What is attempted murder

Murder - When is a criminal considered a murderer?

Penalty Catalog
murderlife imprisonment
attempted murder
... mitigation (Section 49 (1) StGB) possible on
Imprisonment between
3 and 15 years

Generally this is true Crime "murder" also from an ethical point of view as worst offense, which is known in German criminal law.

Nonetheless, that homicidal offense has probably accompanied humanity from the very beginning - worldwide and across cultural and religious borders.

In German Criminal Code (StGB) however find themselves different homicidesthat stand next to the murder and are to be separated from it. But in what exactly there is a difference between murder and manslaughter? What makes a murderer under German criminal law?

The demarcation in particular does not always seem clear to laypeople. Find out in the following guide, when a perpetratorwho brings another person to death, Killer iswhen blackjack and what punishment German criminal law provides for murder.

What is the difference between murder and manslaughter?

Before we get to the exact definition of the facts Murder under Section 211 of the Criminal Code dedicate it first of all Delimitation of the individual homicideslisted in the Criminal Code.

The criminal law knows a wide variety of things Offenses against life (Section 16 of the Criminal Code). Most important here is the distinction between Murder, manslaughter (§§ 212, 213 StGB) and negligent homicide (§ 222 StGB).

The latter can be separated comparatively easily from the other two criminal offenses: During the killing negligence underlies the prosecution of murder and manslaughter willful action ahead. In relation to the two facts, this means that the perpetrator actually also another person want to kill or he is aware that his action can cost the life of others.

Since the intent must relate to the intention to kill, bodily harm resulting in death can also be delimited at this point: This is an intentional act, where the intent only refers to the physical damage. For this reason, this offense is also in criminal law not in Section 16 of the Criminal Code as an offense against life, but listed in Section 17 as an act directed against the physical integrity of a person.

But where is that Difference Between Murder and Manslaughter? In essence, it is differentiation linked to the motivation and the approachunderlying the homicide. While the success of the crime - the death of the victim - is at the center of the assessment in the case of manslaughter, the Criminal Code allows a special weighting of the ethical reprehensibility or dangerousness get.

In criminal law are included different characteristics of murder defined. If none of these special characteristics can be identified in the case of an intentional homicide, the perpetrator is to be convicted of a manslaughter, not a murderer.

Basically it is The distinction between manslaughter and murder is still controversial in today's jurisprudence - not least because since the criminal law reform of the National Socialists in 1941 no more fundamental changes have been made to the murder paragraph. Many other countries fail to make such a distinction between manslaughter and murder.

What is murder Legal definition based on the characteristics of murder

A murderer is basically the same as a manslaughter with regard to the commission of the crime. But one special weighting according to the criminal code, the murder is due to the basis of the crime: The presence of certain stipulated murder features makes the murder appear to be a particularly reprehensible or dangerous crime.

The following Features of murder are named in Section 211 (2) of the Criminal Code:

“Killer is who
out of lust for murder, to satisfy the sexual instinct, out of greed or otherwise for low motives,
insidious or cruel or with dangerous means or
to make another criminal act possible or to cover it up,
kills a person. "

A distinction is made between the characteristics of murder three different case groups: low motivation, reprehensibility in the commission of the offense and goal setting. We want to shed light on these in more detail below.

Basically you can several facts at the same time justify a murder, but the presence of a single one is sufficient - and the perpetrator's intention to kill.

Features of murder - definitions from legal research

Terms like lust for murder and greed have probably come across everyone. The criminal law, however, always tries to find facts that can be proven as objectively as possible. But how can a lust for murder express itself? When can insidiousness be accepted? When is a cover-up murder to be recognized?

Murder of low motivation

First of all, the so-called “low motives” must be examined more closely.

In principle, a lower motive lies in his particular immorality and the perpetrator's selfishness expressed by the act.
Characteristic of murderous desire

The criminal law recognizes Lust for murder usually when the Action serves an end in itself - so the culprit for the sake of killing itself kills another person. The motive to which the end in itself refers can be different, because of the perpetrator, for example

  • want to see another person die.
  • wants to boast of the act to third parties.
  • recognizes a physical or psychological challenge in the homicide.
  • kills in order to live out his own power instinct in this way.

Basically, when killing, one expresses itself out of the desire to kill total disregard for human life. Victims of such perpetrators are often randomly chosen peopleso that they can be exchanged at will. Just Series of murders and mass murders are not infrequently based on the perpetrator's lust for murder.

