Homicide law once said that to be a person, and therefore a homicide victim, a baby had to be "born alive" and capable of breathing and maintaining a heartbeat on its own.
law defining when life begins for purposes of applying the law of criminal homicide
intentionally causing the death of another person with "malice aforethought"
unlawful killing of another person without malice aforethought
killing in self-defense capital punishment and police use of deadly force
accidental killing done by someone "not of sound memory and discretion" (insane and immature)
a homicide that's neither justified nor excused.
killing on purpose after planning it
depraved heart murder
extremely reckless killing
murder when death results following acts triggered by the intent to inflict serious bodily injury short of death
"express" malice aforethought
intentional killings planned in advance
"implied" malice aforethought
killings that weren't intentional or planned but still resulted from the intention to do harm.
murder actus reus
causing a death of a person
murder mens rea
the purposeful, knowing, reckless, or negligent killing of a person.
death penalty cases in death penalty states and "mandatory life sentence without parole" cases in non-death penalty states.
a mandate that the death penalty decision be made in two phases: a trial to determine guilt and a second separate proceeding, after a finding of guilt to consider the aggravating factors for and mitigating factors against , capital punishment
criteria for decision
must be limited by the criteria established and announced before the decision to sentence the defendant to death but includes aggravating factors for the mitigating factors against imposing death
the law looks at three areas to determine whether a killing was premeditated and deliberate:signs of planning, motive, and deliberate method in the killing
premeditated, deliberate killings and other particularly heinous capital murders
a catchall offense including killings that are neither manslaughter nor first degree murder, unintentional killings
unintentional deaths that occur during the commission of felonies.
defense to felony murder that someone other than the felon caused the death during the commission of a felony.
exception to the third-party exception to felony murder, in which the defendant can be charged with the killing of his accomplice committed by the resisting victim.
inherently dangerous felony approach
courts look at the felony in the abstract-if a felony can be committed in a way that's not dangerous to life even if it was committed in a dangerous way in the case before the court, then its not inherently dangerous
the facts and circumstances surrounding the way the felony was committed in the particular case, not the elements of the crime in the abstract, may be considered to determine whether it was dangerous to human life.
intentional killings committed in the sudden heat of passion upon adequate provocation
The circumstances element in voluntary manslaughter that is the trigger that sets off the sudden killing of another person acts that qualify as reducing murder to manslaughter
objective test of cooling-off time
in voluntary manslaughter, the element of whether in similar circumstances a reasonable person would've had time to cool off
a smoldering resentment or pent-up rage resulting from earlier insults or humiliating events, culminating in a triggering event that, by itself, might be insufficient to provoke the deadly act.
extreme mental or emotional disturbance
a defense that reduces criminal homicide to manslaughter if emotional disturbance provides a reasonable explanation from the defendant's action.
a husband who caught his wife in the act of adultery had adequate provocation to kill and could reduce criminal homicide to voluntary manslaughter
criminal homicides caused either by recklessness or gross criminal negligence
criminal negligence manslaughter
includes the mental elements of both recklessness and negligence
unlawful act manslaughter
sometimes called "misdemeanor manslaughter," it's involuntary manslaughter based on deaths that take place during the commission of another crime
include everything from committing felonies, misdemeanors, and even traffic violations, city ordinances, administrative crimes, and noncriminal wrongs, such as civil trespass and other torts.