Critically evaluate the mens rea of murder. Within this coursework aiming to critically evaluate the mens rea of murder, focusing on each of the impacts which relate and combine with killing or causing grievous bodily harm to a person. The main issues I will focus on are, the intention of murder, recklessness, negligence and strict liability. Mens rea (MR) is the Latin phrase of ‘guilty mind. Mens Rea is the legal term used to describe the element of a criminal offence that relates to the defendants mental state.
Licensed to Kill Is there a difference between murder and justifiable murder? By definition, a murder is the unlawful killing of one human by another, especially with premeditated malice. In contrast, the definition of a justifiable murder is a non-criminal homicide, usually committed in self-defense of another. The real question is, is there really a difference between justifiable murder and murder. When someone is killed, they are either killed from an accident, natural causes, or an intentional killing.
For instance, if Johnston deliberately plans to kill a rival gang member and commits the act, he is guilty of first-degree murders; seeing as his actions were deliberate and planned. Another example of a case involving first-degree murder charges was the case against OJ Simpson, in which he was charged with first-degree murder regarding the death of his wife. It was believed that OJ Simpson killed his wife after a heated dispute, but a lack of sufficient evidence (gloves) resulted in his acquittal.
There is also Excusable Homicide, the killing in a case of self defense. Homicide ranges from involuntary manslaughter to first degree murder. Homicide and Murder differ from each other based off the force of the offender. Murder is the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another (Dictionary). To have thought up or drawn out a plan to kill another human, this is intentional, unlawful is the courts definition of Murder.
The elements of a criminal act (actus reus) are: act, cause, social harm or omission condemned under a criminal statute (Lippman, 2012). The elements of mens rea: purposely, knowingly, recklessly, and negligently (Lippman, 2012). Attempted murder is the failed attempt to kill another human being deliberately, intentionally or recklessly (USLegal, 2014). “Georgia Code Title 16, Section 16-4-1: A person commits the offense of criminal attempt when, with intent to commit a specific crime, he performs any act which constitutes a substantial step toward the commission of that crime. Section 16-4-2: A person may be convicted of the offense of criminal attempt if the crime attempted was actually committed in pursuance of the attempt but may not be convicted of both the criminal attempt and the completed crime….” (Young, 2014, para.
In other words, murder is murder, whether it be by an individual or by the state. Murder is often a crime of passion and not a preplanned act. Can you say the same thing about executing someone either by the electric chair or injection? The end result is the same, a person is dead, and it is very much a premeditated act carried out in a very mechanical, systematic way. In some respects, capital punishment is no better than the actions of a serial killer; it is killing for the sake of killing.
For example, a mass shooter decides that he wants to murder a bunch of people by opening fire. The people affected by the deaths of the victims would find more satisfaction if authorities caught the shooter and put them to death as opposed to the shooter killing himself by choice. Even though it doesn’t bring the same justice as reviving the victim, the death penalty brings justice by
Deciding Whether the Rules of Causation Are Weighted Too Far Against the Interests of the Defendant When deciding on a case of death, the courts use the ‘but for’ test, i.e. but for the defendants act, the death would not have happened. In the case of White 1910: The accused had intended to murder his mother, he had poison in a glass ready for her but she suddenly died from a heart failure, she died due to the heart failure and not the poison. The defendant could only be liable for attempted murder but it is clear that he had desired it to happen. He could not, therefore be found guilty of murder.
To Be or Not To Be A Criminal? When you think of a criminal what do you think of? A person who breaks the law? A person who did a deed gone wrong? How about a person who is thought to have murdered someone but with only little to no evidence?
Thus an inchoate crime is defined by the fact that it was not completed, although it was intended to be. The principal modern inchoate crimes are attempt, conspiracy, and solicitation. For example, when attempt is combined with the target offense of murder, it becomes the crime of attempted murder. Inchoate crimes also have actus reus and mens rea requirements. The crime of attempt requires the specific mens rea, or intent, to commit an act that, if carried out, would have resulted in a completed substantive crime.