Q. 1. When is killing someone a murder? If someone is drunk and kills a pedestrian, is that murder? Is it murder when a soldier kills an enemy or when the police shoots someone?
A. 1. The Commandment "Thou shall not kill" can be very confusing when there are all kinds of laws related to murder. Is manslaughter a murder? Is killing someone by accident a murder? What is murder in the eyes of God? What follows is a list of examples when killing someone is murder.
• Abortion - all those involved directly or indirectly.
• Assisted suicide - all those involved, directly or indirectly.
• Bullying that results in the death of a person.
• Death penalty versus incarceration for life.
• Drug supplier - the drug addict dies from using the legal or illegal drugs.
• Drunk driver - they know that drinking and driving does not mix.
• Euthanasia - intentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering.
• Genocide - the systematic destruction, in part or all, of a racial, ethnic, religious or national group.
• Killing someone when it was not in self-defence.
• Neglect of a child, disabled person or senior, under one's care. The person dies from the neglect.
• Reckless driving with total disregard for the safety of others.
• Police officer uses deadly force instead of disarming the person.
• Telling someone to go and kill herself/himself - commit suicide.
• Unjust war - invading another country without justification.
• Utility company turns off the heat to a dwelling in the Winter months.
From the above, it can be said that murder involves making a decision with one's free will, to directly or indirectly kill another person, without justification or excuse, knowing that such a behaviour could lead to the death of a person. Acting irresponsibly does not excuse a person from having committed the crime of murder.