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14 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
3 traditional homicide offenses
Murder, involuntary manslaughter, voluntary manslaughter.
Homicide analysis
1) Did D "cause" death of victim? [If no, end analysis.]

2) If #1 yes, did D act w/malice aforethought?
[If yes, it's murder unless--]

3) If yes to 1 and 2, was there adequate provocation?
[If yes, voluntary manslaughter]

4) If yes to 1 and no to 2, did D act w/criminal negligence or cause death while committing a misdemeanor?
[If so, involuntary manslaughter]
If there is no causation, D is often guilty of attempted murder
"Factual" causation: "But for" D's acts, victim would not have died as and when he actually did die

Year-and-one day rule: victim must die w/in year and one day from infliction of injury
Proximate causation.

Victim's death naturally results from D's actions, even if this occurs in unexpected manner [unless events are extremely unusual/outrageous]
A "superseding" factor breaks chain of causation.

Factor must be
1) independent of D's action;
2) unforeseeable; and
3) sole cause of V's death
A D. who speeds up death of dying V does/does not factually cause the V's death.
If an intended death occurs in unexpected way, there may be a ___ of proximate causation.
A killing is with "malice aforethought" if D acts with what mental states?
1) Intent to kill;
2) Intent to cause serious bodily injury;
3) Intent to commit a felony; or
4) Awareness of extremely high risk that death will result ("abandon and malignant heart" doctrine or "depraved mind" murder)
Felony murder

Accidental deaths caused during felony commission are murder.
Death must have been foreseeable OR felony must have been "dangerous" as committed

All cofelons guilty of felony murder if deaths foreseeable

If D has defense to underlying felony, accidental death can't be felony murder
"Merger rule"
Felony murder can't be based on felony assault (or battery) causing V's death.
2 instances where courts won't apply felony murder?
1) Fatal shot not fired by one of felons ("agency" rule)

2) Person killed is one of felons
Most killings with "malice aforethought" are 2nd degree murder. Certain felony murders and premeditated killings are first degree murder.
Premeditation requires some conscious consideration over whether or not to kill.

Even if not enough to reduce a killing to voluntary manslaughter, provoking incident may show absence of premeditation.
An intentional killing that would be murder is reduced to voluntary manslaughter if what 3 things are shown?
1) Objectively reasonable provocation;
2) Actually caused D. to kill victim; and
3) D acted on provocation before objectively sufficient cooling period elapsed

*mere words are insufficient
When is a killing an involuntary manslaughter?
If D killed either:

1) In course of committing a misdemeanor; or
2) With criminal negligence*

* More negligence than what's necessary for civil liability
Criminal liability sometimes can rest upon person's failure to act.
Omission to act sufficient for liability only if:
1) D. had a legal duty to act
2) D. was aware of facts giving rise to duty; and
3) Performing duty was possible

** D. must also have necessary intent