The theory of VIRTU3 classifies human behavior using three domains: consequences, ethics and morality. I think seeing how the theory of VIRTU3 applies to death will helps to understand and apply it to life.
When looking at death from a consequential point of view, there are three possible options. We can know someone is dead. We can know someone is alive. We can be in the dark about whether or a person is alive or dead.
When looking at death from an ethical point of view, there are three possible options. We can know someone acted in a way that directly lead to someone's death. We can know nobody acted in a way that lead to the person's death. We can be unsure about whether or not anybody acted in a way that lead to somebody's death.
When looking at death from an moral point of view, there are three possible options. We can know someone wanted that person dead. We can know nobody wanted that person dead. Or we can be in the dark about whether or not anybody had a death wish for that person.
So the theory of VIRTU3 has 27 ways to classify any particular death status. I'll just focus on the eight fully-informed situations and leave out the consequential, ethical and moral "in the dark" possibilities for the rest of the discussion. So someone can be DEAD or ALIVE, their death can be NATURAL or ARTIFICIAL, and their death can be DESIRED or UNDESIRED.
CASE 1: ALIVE, NATURAL, UNDESIRED
Living. This is the status of almost all of us in our day-to-day lives. We are, in fact, alive. We aren't facing a deadly peril. Nobody hates us so much they'd be happy to hear of our deaths.
CASE 2: ALIVE, NATURAL, DESIRED
Hated. Someone hates the person and wants him dead. This situation would include the planning time before a murder. It would also apply if someone just hopes another person dies, but isn't taking any actions that would lead to that other person's death.
CASE 3: ALIVE, ARTIFICIAL, UNDESIRED
Accidental near miss. Someone acted in a way that could have killed someone out of carelessness. The person, thankfully for both the actor and the potential victim, survived.
CASE 4: ALIVE, ARTIFICIAL, DESIRED
Attempted murder. Someone acted in a way that could have killed someone because he wanted to kill that person. He did not succeed.
CASE 5: DEAD, NATURAL, UNDESIRED
Passed away. This is death by natural causes, including illness and natural phenomenon (e.g. tornadoes, floods, fires, earthquakes). It would also include situations where a causal link to another person's actions are too unclear or indirect to assign blame.
CASE 6: DEAD, NATURAL, DESIRED
Hated dead. In this situation the death was natural, so even someone who hated the dead man and was actively planning to kill him would bear no ethical responsibility for the death. It could also include situations where a causal link to another person's actions are too unclear or indirect to assign blame.
CASE 7: DEAD, ARTIFICIAL, UNDESIRED
Manslaughter. Anyone who dies because of another person's careless, but non-malevolent, behaviour falls into this category. There was no intent to kill, but there is still a clear and direct causal link between someone dying and the actions of another person.
CASE 8: DEAD, ARTIFICIAL, DESIRED
Murder. Intentional, premeditated murder.
When the topic of death comes up, justice follows on its heels. The theory of VIRTU3 is about assessing human behavior, about figuring out the proper way to act given everything we know. About figuring out what type of punishment is appropriate for each situation. Clearly murderers (CASE 8) must be brought to justice. Manslaughter (CASE 7), too, should be dealt with, though less punitively than murder. The enemies of the hated dead (CASE 6) should be left in peace, though the cleverest murderers will seek to kill by sufficiently indirect methods that investigators mistake CASE 8 murders for CASE 6 deaths. As for those who die of natural causes (CASE 5), death is often more punishment than they and those they leave behind deserve.
Attempted murder (CASE 4) cannot be ignored or treated much less harshly than successful murder. In non-fatal, but injurious near-miss situations (CASE 3 with harm), most people believe damages of some kind are owed to the victim. But is it ever appropriate to punish someone who hasn't harmed another person but has acted recklessly (CASE 3 without harm)? The time and energy needed to ferret out secret hate (CASE 2) makes any punishment for this situation cost-prohibitive and socially corrosive. Finally, for the living (CASE 1), life is reward and punishment enough for those of us fortunate enough to experience it.