and imminent danger of death, to take all reasonable precautions to minimise aforementioned danger,

is guilty of an offence triable on indictment and punishable by imprisonment for a term up to and including the balance of his natural life.


This Act has force and effect on Her Majesty's Dominion of Sainte-Marie.

You see WHY omissions are usually not punishable. If X sees Y dangling by his neck from a tree and fails to cut him down because he's running late for work, he's now guilty of murder. If Y is drowning in a pool, X is now REQUIRED to jump in and save him, or call an ambulance, or throw him a life ring. While the Francophonie and other Napoleonic Code countries may have a generalised duty to rescue, the superior system of common law features a lack of such fripperies.

In short, it is important to disambiguate the MORAL duty to prevent life being lost from the LEGAL duty not to take life. While God may judge someone who let another die, the men of the Old Bailey won't take an interest in it. (talk) 01:22, 22 January 2018 (UTC)

Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format and provide a reliable source if appropriate. General Ization Talk 01:26, 22 January 2018 (UTC)

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Gonna need a citation that murder can result in death...[edit]

According to your own logic in an attempt at an edit war someone made on the Spontaneous Human Combustion page. I'm only asking for a little consistency. Please kindly remove all references to murder causing death until they are properly sourced. (talk) 23:48, 16 November 2018 (UTC)

Subject-pronoun mismatches throughout[edit]

The use, or rather misuse, of the words "they" and "their" as singular pronouns is found profusely in this article. The poor grammar makes reading difficult. A thorough grammatical clean up is in order. However, I am not going to waste my life if a bunch of loony feminists with their own ignorance-based designs on the English language are just going to change it all back. Let me know. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A02:2454:9847:8200:4113:157E:6B96:8C40 (talk) 15:16, 5 June 2019 (UTC)

Let's look at the use of they as a singular pronoun. According to the OED[17] "Singular they has become the pronoun of choice to replace he and she in cases where the gender of the antecedent – the word the pronoun refers to – is unknown, irrelevant, or nonbinary, or where gender needs to be concealed. It’s the word we use for sentences like Everyone loves his mother." But look! This isn't new, the OED also says "The Oxford English Dictionary traces singular they back to 1375, where it appears in the medieval romance William and the Werewolf" pointing out that "Since forms may exist in speech long before they’re written down, it’s likely that singular they was common even before the late fourteenth century. That makes an old form even older." Of course not everyone agrees, but it's a losing battle. "Former Chief Editor of the OED Robert Burchfield, in The New Fowler’s Dictionary of Modern English Usage (1996), dismisses objections to singular they as unsupported by the historical record. Burchfield observes that the construction is ‘passing unnoticed’ by speakers of standard English as well as by copy editors, and he concludes that this trend is ‘irreversible’. People who want to be inclusive, or respectful of other people’s preferences, use singular they. And people who don’t want to be inclusive, or who don’t respect other people’s pronoun choices, use singular they as well. Even people who object to singular they as a grammatical error use it themselves when they’re not looking, a sure sign that anyone who objects to singular they is, if not a fool or an idiot, at least hopelessly out of date."
So our use is correct, has nothing to do with feminism or PC, and you're just going to have to improve your ability to read. It's used so widely it must be a great impediment to your reading. Doug Weller talk 15:36, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
Great Doug, you answered my real question. Now I know just what kind of people hold sway on Wikipedia. However, I do have to hand it to you, by including that quotation by Burchfield, you are able to insult me without having personally to take responsibility for it. The perfect hit-and-run attack. If I were to suggest a way to improve your offensive, if you are going to resort to appeals to authority, keep in mind that OED is a descriptive, not a prescriptive, dictionary. If vast swathes of the English-speaking population start using words and grammatical structures incorrectly, it will be taken up in OED. It is just not a compelling source in this context.
Sure, using "they" in the singular isn't new. However, since mediaeval times, grammar has been refined to make speech and writing more precise in conveying meaning, but let's forget all that, right? Ditch the logical improvements that grammarians in later centuries established simply because they lived after those whose grammar was not more codified. Now, I have no illusions about winning this fight on Wikipedia. I accept that the long-established deliberate dumbing-down of formal education in the west has now made its way to Wikipedia. Chalk one up for your side, Doug. (Yes, after careful thought, I decided to leave my wife out of this.)2A02:2454:9847:8200:4113:157E:6B96:8C40 (talk) 19:16, 5 June 2019 (UTC)

"Non-consensual assisted suicide" listed at Redirects for discussion[edit]


An editor has asked for a discussion to address the redirect Non-consensual assisted suicide. Please participate in the redirect discussion if you wish to do so. signed, Rosguill talk 06:25, 16 August 2019 (UTC)