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What's the difference between murder and assassination?

Yars the Great 2011/10/10 00:53:43
i've looked up the two and the definitions vary according to sources.
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  • Dum Luk 2011/10/13 05:12:11
    Dum Luk
    +1
    Assassination involves a higher purpose or motivation beyond the individual murdered.
  • pjwinkler65 2011/10/13 02:38:22
    pjwinkler65
    +2
    Probably murder is more personal to an individual and an assassination has more than one individuals interest in mind. it is often politically motivated, ordered by organizations, etc. Just a guess really.
    There really is no difference to me though. I mean, I understand the distinction but it's all killing.
  • John 2011/10/11 03:02:02
    John
    +2
    Murder is a general term while assassination is a specific type of murder. A murder is usually considered an assassination when the victim is someone of notable reputation(e.g. the President, a king/queen, political speaker.) or if the murder is done for pay. Although, there is some argument as to whether payment makes a hired killer an assassin or not.
    Sometimes, professional killers are referred to as assassins as well, although it is not an accurate term.
  • Denny 2011/10/10 21:09:38
    Denny
    +1
    250,000 dollars
  • Moonage 2011/10/10 17:25:20
    Moonage
    +3
    Assassination is a specific type of murder.
  • iamthemob ~ the 444th Guru ~ 2011/10/10 17:19:18
    iamthemob ~ the 444th Guru ~
    +3
    I think of the main difference as this: someone is murdered for personal reasons; someone is assassinated for institutional or ideological reasons.

    Therefore, where a murderer has a personal stake or interest in committing the murder, an assassin has no personal stake and is a tool of others. In essence, the murderer may use a gun, but the assassin is a gun.

    It's essentially the same difference that exists between murder and the death penalty.
  • Stephen 2011/10/10 17:07:11
    Stephen
    +3
    Assassinations are mostly politically motivated and some are money motivated. Murder is just killing. Any kind of killing weather thought out or on the spot. With the exception of manslaughter. Which mostly pertains to accidents. And justifiable homicide, which pertains to self preservation.
  • Melizmatic 2011/10/10 16:58:15
    Melizmatic
    +3
    Murder can happen randomly and without advanced planning, while assassinations are carefully plotted, and generally serve as a 'means to an end,' to further a specific agenda.
  • Billy the kid 2011/10/10 16:12:00
    Billy the kid
    +3
    Purely Semantics. Both 'assasination' and 'murder' involve the deliberate taking of human life.Of course,in SOME cases 'assasination' has a justifiable reason on altruistic grounds; for example the attempted assasination of Hitler would certainly have been more than justifiable as he was such an evil bastard!
    Adolf hitler
  • BUCCANEER~POTL~PWCM~JLA 2011/10/10 16:03:11 (edited)
    BUCCANEER~POTL~PWCM~JLA
    +3
    Justifiable homicide tony blair
  • jena ^-^ 2011/10/10 15:19:34
    jena ^-^
    +1
    u are hired for assassination
  • dlsofsetx 2011/10/10 14:55:22
    dlsofsetx
    +1
    The media assessment of the crime.
  • Tony 2011/10/10 14:37:19
    Tony
    +1
    An executive order!! xD
  • Ben Brink 2011/10/10 12:17:42 (edited)
    Ben Brink
    +1
    Assassination is a specific term for a killing of a person because of the that person's position or status. A murder is a killing of a person without moral or legal justification; an assassination might or might not be a murder.
  • Ol'Dave 2011/10/10 11:05:13
    Ol'Dave
    +1
    negligable, The difference may be political.
  • Ramon 2011/10/10 10:43:31
    Ramon
    +2
    Assassination is a planned murder.
  • elptrek P.H.A.E.T.'s wizard 2011/10/10 10:21:15 (edited)
    elptrek P.H.A.E.T.'s wizard
    +2
    Assassination is murder, but murder is not necessarily an assassination. Assassination is planed, targeted committed against a person(usually a public figure), while murder can be spontaneous.
  • Ben Brink elptrek... 2011/10/10 21:06:26
    Ben Brink
    +1
    No, an assassination is a killing, which may or may not be a murder. A murder is an unjustified killing--as opposed, for example, to killing in war or self defense.
  • elptrek... Ben Brink 2011/10/11 07:20:08
    elptrek P.H.A.E.T.'s wizard
    +2
    Perhaps I was mixing it up with homicide.
    homicide
    1. a general term for murder; the killing of another human being.
    2. the murderer of another. — homicidal, adj.

