1 in how many people commit murder


Killing another person: that is the most serious, most incredible act of violence. Whether negligently, emotionally or long planned: the killing extinguishes a life - and often causes serious emotional injuries to the relatives of the victim, which burden them for a lifetime. Our legal system distinguishes between different forms of killing, including bodily harm resulting in death, manslaughter and murder.

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Word explanation (definition)

Kill a man

Killing a person is the most extreme form of physical violence. Everything that a person is in this world is destroyed: with a blow or kick, a knife, a dose of poison.

Man is not only killed as a person, but also in all of his roles: as a husband or partner, father or mother, brother or sister, as a child that is loved above all else, as a friend, friend, colleague or club mate. A killing therefore almost always affects more than one person: not only the person killed, but also the environment, the relatives. Many of them suffer emotional injuries. Special counseling offers help survivors - children and adults alike - to find their way back to life. (You can find links to contact points below!)

Symbolic picture: A person was killed. Negligent, deliberate and / or insidious? This usually only becomes apparent in the course of the investigation.

391 cases of murder, manslaughter and homicide on request were recorded in Bavaria in 2019. The police were able to clear up 367 cases. Among the 428 suspects were 378 men and 50 women, including 2 children (= under 14 years), 24 adolescents (= 14 to 18 years), 54 adolescents (= 18 to 21 years) and 348 adults (= 21 years and older) .

Examples (forms)

Negligent and intentional manslaughter

When one person kills another, lay people often speak of murder. Much more common than murder, however, are other forms of killing. The demarcation is often difficult, even for lawyers. You can find examples here.

  • Negligent homicide
    Example: A car driver looks at his smartphone when turning right. That's why he overlooks a cyclist. He hits her; the woman dies from her injuries.
  • Bodily harm resulting in death
    Example: someone attacks another person in an argument and strikes. The victim falls miserably, suffers head injuries and dies.
    Robbery and arson resulting in death are related. What connects these forms: The death of the victim is not brought about consciously or deliberately. Example arson - the police and the judiciary have to differentiate: Did the perpetrator set fire to the house to kill the people sleeping in it or at least approve of their death? Or did he / she want to cheat the insurance company and assume that no one is in the house? The first case is manslaughter or murder, the second arson resulting in death.
  • murder
    Murder is committed by anyone who 1. deliberately kills another person and 2. also acts out of lust for murder, to satisfy the sexual instinct, out of greed or otherwise for low motives, insidiously, cruelly or with publicly dangerous means or in order to facilitate or cover up a criminal offense. Anyone convicted of murder receives life imprisonment.
  • homicide
    If someone kills another person willfully without fulfilling any of the murder criteria mentioned above, then he / she can only be convicted of manslaughter. Manslaughter is imprisonment between 5 and 15 years, in less serious cases between 1 and 10 years.

When a person doesn't want to go on living

Some seriously ill people do not want to be kept alive by all medical means. Others want to take their own lives, but do not have the strength or the possibilities to do so themselves. A distinction is made between different forms:

Passive euthanasia (termination and omission of life support measures): In humans, life-prolonging measures (such as tube feeding or artificial respiration) are dispensed with. Passive euthanasia is permitted if this corresponds to the real or presumed will of the patient (stipulated, for example, in an advance directive).

Indirect active euthanasia: In the last phase of life, for example, a person receives very strong painkillers or sedatives, which as a (not intended) side effect may shorten his life. Indirect active euthanasia is permitted if it corresponds to the patient's stated or presumed will (refusing pain relievers, on the other hand, could even be prosecuted as bodily harm).

The right to passive and indirect active euthanasia is not expressly stipulated in the criminal law. In a 1996 ruling, however, the Federal Court of Justice rated the duty of doctors to alleviate pain and suffering higher than the possible shortening of life. Accordingly, literally, death is an "unavoidable side effect of a medically prescribed pain-relieving medication" (to the BGH judgment on passive or indirect active euthanasia).

A person is killed at his expressly and seriously expressed wish. This killing on request is prohibited (Section 216 StGB).

Someone helps a person commit suicide by, for example, providing them with a lethal drug cocktail. However, the person who wants to die takes the medication himself. Assisted suicide is not a criminal offense. Prerequisite: It is clear that the person wanted to leave life voluntarily.

Find out more: on the judgment of the Federal Constitutional Court on the right to self-determined death from February 26, 2020

Did you know ...

Murder does not expire

Criminal offenses such as theft or forgery of documents expire after a few years. In the case of manslaughter, it is 20 years. Murder, on the other hand, is never statute-barred. Anyone who commits murder as a young adult can still be charged and convicted as an old man. The characteristics of murder and the level of punishment are laid down in the Criminal Code (Section 211 of the Criminal Code).

"You should not kill"

This command can be found, for example, in the Torah and the Bible (Exodus 20: 1-17) and in the Koran (Sura 5, verse 32). It has always been interpreted differently in the religions in the course of the ages, for example as a prohibition (only) of murder, but not, for example, of killing in self-defense, in military action or in the form of an execution.

Manslaughter by failure

... means that a person dies because one or more other people did NOT do something (which they should actually be obliged to do) - and at least accepted the death of the person with approval. Example 1: A car driver hits a cyclist. Instead of providing first aid, he is hit and missed; the cyclist is bleeding to death. Example 2: A young couple goes on a short trip and leaves their baby at home alone; the baby dies of thirst. Example 3: A man takes care of his sick wife at home. When her condition worsens dramatically, he does not call the ambulance; his wife dies.

Learn more:

The police crime statistics provide up-to-date figures every year and report on new developments. Here you can download the statistics for Bavaria as well as yearbooks, tables and the children's and youth reports.

To the police crime statistics for Bavaria

Knives are the most common weapons of killing. No wonder: They are easy to obtain and ready to hand in almost every household.

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