We have experience representing Mississippi defendants when they have acted to protect themselves and others in a legally justifiable or excusable manner. At common law, there were three classifications of homicide — justifiable homicide, excusable homicide, and criminal homicide.
- Justifiable homicides were those homicides that were authorized by law and were, therefore, not punishable.
- Excusable homicides were those homicides in which the killer was, to some extent, at fault for the death. However, because of other circumstances, prosecution for full-blown criminal homicide was not appropriate. In these situations, the homicide was criminal, but the penalty was reduced.
- Criminal homicide was any homicide that was not justifiable or excusable. Typically, criminal homicides were characterized as either murder or manslaughter.
Justifiable homicide in Mississippi – § 97-3-15
In Mississippi, there are situations you may be justified in killing another person. The most common of these are:
- when you resist an attempt by someone else to kill you or commit any felony upon you unlawfully;
- when you are in any dwelling, in any occupied vehicle, in any place of business, in any place of employment, or in the immediate premises thereof in which such person shall be;
- when committed in the lawful defense of one’s own person or any other human being, where there shall be reasonable ground to apprehend a design to commit a felony or to do some great personal injury, and there shall be imminent danger of such design being accomplished.
Excusable homicide in Mississippi – § 97-3-17
In Mississippi, the killing of another person is excusable:
- When committed by accident and misfortune in doing any lawful act by lawful means, with usual and ordinary caution, and without any unlawful intent;
- When committed by accident and misfortune, in the heat of passion, upon any sudden and sufficient provocation;
- When committed upon any sudden combat, without undue advantage being taken, and without any dangerous weapon being used, and not done in a cruel or unusual manner.
Clearing Your Name
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