Legal-Ease: Murder, manslaughter or homicide?

Lee R. Schroeder is an Ohio licensed attorney with Schroeder Law LLC in Ottawa. He limits his practice to business, real estate, estate planning and agriculture issues in northwest Ohio. He can be reached at or at (419) 523-5523. This article is not intended to serve as legal advice, and specific advice should be sought from the licensed attorney of your choice based upon the specific facts and circumstances that you face.

The terms murder, manslaughter and homicide can be confusing, especially since in the state of Ohio the terms used to describe deaths of people caused by others are different from the terms that are used under federal law and other states. Classifications of deaths that are caused by other people are usually organized by the mental state of the person who caused the death as well as the circumstances that surround the death.

I usually only watch television for sports, especially Ohio State football and basketball. However, when there is no football or basketball, I will sometimes watch crime dramas. My family knows that if I ever die under suspicious circumstances, I would like my family to ask the cast of the TV show Criminal Minds to investigate my death.

In the context of the death of a person that is caused by another person, people are often confused as to which words to use. Therefore, people sometimes use the words murder, homicide and manslaughter interchangeably. However, those words each mean very different things. To further confuse the situation, the words used in Ohio to describe deaths of people caused by others are often different from the words used under federal law and under other states’ laws.

Read more about the differences among the terms murder, manslaughter and homicide in Lee’s article in the Lima News here: Legal-Ease: Murder, manslaughter or homicide?

Source:, “Legal-Ease: Murder, manslaughter or homicide?” by Lee R. Schroeder, August 6, 2016

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