Crim. law. According to Blackstone, it is the killing of any human creature. 4 Com. 177. This is the most extensive sense of this word, in which the intention is not considered. But in a more limited sense, it is always understood that the killing is by human agency, and Hawkins defines it to be the killing of a man by a man. 1 Hawk. c. 8, s. 2. See Dalloz, Dict. h. t. Homicide may perhaps be described to be the destruction of the life of one human being, either by himself, or by the act, procurement, or culpable omission of another. When the death has been intentionally caused by the deceased himself, the offender is called felo de se; when it is caused by another, it is justifiable, excusable, or felonious.
2. The person killed must have been born; the killing before birth is balled foeticide. (q. v.)
3. The destruction of human life at any period after birth, is homicide, however near it may be to extinction, from any other cause.
4. - 1. Justifiable homicide is such as arises, 1st. From unavoidable necessity, without any will, intention or desire, and without any inadvertence in the party killing, and therefore without blame; as, for instance, the execution, according to law, of a criminal who has been lawully sentenced to be hanged; or, 2d. It is committed for the advancement of public justice; as if an officer, in the lawful execution of his office, either in a civil or criminal case
, should kill a person who assaults and resists him. 4 Bl. Com. 178-1 80. See Justifiable Homicide.
5. - 2. Excusable homicide is of two kinds 1st. Homicide per infortunium
. (q. v.) or, 2d. Se defendendo
, or self defence
. (q. v.) 4 Bl. Com. 182, 3.
6. - 3. Felonious homicide
, which includes, 1. Self-murder, or suicide;2. Man-slaughter, (q. v.); and , 3. Murder. (q. v.) Vide, generally, 3 Inst. 47 to 57; 1 Hale P. C. 411 to 602; 1 Hawk. c. 8; Fost. 255 to 837; 1 East, P. C. 214 to 391; Com. Dig. Justices, L. M.; Bac. Ab. Murder and Homicide; Burn's Just. h. t.; Williams' Just. h. t.; 2 Chit. Cr. Law, ch.9; Cro. C. C. 285 to 300; 4 Bl. Com. to 204; 1 Russ. Cr. 421 to 553; 2 Swift's Dig. 267 to 292.