UMD CCJS 230 - Crimes against Persons I: Murder and Manslaughter

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Chapter 9Crimes against Persons I: Murder and ManslaughterThe Meaning of Person or Human Being- Born-Alive Rule: the rule that to be a person, and therefore a homicide victim, a baby had to be “born alive” and capable of breathing and maintaining a heartbeat on its own- Twenty Four States make it a crime to kill a fetus:- States revise existing homicide statutes to include fetuses as homicidevictims- States create new fetal homicide statutes aimed exclusively at fetuses- States create statutes that punish attacks on pregnant women that cause death to the fetuses they’re carrying.- Feticide: killing a fetus- Viability: end of the second trimester when the fetus can live outside the womb; usually at 28 weeks of pregnancy- Quickening: when the mother first feels the fetus moving in the womb, usually between the 16th and 18th week of pregnancyMurder- Murder: killing a person with “malice aforethought”- Manslaughter: killing a person without malice aforethought- Justifiable Homicide: killing in self-defense, capital punishment, and law enforcement use of deadly force- Excusable Homicide: Killings done by someone “not of sound memory and discretion” (insane and immature)- Criminal Homicide: All homicides that are neither justified or excused- Malice aforethought: originally the mental state of intentional killing, with some amount of spite, hate, or bad will, planned in advance of the killing- Depraved heart murder: extremely reckless killings- Intent to cause serious bodily injury murder: no intent to kill is required when a victim dies following acts triggered by the intent to inflict serious bodily injury short of death- Serious Bodily Injury: bodily injury that involves a substantial risk of death; protracted unconsciousness; extreme physical pain; protracted or obvious disfigurement; or protracted loss or substantial impairment of a function of abodily member, organ, or mental faculty- “Express” malice aforethought: killings that fit the original meaning of “murder”—intentional killings planned in advance- “Implied” malice aforethought: intentional killings without premeditation or reasonable provocation; unintentional killings during the commission of felonies; depraved heart killings; and intent to inflict grievous bodily harm killings- Murder Actus Reus: the act of killing by poisoning, striking, starving, drowning, and a thousand other forms by which human nature can be overcome- Murder mens rea: can include purposeful, knowing, or reckless killingThe Kinds and Degrees of Murder- Results from Opposing Criminal Death Penalty1. The gradual peeling away of layers of criminal homicides that were thought not to deserve the death penalty2. The emergence of more detailed grading schemes, placing various types of criminal homicide among the spectrum of available criminal punishments3. The development of various justifications and excuses making certain homicides noncriminal- First Degree Murder- Consists of:1. Premeditated, deliberate intent to kill murders2. Felony murders; the only crime today in which the death penalty can be imposed- Constitutional Bans:o Mandatory Death sentences are banned. States can’t require the death penalty in all first-degree murderso Unguided discretionary death penalty decisions are banned. Judges and juries can’t impose the death penalty without a list of specific criteria for and against the death penalty to guide their decisiono Mitigating factors are required. States can’t limit the range of mitigating factors that might favor life imprisonment instead ofdeath.o Additional aggravating factors are allowed. Jurors and juries are allowed to consider factors in favor of death not specificallyincluded in statutory lists of aggravating factors- Capital Cases: death penalty cases in death penalty states and “mandatory life sentence without parole” cases in non-death penalty states- Bifurication procedure: the requirement that the death penalty decision be made in two phases:1. A trial to determine guilt2. A second separate proceeding, after a finding of guilt, to consider the aggravating factors for, and mitigating factors against, capital punishment- List of Aggravating Circumstances1. The murder was committed by a convict under sentence of imprisonment2. The defendant was previously convicted of another murder or of a felony involving the use or threat of violence to the person3. At the time the murder was committed, the defendant also committed another murder4. The defendant knowingly created a great risk of death to many persons5. The murder was committed while the defendant was engaged or was an accomplice in the commission, or an attempt to commit, or flight after committing or attempting to commit, robbery, rape, or deviant sexual intercourse by force or threat of force, arson, burglary, or kidnapping6. The murder was committed for the purpose of avoiding or preventing a lawful arrest of effecting an escape from lawful custody7. The murder was committed by pecuniary gain8. The murder was especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel, manifesting exceptional depravity- List of Mitigating Factors1. The defendant has no significant history of criminal activity2. The murder was committed while hte defendant was under the influence of extreme mental or emotional disturbance3. The victim was a participant in the defendant’s homicidal conduct or consented to the homicidal act4. The murder was committed under circumstances that the defendant believed to provide a moral justification or extenuation for his conduct5. The defendant was an accomplice in a murder committed by another person and his participation in the homicidal act was relatively minor6. The defendant acted under duress or under the domination of anotherperson7. At the time of the murder, the capacity of the defendant to appreciate the criminality (wrongfulness) of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of law was impaired as a result of mentaldisease or defect or intoxication8. The defendant was a young age at the time of the crime- Categories of Evidence to prove murders really were premeditated and deliberateo Category 1: Facts about how and what defendant did prior to the actual killing which show that the defendant was engaged in activity directed toward, and explicable as intended to result in, the killing—what may be characterized as planning activityo Category 2: Facts about the defendant’s prior relationship and/or conduct with


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UMD CCJS 230 - Crimes against Persons I: Murder and Manslaughter

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