The crimes of murder and manslaughter fall under the umbrella of homicide. There are usually categories within murder and manslaughter as well. Generally, murder is divided into first-degree and second-degree murder, while manslaughter is divided into voluntary and involuntary manslaughter. However, these classifications can vary from state to state.
In Alaska, homicide is divided into multiple categories. Alaska divides murder into murder in the first degree and murder in the second degree, and divides the lesser homicide crimes into manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide. It's also important to note that Alaska has separate statutes when the victim is an unborn child: murder of an unborn child, manslaughter of an unborn child, and criminally negligent homicide of an unborn child.
Alaska Manslaughter Statute
The following table outlines the basics of Alaska’s manslaughter law.
AS 11.41.120, Manslaughter.
What is Prohibited?
A person can be charged with manslaughter if he or she does one of the following:
- Recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally causes the death of a person under circumstances that do not qualify as first or second-degree murder.
- Intentionally helps a person to commit suicide.
- Knowingly delivers or manufactures a controlled substance in violation of AS 11.71.010-11.71.030 or 11.71.040(a)(1), and a person dies as a result of ingesting the controlled substance.
As a class A felony, a person convicted of manslaughter can be sentenced to a prison term of not more than 20 years. In addition to a prison term, a person convicted of a class A felony can be fined up to $250,000.
Criminally Negligent Homicide
In Alaska, there is no involuntary manslaughter statute. Instead, what is known as involuntary manslaughter in other states is classified as criminally negligent homicide in Alaska. Generally, negligence is defined as failing to use reasonable care when performing a particular act. Criminally negligent homicide occurs when a person acts in a criminally negligent manner and causes the death of another person. Criminally negligent homicide is a class B felony, and as such, a person convicted of this crime can be sentenced to a prison term of not more than 10 years and fined up to $100,000.
Alaska Manslaughter and Criminally Negligent Homicide Laws: Related Resources
You can visit FindLaw's Criminal Law section for more information and articles regarding this topic. If you or someone close to you is facing a manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide charge, it's in your best interests to consult with a criminal defense attorney in your area.