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Criminal Code (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46)

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Act current to 2019-11-19 and last amended on 2019-09-19. Previous Versions

PART VIIIOffences Against the Person and Reputation (continued)

Murder, Manslaughter and Infanticide

Marginal note:Murder

 Culpable homicide is murder

  • (a) where the person who causes the death of a human being

    • (i) means to cause his death, or

    • (ii) means to cause him bodily harm that he knows is likely to cause his death, and is reckless whether death ensues or not;

  • (b) where a person, meaning to cause death to a human being or meaning to cause him bodily harm that he knows is likely to cause his death, and being reckless whether death ensues or not, by accident or mistake causes death to another human being, notwithstanding that he does not mean to cause death or bodily harm to that human being; or

  • (c) if a person, for an unlawful object, does anything that they know is likely to cause death, and by doing so causes the death of a human being, even if they desire to effect their object without causing death or bodily harm to any human being.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 229
  • 2019, c. 25, s. 77

 [Repealed, 2019, c. 25, s. 78]

Marginal note:Classification of murder

  •  (1) Murder is first degree murder or second degree murder.

  • Marginal note:Planned and deliberate murder

    (2) Murder is first degree murder when it is planned and deliberate.

  • Marginal note:Contracted murder

    (3) Without limiting the generality of subsection (2), murder is planned and deliberate when it is committed pursuant to an arrangement under which money or anything of value passes or is intended to pass from one person to another, or is promised by one person to another, as consideration for that other’s causing or assisting in causing the death of anyone or counselling another person to do any act causing or assisting in causing that death.

  • Marginal note:Murder of peace officer, etc.

    (4) Irrespective of whether a murder is planned and deliberate on the part of any person, murder is first degree murder when the victim is

    • (a) a police officer, police constable, constable, sheriff, deputy sheriff, sheriff’s officer or other person employed for the preservation and maintenance of the public peace, acting in the course of his duties;

    • (b) a warden, deputy warden, instructor, keeper, jailer, guard or other officer or a permanent employee of a prison, acting in the course of his duties; or

    • (c) a person working in a prison with the permission of the prison authorities and acting in the course of his work therein.

  • Marginal note:Hijacking, sexual assault or kidnapping

    (5) Irrespective of whether a murder is planned and deliberate on the part of any person, murder is first degree murder in respect of a person when the death is caused by that person while committing or attempting to commit an offence under one of the following sections:

    • (a) section 76 (hijacking an aircraft);

    • (b) section 271 (sexual assault);

    • (c) section 272 (sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party or causing bodily harm);

    • (d) section 273 (aggravated sexual assault);

    • (e) section 279 (kidnapping and forcible confinement); or

    • (f) section 279.1 (hostage taking).

  • Marginal note:Criminal harassment

    (6) Irrespective of whether a murder is planned and deliberate on the part of any person, murder is first degree murder when the death is caused by that person while committing or attempting to commit an offence under section 264 and the person committing that offence intended to cause the person murdered to fear for the safety of the person murdered or the safety of anyone known to the person murdered.

  • Marginal note:Murder — terrorist activity

    (6.01) Irrespective of whether a murder is planned and deliberate on the part of a person, murder is first degree murder when the death is caused by that person while committing or attempting to commit an indictable offence under this or any other Act of Parliament if the act or omission constituting the offence also constitutes a terrorist activity.

  • Marginal note:Murder — criminal organization

    (6.1) Irrespective of whether a murder is planned and deliberate on the part of a person, murder is first degree murder when

    • (a) the death is caused by that person for the benefit of, at the direction of or in association with a criminal organization; or

    • (b) the death is caused by that person while committing or attempting to commit an indictable offence under this or any other Act of Parliament for the benefit of, at the direction of or in association with a criminal organization.

  • Marginal note:Intimidation

    (6.2) Irrespective of whether a murder is planned and deliberate on the part of a person, murder is first degree murder when the death is caused by that person while committing or attempting to commit an offence under section 423.1.

  • Marginal note:Second degree murder

    (7) All murder that is not first degree murder is second degree murder.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 231
  • R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), ss. 7, 35, 40, 185(F), c. 1 (4th Supp.), s. 18(F)
  • 1997, c. 16, s. 3, c. 23, s. 8
  • 2001, c. 32, s. 9, c. 41, s. 9
  • 2009, c. 22, s. 5

Marginal note:Murder reduced to manslaughter

  •  (1) Culpable homicide that otherwise would be murder may be reduced to manslaughter if the person who committed it did so in the heat of passion caused by sudden provocation.

  • Marginal note:What is provocation

    (2) Conduct of the victim that would constitute an indictable offence under this Act that is punishable by five or more years of imprisonment and that is of such a nature as to be sufficient to deprive an ordinary person of the power of self-control is provocation for the purposes of this section, if the accused acted on it on the sudden and before there was time for their passion to cool.

  • Marginal note:Questions of fact

    (3) For the purposes of this section, the questions

    • (a) whether the conduct of the victim amounted to provocation under subsection (2), and

    • (b) whether the accused was deprived of the power of self-control by the provocation that he alleges he received,

    are questions of fact, but no one shall be deemed to have given provocation to another by doing anything that he had a legal right to do, or by doing anything that the accused incited him to do in order to provide the accused with an excuse for causing death or bodily harm to any human being.

  • Marginal note:Death during illegal arrest

    (4) Culpable homicide that otherwise would be murder is not necessarily manslaughter by reason only that it was committed by a person who was being arrested illegally, but the fact that the illegality of the arrest was known to the accused may be evidence of provocation for the purpose of this section.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 232
  • 2015, c. 29, s. 7

Marginal note:Infanticide

 A female person commits infanticide when by a wilful act or omission she causes the death of her newly-born child, if at the time of the act or omission she is not fully recovered from the effects of giving birth to the child and by reason thereof or of the effect of lactation consequent on the birth of the child her mind is then disturbed.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 216

Marginal note:Manslaughter

 Culpable homicide that is not murder or infanticide is manslaughter.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 217

Marginal note:Punishment for murder

  •  (1) Every one who commits first degree murder or second degree murder is guilty of an indictable offence and shall be sentenced to imprisonment for life.

  • Marginal note:Minimum punishment

    (2) For the purposes of Part XXIII, the sentence of imprisonment for life prescribed by this section is a minimum punishment.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 218
  • 1973-74, c. 38, s. 3
  • 1974-75-76, c. 105, s. 5

Marginal note:Manslaughter

 Every person who commits manslaughter is guilty of an indictable offence and liable

  • (a) where a firearm is used in the commission of the offence, to imprisonment for life and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of four years; and

  • (b) in any other case, to imprisonment for life.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 236
  • 1995, c. 39, s. 142
 
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