Criminal Law - Degrees of Homicide in Tennessee


04 Jun

FIRST-DEGREE MURDER is the premeditated and intentional killing of another.  Additionally, it can result from killing another during other types of felonies.  Sentencing can be life in prison, life without the possibility of parole, or the death penalty.

SECOND-DEGREE MURDER is the knowing killing of another.  It can also be a killing that resulted from the unlawful distribution of any Schedule I or II drug.  The drug has to be the proximate cause of death of the user.  This is a Class A felony with punishment from 15 to 40 years in prison.

VOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER  is the intentional or knowing killing of another in a state of passion produced by adequate provocation sufficient to lead a reasonable person to act in an irrational manner.  It is a Class C felony and carries a range of punishment from between 3 to 15 years in prison.

RECKLESS HOMICIDE is the reckless killing of another.  It is a Class D felony with 2 to 12 years imprisonment.

CRIMINALLY NEGLIGENT HOMICIDE is criminally negligent conduct that results in death.  It is a Class E felony with 1 to 6 years in prison.


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