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46 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
human kills another human
Criminal Homicide
human unlawfully killing another human
1) Is without legal justification or excuse (no valid defense)
2) Is committed as the result of a criminal state of mind (criminal mens rea)

Accordingly, a criminal homicide results when the defendant is the legal cause of the death of another human being with a criminal state of mind and without legal excuse of justification
the unlawful killing of another with malice
One year & one day rule
In common law, if the victim dies more than one year and one day after the defendant’s act that was the cause in fact of death, the law treated the death as unforeseeable and defendant was not the legal cause of death

Most states have eliminated this rule or extended the period of time to hold the defendant liable
Liable without actually killing
(4 ways)
1. accomplice liability
2. conspiracy
3. substantial factor
4. co-felon
Malice established by:
1. intent to kill;
2. intent to inflict grievous bodily harm;
3. an unintended killing resulting from extreme risk creation that manifests a wanton disregard for human life (depraved heart murder).
Intent to Kill
1. purpose to kill; or
2. knowledge that his conduct will kill

deadly weapons doctrine
Deadly Weapons Doctrine
Intent to kill is normally inferred from defendant’s use of an instrument designed to kill or used in a manner likely to kill or inflict grievous bodily harm.
Intent to cause serious bodily harm
express malice

Can result from conscious desire or substantial certainty that actions will result from injury, even if no intent to kill
Depraved heart murder
implied malice

causes death from extreme risk creation showing a wanton disregard for human life

Unintentional killing resulting from:
a) Reckless or grossly negligent conduct
b) That creates an extreme risk to others
c) That demonstrates the defendant acted with a wanton indifference to human life in a conscious disregard of an unreasonable risk of causing death.

Ex: Russian roulette
Felony Murder
a) An unintentional killing
b) Proximately caused
c) During the commission or attempted commission
d) Of a serious or inherently dangerous felony

Malice is automatic.

1. right type of felony
2. right connection to felony
3. right time
Limitations to Felony Murder
Only certain felonies qualifies:
1. enumerated in statute as a felony for felony-murder
2. be both: (a) independent of killing; and (b) inherently dangerous

Majority: requires killing be independent of felony (collateral felony test) -- if felony of hurting someone, fails test and murder merges with felony

Inherently dangerous: inevitable serious risk to human life
Two ways to evaluate:
1. Majority: objective (in any situation, inherently dangerous)
2. Minority: just must be dangerous in this particular situation
Right type of felony
(Felony Murder)
B: Burglary, unless committed with intent to commit serious bodily harm
A: Arson
R: Rape
R: Robbery
K: Kidnapping
Right connection
(Felony Murder)
Resulting death must be a foreseeable outgrowth of the felony.

easy standard (most deaths considered foreseeable)--just cannot be totally unrelated
Right time
(Felony Murder)
Resulting death must occur as the result of injuries inflicted during the commission, the attempt, or the immediate flight from the felony.

Death can occur after felony but the injury that caused death must be from during felony.

Start: when the defendant could be convicted of attempting to commit the felony.

End: when the felon has reached a place of temporary safety--normally established by evidence that defendant is no longer in immediate flight.
Co-felon liability
(Felony Murder)
If one felon kills, certain jurisdictions attribute liability to co-felons.

Two rules:
1. modern majority agency rule
2. original common law rule
Modern Majority Agency Rule

Co-felon liability
(Felony Murder)
Felony murder liability limited to killings committed at co-felon's hand (co-felon is agent for defendant)

Some majority jurisdictions still apply felony-murder liability when a non-felon kills another non-felon
(victim aims at felon but kills bystander)
Original Common Law Rule

Co-felon liability
(Felony Murder)
All felons were liable for any homicide that occurred during the perpetration of the felony--doesn't matter who did it.

Any death proximately caused by felony is attributed to co-felons
(Ex: felons in flight; homeowner trips while going down stairs to call police after home invasion)
Non-Violent Felon Exception

Original Common Law Rule
Co-felon liability
(Felony Murder)
Minority of common law jurisdictions exempt from felony murder a nonviolent co-felon—one who is not armed and did not participate in or have knowledge of co-felons’ intentions
Deserving Victim Exception

Original Common Law Rule
Co-felon liability
(Felony Murder)
Minority of common law jurisdictions exempt from felony murder liability of killing a co-felon.
Redline Limitation

Original Common Law Rule
Co-felon liability
(Felony Murder)
Exempts liability of co-felon for killings of other co-felon by non-felon when it is justifiable or excusable (no unlawful killing--co-felon cannot be victim)

Ex: police officer responds to felony and lawfully kills one of the co-felons
First Degree Murder
Jurisdictions define what is needed.

Original Additional Element: premeditated and deliberate

(First Degree Murder)
"time to think"

quantity of thought—defendant must think about the act of killing before doing it.

Some amount of time is necessary between forming the intent to kill and premeditation, although it may be extremely brief.

