Many deaths in the criminal justice system are not charged as murder. Instead, when a death is the result of reckless behavior, the court may charge this incident as manslaughter. Recklessness, according to NYPL §15.05, is when a person is aware of and chooses to ignore the risk created by their behavior.
Under NYPL §§125.15 and 125.20, manslaughter is separated into two classes, and courts in Syracuse consider a person causing a death after intentionally inflicting serious physical injury to another to be the more serious of the two. As such, Manslaughter in the Second Degree may be charged when an assault results in a death. Alternatively, Manslaughter in the First Degree applies when a death results from a defendant under extreme emotional distress. A conviction here is a class B felony.
Death Resulting from Criminal Negligence
However, even when a person does not intend to harm another person, they may face homicide charges. This is because NYPL §125.10 creates the class E felony crime of negligent homicide.
According to NYPL §15.05, criminal negligence applies when a person does not realize that their actions are placing another at risk of harm. Furthermore, they do not act as a reasonable person would to prevent harm.