Types of criminal homicide

First-degree murder: An intentional killing, punishable by death or mandatory life in prison without parole. A life sentence is no longer mandatory for juveniles.

Second-degree murder: A killing committed during a felony, punishable for adults with mandatory life in prison without parole. Notably, the charge can apply equally to accomplices who did not kill anybody themselves.

Third-degree murder: All other kinds of murder. Sentences are discretionary up to a maximum of 40 years in prison.

Voluntary manslaughter: A killing without justification committed under sudden passion due to provocation by the person killed or the intended target. Unjustified killings in self-defense are also included. The maximum sentence is 20 years.

Involuntary manslaughter: A killing that results from a reckless or grossly negligent act. The maximum sentence is five years.

Full statute text. More information on sentencing in Pennsylvania.

Compiled by Jeffrey Benzing/PublicSource