Gecko, where did you get your law degree?
---> That is such an asinine comment because you don't have a law degree either.
2nd degree murder, EXCLUDES INTENT.
---> No...it doesn't. Murder was defined as killing another human being with "malice aforethought". Malice aforethought is a legal term of art, that encompasses the following types of murder:
- "Intent-to-kill murder"
- "Grievous-bodily-harm murder" - Killing someone in an attack intended to cause them grievous bodiliy harm. For example, if a person fatally stabbed someone, even if she only intended to wound her victim, she could still be executed.
- "Felony-murder" - Killing someone while in the process of committing a felony. Note that at common law, there were few felonies, and all carried the death penalty. For example, at common law, robbery was a felony. So if a robber accidentally killed someone during a robbery, the robber could be executed.
- "Depraved heart murder" - Killing someone in a way that demonstrates a callous disregard for the value of human life. For example, if a person intentionally fires a gun into a crowded room, and someone dies, the person could be convicted of depraved heart murder.
---> Now comes 'manslaughter' and why you're...confused. To start with, the difference between murder and manslaughter is "malice aforethought"...it's present in murder, but NOT in manslaughter. Then there are two distinct types...voluntary and involuntary. Voluntary manslaughter consists of an intentional killing that is accompanied by additional circumstances that mitigate, but do not excuse, the killing. Involuntary manslaughter is the unlawful killing of another human being without intent and it's broken down into two types: 1) criminal-negligence manslaughter; and 2) unlawful-act manslaughter. Criminal-negligence manslaughter is when death results from a high degree of negligence or recklessness.
One can reasonably assume, if you are chasing a person with a loaded gun, one might get harmed or killed.
---> 1) Zimmerman wasn't 'chasing' Martin, he was following him...there IS a difference. 2) And you could make that same assumption WITHOUT carrying a weapon.
In Florida and many states (most states) if you drink and drive and KILL someone, it is charged as 2nd degree murder. You didn't set out or have the intent to kill anyone, but your behavior resulted in a death.
---> You might want to check that again because while Florida Statute §782.071 clearly defines Vehicular Homicide as a 2nd degree felony charge, it still falls under Manslaughter because Murder requires "malice aforethought". Which is not to say that a Vehicular Homicide couldn't be charged as Murder...it's entirely possible to get drunk and see your ex with his/her new squeeze and run them over.
---> As for "many states (most states)"...I also checked the statutes of several other states and vehicular homicide is Manslaughter...NOT Murder. If you want, I would be more than happy to provide you with them.
Why is this so hard to understand?
---> It's not, but then again...I obviously have a greater understanding of the nuances of differences than you do.
If you air your dirty linen in public, expect people to comment on the skid marks!