Homicide and Injury Causing Death

1. Homicide & Attempted Homicide

Homicide (Article 199 of the Penal Code) is a crime of killing a person with an intention to kill.

Attempted Homicide (Article 199 & 203 of the Penal Code) is to be established when a person started act of murder with the intention to kill another but the victim did not go into death.

Crimes that caused person/persons to die include Injury Causing Death (Article 205 of the Penal Code), Causing Death through Negligence (Article 210 of the Penal Code), etc.

However, it can be said that homicide is more serious crime than other crimes resulting in death such as injury causing death in a sense that a person caused another to die with intention to kill. Thus, the statutory punishment of homicide is the death penalty or imprisonment with work for life or for a definite term of not less than 5 years.

If one was prosecuted for homicide, a hearing in a trial as the Saiban-in (lay judge) trial is to be held.


2. Inducing or Aiding Suicide & Homicide with Consent

Inducing or Aiding Suicide (the former clause of Article 202 of the Penal Code) consists of (1) Inducing Suicide; and, (2) Aiding Suicide.
Homicide with Consent (the latter clause of Article 202 of the Penal Code) consists of (3) Homicide with the victim’s request; and, (4) Homicide with consent.

(1) Inducing Suicide is a crime that a person attempts to get someone to commit suicide.
On the other hand, (2) Aiding Suicide is a crime that a person helps another who has already decided to commit suicide to carry out suicide. For example, a person prepares for poison knowing that another has decided to commit suicide.

(3) Homicide with the victim’s request is a crime that a person kills another at his/her request. Recently, the case that a care personnel kills cared person because the care personnel is also old but has to care his/her mother/father happens often.

(4) Homicide with consent is a crime that a person kills another with his/her consent.


3. Summary of Homicide Cases

Offense Act Penalty/Statutory Punishment
Homicide (199) To “kill” “another person” Death penalty, Imprisonment with work for life or a definite term of not less than 5 years.
Preparation (201) To “prepare for the commission of homicide” Imprisonment with work for not more than 2 years (however, that the person may be exculpated in light of circumstances.)
Inducing or Aiding
Suicide (former
clause of 202)
(1) Inducing
(2) Aiding
To “induces or aids another to commit suicide” Imprisonment with or without work for not less than 6 months but not more than 7 years
Homicide with
Consent (latter
clause of 202)
(3) Homicide
with the
victim’s request
(4) Homicide
with consent
To “kills another at the other’s request or with
other’s consent”


(Reference) Summary of Injury Causing Death & Causing Death through Negligence

Offense Act Penalty/Statutory Punishment
Injury causing death (205) To “cause another to suffer injury resulting in death” Imprisonment with work for a definite term of not less than 3 years
Causing death through
negligence (210)
To “causes the death of another through negligence” A fine of not more than 500,000 yen

※Injury causing death and causing death through negligence are the crime to be established when a person killed another without intention to kill. Therefore, the statutory punishment is different greatly from that of homicide while the result in someone’s death is the same. It seems that with or without intention to kill in homicide case would be a matter of a mind of the suspect or accused. However, in practice with or without intention to kill is to be determined objectively in consideration of the part of degree of damage, type and way to use a weapon, with or without motivation, after-the-fact acts, etc. because it is hard to see one’s mind.

For example, if the suspect or accused had a serious trouble with the victim and he/she had animosity against the victim, and the suspect or accused caused the victim serious damage by stabbing the victim near the heart repeatedly with a long- bladed knife. In such case, even though the suspect denied his intention to kill, it would be likely to find that there was the intention.


▼Examples of Consultations

  •  In a trouble with neighbors, an aged father stabbed neighbor’s wife’s chest with a knife. → Homicide, Attempted Homicide, etc.
  • 72-years-old wife killed her 77-years-old husband with his consent due to tiredness after taking care of him. → Homicide with Consent, etc.
  • At the request of husband whose body was paralyzed in a traffic accident, his wife killed him. → Homicide with the victim’s request, etc.


~Defense Activities in Homicide Cases~

 1. Prevent from making written statement against the suspect or accused

In serious cases such as homicide cases, the suspect gets arrested and detained, and then keeps having interrogations by investigative authority including the police. Because the interrogator is a professional in interrogation, they may make written statements against the suspect or accused. For example, intonation or context of what the suspect or accused said would be changed in making written statements.

If you got arrested and detained for homicide, please ask for a lawyer as soon as possible.

Criminal lawyers go to have an interview with the suspect or accused and check the situations of interrogations.

Where there were illegal or undue interrogations, lawyers request for improvement to the investigative authority such as the police.

Lawyers also assert that the statements of the suspect or accused should be consistent with the fact based on objective evidence, and collect the evidence which corroborates with the statements of the suspect and request for appropriate evaluation.


2. Contest about Intention to Kill

The intention is required to establish the crime of homicide.

With or without the intention to kill has a significant meaning to distinguish homicide from injury causing death. Usually with or without the intention is to be determined comprehensively considering various factors such as the part of injury causing death, the degree of damage, the type of weapon, the way to use the weapon, with or without a motivation, after-the-fact act. Then, lawyers examine these circumstances in detail, and highlight discrepancy in the existence of the intention to kill.


3. Claim of Mitigating Circumstances

Even in case where there is no dispute about the fact that the suspect killed someone, if the suspect reflects on his/her past conduct sincerely, lawyers claim for mitigating circumstances including the background leading to the crime, motivation, after-the-fact circumstances to succeed in reducing sentence or getting suspended sentence.


You will receive the best advice from the lawyers having rich experience in criminal cases at the AICHI Criminal Cases Law Firm. The lawyers who have expertise in criminal and juvenile cases personally provide with “the free consultation” to you. When the suspect got arrested, at the shortest on the day, we also provide for “the first interview service” that our lawyers personally go to a detention center where the suspect is detained. Please ask us as soon as possible.




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