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What is Second Degree Manslaughter under Kentucky Law?
A person is guilty of manslaughter 2nd degree when he wantonly causes the death of another person, including, but not limited to death resulting from operation of a motor vehicle.
A person can also be guilty of manslaughter 2nd degree by leaving a child under the age of eight years in a motor vehicle under circumstances that manifests extreme indifference to human life in which creates a grave risk of death to the child, and causes the child's death.
The penalty for second degree manslaughter is a Class C felony, which is punishable by a term of imprisonment not less than 5, but no more than 10 years. The court may impose a fine of not less than $1,000, but no more than $10,000 or double defendant's gain, whichever is greater.
What Is Reckless Homicide under Kentucky Law?
In Kentucky, under KRS § 507.050, reckless homicide occurs when a defendant recklessly causes the death of another person. Recklessness is the key element involved in this crime. Someone acts recklessly when the person fails to perceive a substantial and unjustifiable risk that should have been apparent.
Reckless homicide requires that the person's conduct grossly deviated from the standard of care that a reasonable person would observe under the same circumstances. There is a fine line between reckless homicide and negligence.
Negligence is noncriminal conduct and only involves civil liability. Police can make the mistake of overcharging the driver, who caused a terrible car accident, with reckless homicide instead of citing him for a traffic violation.
Under reckless homicide, what types of conduct grossly deviates from the standard of care from that of a reasonable person? Some examples would be causing the death of another while driving carelessly and talking or texting on a cell phone, driving a truck and knowing the brakes were defective, and speeding through a residential neighborhood and hitting a child.
The penalty for reckless homicide is a Class D felony, which is punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than 1, but no more than 5 years. The court may impose a fine of not less than $1,000, but no more than $10,000.
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