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The various homicides

simple homicide

The fact of killing someone is the crime par excellence, to the point that it is represented as the crime proscribed since the world began. But how does current law criminalize killing someone?

The first recognized crime is simple murder. It is prohibited by article 221-1 of the penal code. Murder is the fact of committing positive acts likely to cause death, and precisely with the intention of doing so. Like no one can fathom the heart and kidneys, the intention to kill is deduced by the judge from facts such as the dangerousness of the means used (firearms, bladed weapons, etc.) or the vital nature of the parts of the body targeted or affected (the heart, the head, neck, thorax etc.)

Simple murder is punishable by 30 years' imprisonment. But there are a myriad of offenses that can incriminate a homicide when it is accompanied by particular circumstances. Since in law the special law derogates from the general law, the various offenses involving homicide apply rather than that of simple murder when the facts meet the conditions provided for by law.

The various homicides

The main homicide offenses are:

  • Homicide concomitant with or linked to another crime or misdemeanor (example: theft). Criminalized in article 221-2 of the Penal Code and punishable by life imprisonment.
  • Premeditated homicide or “assassination”. Criminalized in article 221-3 of the Penal Code and liable to life imprisonment.
  • Aggravated homicide. It is a murder whose motivations can be racist or sexist which are today a cause of general aggravation for all crimes and misdemeanors except exceptions provided for by law; or if the victim is the perpetrator's spouse or partner, it is this hypothesis that incriminates feminicide in principle. He is criminalized in article 221-4 of the Penal Code and is liable to life imprisonment.
  • Homicide by poisoning is criminalized in article 221-5 of the penal code and is punishable by 30 years of criminal imprisonment.
  • Acts of torture and barbarism having resulted in death without the intention of giving it. Criminalized in article 221-6 of the Penal Code.
  • The "death blows" are the hypothesis of the death of a victim under the blows of an aggressor who did not want to kill, typically the hypothesis of "fights with tragic ends". They are incriminated in article 222-7 of the Criminal Code and liable to 15 years' imprisonment. Article 222-8 incriminates aggravated mortal blows which are motivated mortal blows or in the circumstances of aggravated murder (see above).

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