LAW 535-001 – Criminal Law

Grossly Negligent Involuntary Manslaughter


One commits involuntary manslaughter when he kills another through a gross deviation from the standard of care that reasonable people would exercise in the situation.

It is more than tortuous negligence; it must be "so gross" as to be deserving of criminal punishment.

The Model Penal Code does not recognize gross negligence as a basis for involuntary manslaughter, but has a separate offense of negligent homicide.

When one kills another through an act that exhibits extreme indifference to human life, the difference between reckless murder and involuntary manslaughter is that reckless murder requires that the defendant consciously disregard the risk, while involuntary manslaughter only requires that he be grossly negligent by be being unaware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk to human life.