Criminal Law Investigation

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Criminal Law Investigation

Murder

Murder is when a person of sound mind unlawfully kills any person with malice aforethought. To be convicted of murder, it has to be proven that the accused planned to kill the victim, or that the accused acted in a way that he/she knew would harm or kill the victim.

To defend against murder, one could claim self-defence, that is, that they killed the person while defending themselves, if this was proven, the accused should get acquitted. They could also claim they were provoked, if this was proven, the crime would be brought down to manslaughter.

The punishment for murder is usually life imprisonment, but the court can impose any punishment they choose.

A current Australian case is the one involving Adrian Bryant, who is accused of killing many people in Port Arthur earlier this year.

Assault

Common assault (not sexual or seizing assault), is the use of force by a person intending to inflict pain, injury, discomfort or insult on another person.

To prove this, it must be shown that the accused committed the crime, no forethought needs to be proven.

To defend against this, the accused could claim it was an accident, self-defence or consent of the victim. Consent is just if the victim said it was all right for the accused to do what he/she did. The other two are self explanatory.

The maximum penalty is 5 years imprisonment, but commonly punishments include fines, good behaviour and community based orders.

A recent case in Australia ...

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