    as·sas·si·nate
    (-ss-nt)
    tr.v. as·sas·si·nat·ed, as·sas·si·nat·ing, as·sas·si·nates
    1. To murder (a prominent person) by surprise attack, as for political reasons.
    2. To destroy or injure treacherously: assassinate a rival's character.
  • Ben Brink elptrek... 2011/10/13 23:20:04
    Ben Brink
    +1
    My intent was not to confuse the issue. However, murder is often incorrectly used as a synonym for killing and killing is not always murder. I think assassinate gets confused as well--it is a killing of a person because of that person's position, reputation, political stand, etc. However, there are certainly cases, such as the targeted killing of an enemy commander, where such a killing would not be a murder.
  • elptrek... Ben Brink 2011/10/14 05:30:11
    elptrek P.H.A.E.T.'s wizard
    +1
    The definition of as·sas·si·nate

    1. To murder (a prominent person) by surprise attack, as for political reasons.

    murder [ˈmɜːdə]
    n
    1. (Law) the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another Compare manslaughter, homicide

    homicide, murder, manslaughter - The general term for the killing of a person by another is homicide; murder is either the intentional killing or the malicious killing of another, while manslaughter is the unintentional, accidental killing of another through carelessness.
  • Ben Brink elptrek... 2011/10/14 16:48:30
    Ben Brink
    +1
    actually, intentional killing of a person by another is not always murder--note: warfare. Warfare, specifically combat, is not generally defined as a homicide either.
  • elptrek... Ben Brink 2011/10/15 05:37:50 (edited)
    elptrek P.H.A.E.T.'s wizard
    +1
    Those were from online TheFreeDictionary, which takes it from other dictionaries.
    http://www.thefreedictionary....
    You must of not seen it said unlawful, in the definition for murder, the first one is for assassination.
  • Ben Brink elptrek... 2011/10/15 18:10:55
    Ben Brink
    +1
    The first one describes an assassination as a murder. I don't think that this is necessarily so--and if you Google further, you will find that it is defined as kill in some places.

    For example Dictionary.com's preferred first definition is: to kill suddenly or secretively, especially a politically prominent person. For full disclosure, they also define it as murder in a different definition.

    I really hadn't intended to have this be such a long discussion, but I think words are important (you do too, it seems). As a military person, I become concerned when people use kill and murder interchangeably. It clouds the moral and ethical issues surrounding killing in defense or war.
  • BHGOzzy 2011/10/10 08:32:34
    BHGOzzy
    +3
    Legally, there isn't one.
    however, murder is any killing done that is not in self defense, wheras assassination is a specific killing done in ambush style or via a limited array of methods, poison being among them, to kill a single target.
  • Doc. J 2011/10/10 07:01:27 (edited)
    Doc. J
    +5
    Every now and then, you find one of these questions that really makes you think. This is one of those...

    Hmm....While it's easy to say that one has government sanction, and the other does not, that is not always the case. Neither Hinkley, nor SirhanSirhan, had any government behind them. They were your "lone assassin" types, and most definately assassins, based on the stature of the victim they chose.
    Often there is a socio/religous-political angle to it, but again, not always. (there's Hinkley, and Loughner)
    Speaking of Loughner, He was charged with ONE count of attempted assassination, though he HAD killed a federal judge in his shooting spree. So there is even a distinction there. INTENT. Had he set out to kill the judge, as well as Mrs. Giffords...It would have been assassination, but the judge was killed as a bystander, and so Loughner was charged with "Killing a Federal Emplyee" for that death.

    I think it's one of those things where it's "assassination" if it fits one or more of a cluster of criteria.