Murder for the satisfaction of the sex drive

In order to recognize such an offense, the offense must demonstrably be based on the motivation of the offender, to live out one's own sex drive. In doing so, he turns the life of others into an object that serves his instinctual satisfaction. Are there different constellations imaginable:

  1. The perpetrator himself is sexually aroused and satisfied by the power exercised against the victim or his killing - so it does not have to come to the actual sexual act (Lust murder).
  2. The perpetrator kills his victim in order to sexually assault the corpse afterwards (necrophilia).
  3. First and foremost, the perpetrator wants to sexually abuse his victim, but willingly accepts this in the course of the rape and used force dies.
Murder trait greed

In murder, the craving of the perpetrator is out of greed on someone else's belongings - namely the victim - and should be finalized in the Enrichment of the murderer flow out. The motivation of the offender is therefore on the material possessions based. In principle, greed is not limited to monetary values. Objects of very subjective value, paintings and drugs can also arouse desires, so that a perpetrator feels compelled to kill.

From the pharaohs, Caesars, kings who were killed by their successors for them to do Take over the throne and power could, up to today's domestic murders, in which large Inheritances Arouse desires: Greed seems to be a particularly strong motivewhich has always been woven through human history - and which, not least, often plays a special role in Shakespeare and other great works.

By the way, you can too Contract killings are included in this category, as commissioned murderers usually kill in exchange for a financial or other material good.
More low motives

The law text is regarding base motives in murder not formulated conclusively, so that, in principle, others than those named above can also be considered.

This is above all the Individuality of man owed, which can also motivate a possible will to kill differently depending on the personality of the perpetrator. In each Individual case Therefore, the motives must be checked again.

Friedrich Schiller already knew in his work “The Robbers” about the diversity of motives for murder, especially those Goddesses of revenge (Furies) were suitable for his portrayal:

"Murder! Like a whole hell of furies
flutters around the word! "

In addition to revenge (also in feuds) z. B. the following other low motives represent a murder trait:

  • Hatred (also racially motivated or genocide)
  • Anger
  • jealousy
  • alleged defamation (as in honor killings)
  • The perpetrator's attempt to flee
  • and much more m.

Reprehensibility when committing murder

The second case group is special In criminal law, attention is not paid to the perpetrator's personal motives, but to the execution of the killing yourself - the chosen means, as well as manner. The particular danger here is just as in the case of dangerous bodily harm based on the from the outside observable act recognizable.

Insidious murder

The key points regarding the insidiousness are those Innocence and defenselessness of a victimthat the perpetrator uses for his own purposes. The chosen victim does not suspect any evil or is not aware of the impending danger - it is innocent. Due to this lack of knowledge, the Resistance of the person affected is considerably restricted be - he is (at least partially) defenseless.

There is different approaches: On the one hand, the exploitation of innocence can show itself when the perpetrator is his victim ambushed from behind and attacks, so it does not see it coming and is therefore not aware of the impending danger.

On the other hand, however, insidiousness can also be recognized if the perpetrator is first creeps the trust of his victim and then exploited it for the killing.

Particular cruelty as a feature of murder

First of all, such a differentiation is not understandable for the layperson, since every crime against the life or the physical integrity of a person must be regarded as cruel - this is already taught by the moral understanding in society. But why is not every homicidal offense the same as murder?

In criminal law, there is one here special differentiation to the purely ethical-moral definition met. According to the criminal law, cruelty is expressed in murder by the fact that the victim is subjected to far greater pain and agony than the actual killing should have caused. That sounds pretty macabre at first. However, it can sometimes be attributed to a particularly pronounced sadism and the inhuman attitude of the perpetrator.

Whether the perpetrator lets the victim suffer excessively because of a thirst for revenge, sadistic inclinations or other attitudes can in most cases be neglected. As a rule, particular cruelty can be recognized by the execution of the crime, e.g. B. if

  • the perpetrator initially attacks the victim over a longer period of time torturesbefore he kills it.
  • a basically fatal as well as painful and agonizing act is performed on the victim through which the However, death only occurs after a long time.
The choice of means

Basically the justifies Gun use is not automatic the presence of a Murder trait. So whoever uses guns and stabbing weapons or poison to kill a person is not always a murderer. The decisive factor with regard to the murder characteristic is the Choice of dangerous meansthat by using actually a Danger to meanness arises.

The use must not only endanger the actual victim, but potentially other people toothat are in the area. This can be the case, for example, when a bomb ignited or else Objects from a motorway bridge to be thrown. Also the Arson an inhabited house sometimes endangers neighbors and roommates, which, depending on the individual case, may be a public hazard.

