Criminal Law, Module 17: Crimes Against Persons: Murder Meaning of ?Person? or ?Human Being? The definition of ?person? in criminal homicide presents a problem at both ends of the life cycle. When life begins tells us when a potential victim becomes a victim When life ends tells us when a real victim is no longer a victim Killing another person is central to criminal homicide liability Defines who is a victim Born-alive rule Followed in order to define a person and a homicide victim What is Murder? 2 types of homicides are recognized by common law & modern criminal codes Murder: Killing a person with malice aforethought Manslaughter: Killing a person without malice aforethought What are the elements of murder? Actus reus Mens rea Concurrence Causation Death Circumstances Murder Mens Rea This includes causing the death of any person either? Purposely Recklessly Knowingly No negligent homicides qualify as a murder, they are always considered manslaughters Degrees of Murder Murder was divided into ?degrees? Rationale? Not all murderers should be executed for their offense What about First-Degree Murder? Two types of first-degree degree murder: Premeditated (deliberate intent to kill) Felony murders Only crime type for which death penalty is imposed Bifurcation demands death penalty decision be made in 2 phases: A trial to determine guilt A second proceeding to consider aggravating factors for & mitigating factors against What about Second-Degree Murder? Created to limit capital punishment without eliminating it It is a reckless homicide, not an intentional homicide What about Felony Murders? Unintentional deaths during commission of certain felonies: Criminal sexual conduct Kidnapping Robbery Arson Burglary Felony murder has 3 elements of rationale: Deter offenders Reduce violence Punish wrongdoers What is Corporation Murder? Most criminal codes apply to corporate criminal homicide Federal prosecutors rarely prosecute corporations for murder Often, the public does not view corporations as persons WI criminal law: first and second degree intentional homicides First-degree Causing the death of another human being Second-degree Causing the death of another human being when one of the following circumstances is present: Adequate provocation Unnecessary preventive force To prevent felony Coercion or necessity WI criminal law: first degree and second degree reckless homicide First-degree Causing the death of another human being under circumstances which show utter disregard for human life (sometimes called aggravated circumstances) Second-degree Recklessly causes the death of another human being
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