Although deviance is difficult to define due to differences in geography, audience, and status; there are some actions that are universally thought of as deviant. One such action is murder. Although one might argue that murder can be justifiable under circumstances of immediate danger to oneself or when it is unavoidable, the general consensus is that murder is innately bad and deviant. I believe that unjustifiable, voluntary murder containing the legal element of intent is a deviant behavior.Deviant behaviors, whether they are defined by law or by social construct, contain various elements which define their level of deviance and distinguish them from other behaviors. Therefore, without identifying the specific elements of murder, one might believe some murder to be just, fair or even honorable. For example, a soldier who kills in the line of duty may not be seen as deviant as a terrorist who commits a mass shooting in a crowded location. Although both the soldier and the terrorist may have killed the same number of people, the soldier will be allowed to return home and may be given awards, military discounts, and recognition while the terrorist will most-likely face the death penalty. The general consensus is that in some situations killing is not a deviant behavior, therefore killing another person cannot be the only element of murder which makes the action deviant. In what follows I will argue that murder is exceptionally deviant when it is unjustifiable, voluntary and contains intent. The first element I believe to be important when determining deviance or perceived deviance is whether the action was justifiable. If the action can be justified then it will be seen as less deviant (though it may still be considered morally wrong or negative). As it applies to murder, the element of justifiability can be split into two situational categories: (1) the action is justifiable because the perpetrator, or someone the perpetrator cared about, was in danger (2) the perpetrator could not have avoided the murder. The first situation is probably the most common as this rule would allow someone to defend themselves, people they see or know, their country, and sometimes their values. People who regularly fall under this category might include police and military personnel. However, it is important to note that misuse of this category is typically viewed as deviant. The second category applies to situations where the killing is accidental or could not be prevented. An example of the second situation might include a person who is driving and sees a pedestrian too late to avoid causing death. In order for murder to be not deviant, it is not necessary for both categories of the element of justifiability to be fulfilled. Therefore, I do not believe that accidental deaths and death for the purpose of protection is inherently deviant. However, I do believe that if you have no justifiable reason to murder then your behavior is deviant and is a menace to societal balance, freedom, happiness and basic human rights.In order for murder to be deviant I believe it also must be voluntary. If a person is forced to murder then their action is considered negative, but it does not rise to the general consensus of deviance. Situations of involuntary killing may include drug use, coercion, and sometimes negligence on the part of the perpetrator. In the law, these situations are often referred to as a lesser crime known as involuntary manslaughter. While I do believe that involuntary manslaughter is wrong, I think it is arguable whether someone who had no control could be deviant. However, a person who willingly and intentionally kills another person without justifiable reason to do so is clearly deviant. Finally, I believe deviant murder must be intentional, or a person’s actions must be obviously the proximate cause of the death of another. In other words, I believe murder is deviant if the killer knew or should have known that what they did would cause the death of another human being. I argue that a person should have known what they did could cause a death on the basis that any reasonable and sane person with the same reasoning capability would have known. Therefore, a very young child who is playing with a gun and accidentally shoots and kills someone was not being deviant. The child is held to the same standard as other children at their age and level of reasoning. However, a person who is driving their car at freeway speeds down a very busy street with many pedestrians should know that killing someone is very likely and therefore fulfills the requirement of intent. Likewise, if a competent adult points a gun at another person’s head and pulls the trigger he or she knew or should have known that killing was extremely likely and therefore he or she was behaving defiantly.If any of the elements suggested above are not fulfilled, then the murder is lessened in its level of deviance in the eyes of society. In extreme cases, the murder might be accepted by society and will no longer be considered deviant at all. However, if murder is unjustifiable, voluntary and intentional then I believe the murder to be deviant. This is not to imply that other forms of killing that are more controversial, such as abortion and euthanasia, cannot be seen as deviant to some populations. There are some who may hold the belief that all killing is deviant due to the nature of the action. Rather, I argue that deviance is relative to its audiences’ perception of the action. I, like many others, believe murder is deviant because it takes away another person’s right to live and it creates a hole in society where that person used to be. Deviant murder creates upheaval and distress if allowed to continue rampantly because it is human nature to preserve one’s own life and those one cares about.