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Criminal Law

Dr. Chris Shields Criminal Law Course

QuestionAnswer
justifiable homicide self defense
excusable homicide killings done by someone "not of sound memory and discretion"
criminal homicide all homicides that are neither justifiable or excused
murder (common law murder) killing a person with "malice aforethought"
manslaughter killing a person without malice aforethought
Elements of Murder 1. Actus reus: the act of killing 2. Mens rea: purpose or knowledge , or extreme recklessness 3. Causation: the act caused 4. Death 5. Attendant circumstances
First Degree Murder 1. Premeditated,, deliberate, intent to kill murders 2. Felony Murders
Death Penalty Mandatory death sentences are banned Unguided discretionary death penalty decisions are banned Mitigating factors are required: states can not limit Additional aggravating factors are allowed: judges or juries allowed to consider
Felony Murder Unintentional deaths that occur during the commission of some other felonies
Voluntary manslaughter In voluntary manslaughter active provocation is the trigger that sets off killing. All of elements of actus reus, mens reas, causation and death exist.
born alive rule throughout most of history a fetus had to be born alive or capable of beating and maintaining a heartbeat on its own. Central concept to "who is a victim"
feticide killing of fetuses
euthanasia the practice of bring about the death of someone who suffers from an incurable illness or disease
presumption of bodily integrity states cannot exercise rights over other individuals members of society except for the prevention of "harm to others"
depraved heart murder extremely reckless killing: knowingly creating a substantial and unjustifiable risk
capital cases Death penalty cases
criteria for decision limited to the criteria established "before" the decision to sentence the defendant to death.
bifurcation two phases as in "death penalty cases". Trial to determine guilt and trial to determine any mitigating factors that should be considered for or against capitol murder
equivalent of specific intent Courts have criticized as it is believed that thses rules leave no real difference between first and second degree murder. 3 categories can be domeonstrated: 1.facts about what was done prior to the killing 2. facts about the defendants relationship to th
second degree murder "Unintentional murders" Including "implied malice crimes:
understandable provocation provocation which causes a reasonable man to lose his normal self control...although a reasonable man would not kill...his homicidal reaction is understandable
Voluntary manslaughter requires a killing during a "sudden heat of passion with no "cooling off period"
Objective test cooling off time: would any other reasonable person under the same circumstances have had time to "cool off"
Causation To prove manslaughter one has to prove that the provocation cause the passion and the killing
Extreme mental or emotional disturbance manslaughter provision Either committed recklessly or homicide that is committed that would otherwise be considered murder but there is a reasonable explanation or excuse
Last straw rule , long smoldering, slow burn rule bright line is not as bright: some states take the view that adequate provocation is defined as a smoldering resentment culminating in a triggering event that by itself may be insufficient to provoke a deadly act
criminal negligence manslaughter includes mental elements of both recklessness and negligence
Unlawful Act manslaughter deaths that occur during the commission of unlawful acts
Malum prohibitum crime the death had to be considered a foreseeable risk in the commission of the crime
Created by: akenner