At Poisoning but can often also be the homicidal trait of the Insidiousness be justified.

Objective - What did the perpetrator want to achieve with the murder?

On a third level of assessment, the Objective of a homicide establish a murder conviction. What is meant here, however, is not the satisfaction of individual subjective drives - these fall under the base motives.

Killing to make another crime possible

The Enablement intent refers to the perpetrator killing his victim, in order to make another criminal act possible in the first place. This can be considered, for example, if a security guard is killed during a robbery in order to make the robbery possible.

In any case, the basic requirement is that the perpetrator has the Intended homicide in order to commit another criminal act. If he is wrong about the fact that the other offense is also punishable - and it is actually not at all - can still be identified as murder.

It would be different, for example, if the perpetrator kills a person in order to be able to commit an act, from which he erroneously assumes that it is not punishable - no matter whether this is the case or not. In this case, the conviction for manslaughter would be conceivable, but not for murder - provided that no other murder features are recognizable.

Killing to cover up a crime

The other way around, too, seems possible: Kills one offender to kill another who has already been committed To cover up crime - to prevent prosecution - this can also be recognized as a feature of murder.

In principle, however, the Selfishness of the perpetrator can be determined, so that the intention to cover up is criminally sometimes also called low motivation is recognized. Either way, however, it is a murder trait.

Whether the extensive description of the facts in a murder shows that the Decision for or against convicting an offender is not made lightly becomes. Rather, the public prosecutor and court must clarify numerous questions before pleading for murder or manslaughter in a homicide offense.

When does murder become statute-barred?

The limitation periods in criminal law are based on Section 78 of the Criminal Code. As a rule, this is the respective one Maximum penalty decisive, as the criminal code provides for the respective criminal offense. In principle, criminal offenses can also expire after thirty years, one life imprisonment entail.

But does this statute of limitations also apply to murder? Until 1969, the statute of limitations was 20 years for murder. But since this would mean that Nazi crimes committed during World War II would also become statute-barred by 1965 at the latest, the government at that time agreed on a change in the law.

Initially, the limitation period was increased to 30 years. since 1979 however, the statute of limitations after the revised one applies to murder Section 78 (2) of the Criminal Code:

"Crimes under Section 211 (murder) do not expire."

Even if the Main accused dies, the crime remains negotiable from a criminal law perspective. In this way, possible accomplices can continue to be prosecuted.

Murder never expires - neither with regard to prosecution nor with regard to the execution of sentences imposed. Incidentally, this also applies to one attempted murder.

The verdict is murder: what punishment is there?

Different from the various forms of assault is for a proven murder no longer given a penalty frameworkwithin which the court can move when pronouncing the judgment.

There is only one intended punishment that can be considered for murder under German criminal law: life imprisonment.

So here is a departure from time-limited imprisonment no maximum of 15 years codified. The perpetrator can potentially actually do so until the end of his life Remain in prison if, according to the expert opinion and social forecast, he continues to pose a threat to the community or if the particular gravity of the guilt has been determined.

However, every convicted murderer is legally entitled to one regular detention check to demand. Here psychologists and other specialists create an overall picture of the reasons for imprisonment. If these are no longer given, the remainder of the imprisonment can be suspended on probation.

But in the case of murder: the first detention test can only take place after 15 years at the earliest Residence in the correctional facility can be requested. That means every killer first at least 15 years imprisonment must perform.

For a committed murder in the judgment of the court, in addition to the life imprisonment, even the subsequent preventive detention certain, a convicted murderer usually comes never again on the loose. Even if the reasons for detention are no longer given, suspension on probation does not take place. Instead, the perpetrator has to move from prison to a special one Security institution move - for the rest of his life.

What is the penalty for attempted murder?

Not every attempted murder leads to the death of the chosen victim. That the crime has not happened now, as a rule does not reduce the reprehensibility of the act itself. And the attempt remains punishable under German law, even if it is for murder in Section 211 of the Criminal Code not explicitly punishable is posed.

The reason for this, however, is that Murder is a crime under the criminal definition. However, while attempted offenses are only actually punishable if the corresponding paragraphs are written down, the following applies for all crimes automatically the attempted criminality (Section 22 (1) of the Criminal Code).

In principle, however, only one can attempted but not completed criminal offense punished more leniently (Section 22, Paragraph 2 of the Criminal Code). A life imprisonment, which normally threatens for a murder, can also be turned into a early imprisonment between three and a maximum of 15 years be converted (Section 49 Paragraph 1 Number 1 StGB).