    Who was the target?...public/private
    Who was the killer?....Lone/part of a larger organization
    Was the killer paid?
    Was there a socio/religious/political motivation?
    Was there governmental/religious sanction?
    Was the killing the INTENDED result?

    If the answer...







    Every now and then, you find one of these questions that really makes you think. This is one of those...

    Hmm....While it's easy to say that one has government sanction, and the other does not, that is not always the case. Neither Hinkley, nor SirhanSirhan, had any government behind them. They were your "lone assassin" types, and most definately assassins, based on the stature of the victim they chose.
    Often there is a socio/religous-political angle to it, but again, not always. (there's Hinkley, and Loughner)
    Speaking of Loughner, He was charged with ONE count of attempted assassination, though he HAD killed a federal judge in his shooting spree. So there is even a distinction there. INTENT. Had he set out to kill the judge, as well as Mrs. Giffords...It would have been assassination, but the judge was killed as a bystander, and so Loughner was charged with "Killing a Federal Emplyee" for that death.

    I think it's one of those things where it's "assassination" if it fits one or more of a cluster of criteria.

    Who was the target?...public/private
    Who was the killer?....Lone/part of a larger organization
    Was the killer paid?
    Was there a socio/religious/political motivation?
    Was there governmental/religious sanction?
    Was the killing the INTENDED result?

    If the answer is "YES" on any one of the bottom 4, that pretty much locks it.
    On the top question, and answer of "private" rules it out, and "public" must then be backed with another criteria from the list.
    The second question splits hairs even finer. If the answer is "Lone" it must also be backed up with a "YES" from somewhere in the bottom 4, and in the case the "YES" comes from the last question, you may need yet another "YES" to back that with.

    Thinking this through....has given me a headache, but that's what I have come up with.

    Now....You REALLY want to get peoples heads spinning?
    Somebody post a question asking the difference between "Assassination"
    and a "Targeted Killing."
    (more)
  • Happy 2011/10/10 05:31:05
    Happy
    +2
    um they are the same, assassination just means you murdered someone with high standing as a specific target.
  • FoxFairy 2011/10/10 04:33:11
    FoxFairy
    +2
    In an assassination the victim has to be famous, and no not all people called assassions were paid for their crime.
  • Helmholtz 2011/10/10 04:32:45
    Helmholtz
    +1
    One's a proper subset of the other
  • JAKE~PWCM~JLA 2011/10/10 04:30:06
    JAKE~PWCM~JLA
    +1
    assassins are paid.
  • Xerxes 2011/10/10 04:29:12 (edited)
    Xerxes
    +2
    The spelling is really the only difference, both sides of the same coin
  • Jack's Pearl 2011/10/10 04:27:14
    Jack's Pearl
    +2
    I think Assassination is done with a high profile figure that is either in the government or Chairs big social causes. A murder is the term used for a lower profile person.
  • tommyg - POTL- PWCM-JLA 2011/10/10 01:24:18
    tommyg - POTL- PWCM-JLA
    +1
    Nothing really. I guess assassination sounds cooler.
  • Yars th... tommyg ... 2011/10/10 02:07:14
    Yars the Great
    +1
    yeah i thought maybe assassination only pertained to certain people with power or titles like presidents, kings, etc. but i guess it pretty much means the same technically... the result is always the same.
  • tomas 2011/10/10 01:01:40
    tomas
    +4
    According to the dead guy....nothing.
  • Yars th... tomas 2011/10/10 01:03:24
  • themadhare ~IJM 2011/10/10 00:59:31
    themadhare ~IJM
    +2
    assassination means you never have to say you're sorry
  • Yars th... themadh... 2011/10/10 01:01:33 (edited)
    Yars the Great
    +1
    awesome
    applaud
  • Rusty Shackleford 2011/10/10 00:58:30
    Rusty Shackleford
    +8
    Same as the difference between porn and art, a government grant.
  • Yars th... Rusty S... 2011/10/10 00:59:39
    Yars the Great
    +1
    drum roll
    haha thanks!

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