Many people do not realize that there is a difference between manslaughter and murder. The main difference is that manslaughter is not premeditated, or "planned ahead of time." According to the Kansas Statutes Chapter 21, there are two types of manslaughter, known as voluntary and involuntary, and there is also vehicular homicide and assisting suicide.
Types of Manslaughter and their Penalties
Voluntary manslaughter is defined in K.S.A. Supp. 21-5404 as knowingly killing a person due to a sudden argument or in the heat of passion, or due to the just use of deadly force. As a severity level 3, person felony, voluntary manslaughter could incur a prison sentence of up to 94 months in prison and a fine of up to $300,000.
Involuntary manslaughter (K.S.A. Supp. 21-5405) is the unintentional killing of a person due to recklessness; while committing or attempting to commit a felony; while fleeing the scene of a felony; and while committing a lawful act in an unlawful manner. As a level 4, person felony, the punishment is 66 months in prison and up to $300,000 in fines.
K.S.A. 21-5406 goes on to list vehicular homicide – also known as vehicular manslaughter – as a class A person misdemeanor. This crime is committed by killing a person while operating any motor vehicle in a manner causing unreasonable risk of injury and is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 and up to one year in jail.
Assisting suicide is also outlawed in K.S.A. 21-5407, where it states that a person may not force a person to commit suicide or assist them by providing the means or partaking in the physical act that helps them commit suicide. The first of these is a severity level 3, person felony, punishable by 66 months in prison and a $300,000 fine. The second is a severity level 9, person felony and could incur up to one year in jail a fine of up to $100,000.
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