Justifiable homicide

Other Names:
Lawful killing
Permissible murder

The concept of justifiable homicide in criminal law is a defense to culpable homicide (criminal or negligent homicide). Generally, there is a burden to produce exculpatory evidence in the legal defense of justification.

In most countries, a homicide is justified when there is sufficient evidence to disprove the alleged criminal act or wrongdoing (under the beyond a reasonable doubt standard for criminal charges, and preponderance of evidence standard for claims of wrongdoing, i.e. civil liability). The key to this legal defense is that it was reasonable for the subject to believe that there was an imminent and otherwise unavoidable danger of death or grave bodily harm to the innocent by the deceased, when they committed the homicide.


Article 336 of the Criminal Code of the Dominican Republic states that "homicide of the spouse is pardonable when the other spouse is caught in the act of adultery in the conjugal home, and the accused has killed either the spouse, his/her accomplice, or both".

Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
Problem Type:
E: Emanations of other problems
Date of last update
04.10.2020 – 22:48 CEST