Important is, however, that although the possibility is purely legal, the courts are not obliged to actually punish every attempted murder in accordance with Section 49 of the Criminal Code. This means that attempted murder can generally face life imprisonment.

What punishment do juvenile offenders receive for murder?

The Juvenile Criminal Law may overrule the Criminal Code by making it available for juvenile offenders maximum ceilings for the imposed custodial sentences specifies. Basically writes that Juvenile Court Act (JGG) before that for juvenile offenders no prison sentences over ten years may be imposed.

The main reason for this is that young perpetrators in particular should be given a realistic chance, from theirs to theirs immaturity To draw the right lessons from founded deeds. Because of this you can too young murderers Hope for a second chance: Because for crimes that are normally threatened with more than ten years imprisonment according to the StGB, young people can follow Section 18 (1) sentence 2 JGG be sentenced to a maximum of ten years imprisonment. So:

A juvenile offenderwho committed murder as defined in the Criminal Code can to maximum ten years imprisonment to be judged.

Punishment for inciting murder and aiding and abetting

Just about one thing Contract murder and jointly committed murder The question regularly arises how instigators and possible accomplices can be punished. This depends on the Sections 26 and 27 of the Criminal Code.

For Instigator (§ 26 StGB) applies that they can be punished as well as the perpetratorthat they deliberately instigated a crime. In other words, if a husband instigated an acquaintance to murder his wife, both can be equally convicted of murder.

For the Aiding and abetting a criminal offense (Section 27 StGB) on the other hand is a Mitigation of sentences required in accordance with Section 49 (1) of the Criminal Code. If an assistant has supported a murderer in the commission of the crime, the assistant is usually one of them Between three and 15 years in prison to condemn.

But: In principle, a participant who is guilty of aiding and abetting a murder can also join a life imprisonment be convicted if traits of murder evident in his own actions are. For this, it is necessary to consider the respective individual case.

How many murders are there actually in Germany?

Murders are particularly interesting for media reporting, because they stir up and reveal human fates and abysses. Not infrequently it appears to the readers, listeners and viewers that Murders in Germany deal with the police and the judiciary every day.

But actually it is The murder rate in Germany is very low compared to other countries.

According to the Police crime statistics of the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), which is published annually, were published in Year 2015 nationwide a total of 777 homicides recorded, however, this is a summary of all the attempted and accomplished deeds. 481 people survived assassinations carried out on them.

A total of 296 people died at the hands of a murderer in 2015 - So murder is not common in this country. With a population density of a little more than 80 million people, that's roughly the equivalent of one Murder rate of 0.37 (people) per 100,000 inhabitants.

Compared to the year 2000, in which 497 completed deeds were registered, The murder rate has fallen by a good 40 percent over the past 15 years.

The Clearance rate is also very high, especially for homicides, and in 2015 was total almost 95 percent.

Murder statistics: Germany compared to other countries

A transnational study of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNOCD) based in Vienna has a comprehensive mapping of kill rates set up in all countries of the world. The murder rate can be considered more appropriate Indicator of the level of security apply in a country.

The Kill rate of a country is based on every 100,000 inhabitants. At a rate of 2.0, the total number of killings would be 2 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2012. However, suicides, negligent homicide, self-defense, executed death sentences and war victims have not been taken into accountso that little can be said about the actual degree of security in the respective country, but about the frequency of the pure form of crime in killings.

It should be noted that here all consummated homicides are included in the evaluation, which in Year 2012 committed in the respective state. The The killing rate for Germany thus includes every completed murder as well as manslaughter. In many other countries, such as Great Britain and the USA, a corresponding distinction is not anchored in criminal law.

In the following table we have included some selected data from other countries to show the status Germany in the global overall statistics occupies.

countryKilling rate per 100,000 inhabitants (descending) *Total killings (2012) *
South Africa31,016.259
Ivory coast13,62.691
North Korea5,21.293
United States4,714.827
Norway **2,2
(normal: around 0.7)
Great Britain1,0653
New Zealand0,941
Saudi arabia0,8234
United Arab Emirates0,769
*Registered completed kills without: suicides, executed death sentences, war victims, negligent homicide, self-defense
**Numbers from the year 2011, in which the death rate in Norway is due to that committed by Anders Behring Breivik in Oslo and on the island of Utøya attacks significantly increased (by 77 deaths)
(43 Ratings, average: 4,12 of 5)
Murder - When is a criminal considered a murderer?
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