18c2501h

 

 

CHAPTER 25

CRIMINAL HOMICIDE

 

Sec.

2501.  Criminal homicide.

2502.  Murder.

2503.  Voluntary manslaughter.

2504.  Involuntary manslaughter.

2505.  Causing or aiding suicide.

2506.  Drug delivery resulting in death.

2507.  Criminal homicide of law enforcement officer.

 

Enactment.  Chapter 25 was added December 6, 1972, P.L.1482, No.334, effective in six months.

Cross References.  Chapter 25 is referred to in sections 911, 2602, 3502 of this title; section 5432 of Title 20 (Decedents, Estates and Fiduciaries); sections 2511, 3103, 5329, 6344 of Title 23 (Domestic Relations); sections 5750, 5985.1, 5993, 6302 of Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure).

18c2501s

§ 2501.  Criminal homicide.

(a)  Offense defined.--A person is guilty of criminal homicide if he intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or negligently causes the death of another human being.

(b)  Classification.--Criminal homicide shall be classified as murder, voluntary manslaughter, or involuntary manslaughter.

18c2501v

 

Cross References.  Section 2501 is referred to in section 5708 of this title; section 4503 of Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure).

18c2502s

§ 2502.  Murder.

(a)  Murder of the first degree.--A criminal homicide constitutes murder of the first degree when it is committed by an intentional killing.

(b)  Murder of the second degree.--A criminal homicide constitutes murder of the second degree when it is committed while defendant was engaged as a principal or an accomplice in the perpetration of a felony.

(c)  Murder of the third degree.--All other kinds of murder shall be murder of the third degree. Murder of the third degree is a felony of the first degree.

(d)  Definitions.--As used in this section the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

"Fireman."  Includes any employee or member of a municipal fire department or volunteer fire company.

"Hijacking."  Any unlawful or unauthorized seizure or exercise of control, by force or violence or threat of force or violence.

"Intentional killing."  Killing by means of poison, or by lying in wait, or by any other kind of willful, deliberate and premeditated killing.

"Perpetration of a felony."  The act of the defendant in engaging in or being an accomplice in the commission of, or an attempt to commit, or flight after committing, or attempting to commit robbery, rape, or deviate sexual intercourse by force or threat of force, arson, burglary or kidnapping.

"Principal."  A person who is the actor or perpetrator of the crime.

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(Mar. 26, 1974, P.L.213, No.46, eff. imd.; Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.84, No.39, eff. 60 days)

 

Cross References.  Section 2502 is referred to in sections 2506, 2507, 2602, 5702, 5708, 6105 of this title; section 3304 of Title 5 (Athletics and Sports); section 5329 of Title 23 (Domestic Relations); sections 1515, 5551, 9711.1, 9718, 9802 of Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure); sections 3903, 4103, 5007, 6139, 7122 of Title 61 (Prisons and Parole).

18c2503s

§ 2503.  Voluntary manslaughter.

(a)  General rule.--A person who kills an individual without lawful justification commits voluntary manslaughter if at the time of the killing he is acting under a sudden and intense passion resulting from serious provocation by:

(1)  the individual killed; or

(2)  another whom the actor endeavors to kill, but he negligently or accidentally causes the death of the individual killed.

(b)  Unreasonable belief killing justifiable.--A person who intentionally or knowingly kills an individual commits voluntary manslaughter if at the time of the killing he believes the circumstances to be such that, if they existed, would justify the killing under Chapter 5 of this title (relating to general principles of justification), but his belief is unreasonable.

(c)  Grading.--Voluntary manslaughter is a felony of the first degree.

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(Nov. 17, 1995, 1st Sp.Sess., P.L.1144, No.36, eff. 60 days)

 

1995 Amendment.  Act 36, 1st Sp.Sess., amended subsec. (c).

Cross References.  Section 2503 is referred to in sections 5702, 5708, 6105 of this title; sections 1515, 9711, 9802 of Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure); sections 6139, 7122 of Title 61 (Prisons and Parole).

18c2504s

§ 2504.  Involuntary manslaughter.

(a)  General rule.--A person is guilty of involuntary manslaughter when as a direct result of the doing of an unlawful act in a reckless or grossly negligent manner, or the doing of a lawful act in a reckless or grossly negligent manner, he causes the death of another person.

(b)  Grading.--Involuntary manslaughter is a misdemeanor of the first degree. Where the victim is under 12 years of age and is in the care, custody or control of the person who caused the death, involuntary manslaughter is a felony of the second degree.

18c2504v

(July 6, 1995, P.L.251, No.31, eff. 60 days)

 

Cross References.  Section 2504 is referred to in sections 2711, 6105 of this title; section 1611 of Title 75 (Vehicles).

18c2505s

§ 2505.  Causing or aiding suicide.

(a)  Causing suicide as criminal homicide.--A person may be convicted of criminal homicide for causing another to die by suicide only if he intentionally causes such suicide by force, duress or deception.