Ex: struggling with gun vs. fetching gun from other room

(First Degree Murder)
"rational thought"

quality of thought—defendant must make a deliberate choice to kill which requires rational thought.

Therefore, voluntary intoxication or diminished capacity may disable the ability to think rationally and prevent proof of deliberation
Other proof of First Degree Murders
--lying in wait
--special victim
Second Degree Murder
Any killing with malice but without additional element for first-degree.

If jurisdiction requires premeditation and deliberation, then any killing without purpose to kill has to be 2nd degree.
Voluntary Manslaughter
Intentional killing mitigated by adequate provocation or other circumstances negating malice.

E.g. heat of passion

Erases malice off intent to kill so not murder
Adequate Provocation

(voluntary manslaughter)
Measured objectively: a provocation that would lead a reasonable or ordinary person to lose self-control and fly into a sudden homicidal rage.

--victim of serious battery or threat of deadly force
--found spouse engaged in sexual conduct with another person
--observed serious injury of close family member (IIED-ish)

mere words not enough

must occur while the rage is hot:
--time period must not be so long that RPP would have cooled off
--if defendant cools off, then murder if kill later, even if RPP would not have cooled off
Other mitigating circumstances
(voluntary manslaughter)
1. diminished mental capacity
--mental disturbance short of insanity

2. Imperfect self-defense
--honest but unreasonable judgment of necessity to use homicidal self-defense
Involuntary Manslaughter
Unintentional killing resulting from unjustifiable risk creation (recklessness or gross negligence) that is not sufficiently extreme to rise to the level of implied malice.

-- mishandling of loaded weapons
-- dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, including driving while intoxicated, or
--shaking a baby so violently that it causes death
Misdemeanor Manslaughter
(Involuntary manslaughter)
Unintentional killing that occurs during an attempted misdemeanor which is malum in se (evil in and of itself) or a felony which isn't within the felony-murder group.

Classified as involuntary murder
The intentional or reckless or criminally negligent unlawful application of force to the person of the victim.

General intent crime.

Must prove:
1. defendant unlawfully applies force to victim (includes putting things into motion)
2. defendant does so intentionally, criminally negligently, or recklessly
3. there is no legal justification

Simple --> aggravated:
1. causes serious bodily injury
2. defendant uses dangerous weapon
3. specially defined victim (child, police)
Defenses to Battery
1.Valid consent is always a defense.
2. self-defense & defense of others IF using proportional force
3. prevention of crime if using proportional force
Incomplete battery

Two types:
1. failed attempt at battery
2. fear of battery
Failed Attempt at Battery
Not a defense that victim was unaware of assault

Not a defense that defendant could not complete the battery.
Fear of Battery
Defendant is not attempting a battery but put victim in fear of immediate battery.

Additional requirement: defendant must act with threatening conduct intending to cause reasonable apprehension of imminent harm int he victim.

Conditional threat is generally insufficient without overt act to accomplish threat.

requires victim to be aware
Reasonable Apprehension
Objective standard (if reasonable person would expect immediate bodily harm).

Apprehension means expectation, not fear

Any offensive contact is sufficient--does not have to be painful
Aggravated Felony Assault
Three common circumstances:
1. assault with dangerous weapon
2. defendant act with intent to rape or murder victim
3. victim is specially protected by the statute
Common law:
Intent to maim or do bodily injury accompanied by an act that either:
a. dismembered victim; or
b. disabled victim's use of a body part useful for fighting

Modern law:
expanded to include permanent dismemberment

If not mayhem, usually qualifies as aggravated battery
False Imprisonment
The confinement of one person by another where:

The confinement is intentional and against the law

The victim must be fully confined
1) Blocking one exit but leaving another open does not qualify as false imprisonment
Common law:
a. An unlawful
b. Restraint of a person’s liberty
c. By force or show of force
d. So as to send the victim into another country

Modern law:
it usually suffices that the victim be taken to another location or concealed.

All jurisdictions require some movement of the victim (asportation). If the victim is restrained but is not moved to some other location, it is not kidnapping.
Common law required proof of force or threat of force.

The modern trend is to eliminate the implied resistance requirement and focus on objective evidence of the victim’s lack of consent.
--> the force of sexual penetration is sufficient to satisfy the force element of rape.

Mistake of fact of consent can be a defense if honest and reasonable.
--> Consent is determined objectively from the observable circumstances
Statutory Rape
where a female is under the statutorily prescribed age of consent (usually 16), intercourse constitutes rape even if the victim expressed her consent or the defendant mistakenly believed she was of legal age—strict liability.

Victim under the statutorily prescribed age is legally incapable of consenting.
The crime of marriage by one individual to more than one other person.

A strict liability offense, requiring no mens rea.

It is no defense that the defendant did not know about the other marriage.
The crime of sexual relations between individuals who are closely related to one another.

The degree of relationship required varies by state.