Wrongful death is a claim in tort against a person who can be held liable for a death. The claim is brought in a civil action, usually by close relatives. Unlike criminal law, private parties may bring the suit. The defendant has fewer due process and Constitutional protections such as immunity or the right to refuse to give testimony. The standard of proof is typically preponderance of the evidence as opposed to clear and convincing or beyond a reasonable doubt. For all the above reasons, it is often easier for a family to seek retribution against someone for wrongful death in tort than a proper criminal law conviction.
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