(b)  Aiding or soliciting suicide as an independent offense.--A person who intentionally aids or solicits another to die by suicide is guilty of a felony of the second degree if his conduct causes such suicide or an attempted suicide, and otherwise of a misdemeanor of the second degree.

(c)  Sentencing.--

(1)  The Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing, in accordance with 42 Pa.C.S. § 2154 (relating to adoption of guidelines for sentencing), shall provide for a sentence enhancement within its guidelines for an offense under this section when at the time of the offense the person who died by suicide or was aided or solicited to die by suicide is under 18 years of age or has an intellectual disability or autism spectrum disorder.

(2)  As used in this subsection, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this paragraph unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Autism spectrum disorder."  As defined under 42 Pa.C.S. § 5992 (relating to definitions), regardless of the age of the individual.

"Intellectual disability."  Regardless of the age of the individual, significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning that is accompanied by significant limitations in adaptive functioning in at least two of the following skill areas:

(i)  Communication.

(ii)  Self-care.

(iii)  Home living.

(iv)  Social and interpersonal skills.

(v)  Use of community resources.

(vi)  Self-direction.

(vii)  Functional academic skills.

(viii)  Work.

(ix)  Health.

(x)  Safety.

18c2505v

(Sept. 30, 2021, P.L.400, No.71, eff. 60 days)

18c2506s

§ 2506.  Drug delivery resulting in death.

(a)  Offense defined.--A person commits a felony of the first degree if the person intentionally administers, dispenses, delivers, gives, prescribes, sells or distributes any controlled substance or counterfeit controlled substance in violation of section 13(a)(14) or (30) of the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L.233, No.64), known as The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, and another person dies as a result of using the substance.

(b)  Penalty.--

(1)  A person convicted under subsection (a) shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment which shall be fixed by the court at not more than 40 years.

(2)  Paragraph (1) shall not apply to a person convicted under section 2502(c) (relating to murder) when the victim is less than 13 years of age and the conduct arises out of the same criminal act.

(c)  Proof of sentencing.--(Deleted by amendment).

(d)  Authority of court in sentencing.--(Deleted by amendment).

(e)  Appeal by Commonwealth.--(Deleted by amendment).

(f)  Forfeiture.--Assets against which a forfeiture petition has been filed and is pending or against which the Commonwealth has indicated an intention to file a forfeiture petition shall not be subject to a fine. Nothing in this section shall prevent a fine from being imposed on assets which have been subject to an unsuccessful forfeiture petition.

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(Dec. 22, 1989, P.L.773, No.109, eff. imd.; Feb. 18, 1998, P.L.102, No.19, eff. 60 days; July 7, 2011, P.L.220, No.40, eff. 60 days; June 18, 2014, P.L.741, No.56, eff. 60 days)

 

2014 Amendment.  Act 56 amended subsec. (b).

Cross References.  Section 2506 is referred to in sections 3308, 5702 of this title; section 9714 of Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure).

18c2507s

§ 2507.  Criminal homicide of law enforcement officer.

(a)  Murder of a law enforcement officer of the first degree.--A person commits murder of a law enforcement officer of the first degree who intentionally kills a law enforcement officer while in the performance of duty knowing the victim is a law enforcement officer.

(b)  Murder of a law enforcement officer of the second degree.--A person commits murder of a law enforcement officer of the second degree who engages as a principal or an accomplice in the perpetration of a felony during which a law enforcement officer is killed while in the performance of duty.

(c)  Manslaughter of a law enforcement officer in the first degree.--A person commits a felony in the first degree who does any of the following:

(1)  Without lawful justification kills a law enforcement officer while in the performance of duty and with knowledge that the victim was a law enforcement officer, if at the time of the killing:

(i)  the person is acting under a sudden and intense passion resulting from serious provocation by the victim killed; or

(ii)  the person is acting under a sudden and intense passion resulting from serious provocation by another individual whom the actor endeavors to kill, but the person negligently or accidentally causes the death of the victim.

(2)  Intentionally or knowingly kills a law enforcement officer while in the performance of duty and with knowledge that the victim was a law enforcement officer, if at the time of the killing the person believes the circumstances to be such that, if they existed, would justify the killing under Chapter 5 (relating to general principles of justification), but his belief is unreasonable.

(d)  Manslaughter of a law enforcement officer in the second degree.--A person commits a felony of the second degree who, as a direct result of the doing of an unlawful or lawful act in a reckless or grossly negligent manner, causes the death of a law enforcement officer while in the performance of duty and the person knew or should have known the victim was a law enforcement officer.

(e)  Definitions.--As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

"Law enforcement officer."  This term shall have the same meaning as the term "peace officer" is given under section 501 (relating to definitions).

"Perpetration of a felony."  As defined under section 2502(d) (relating to murder).

18c2507v

(Oct. 17, 2008, P.L.1628, No.131, eff. 60 days)

 

2008 Amendment.  Act 131 added section 2507.

Cross References.  Section 2507 is referred to in section 9714 of Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure).