BU HI Lecture 2

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  1. What is homicide?
    -the killing of one human being by another
  2. What is murder?
    -a legal conclusion that the killing of another human being has violated a law and that the perpetrator is subject to punishment by the state
  3. How does common law define murder?
    -the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought
  4. What are the five classifications of homicide prohibited in Mass?
    • -murder in the first degree
    • -murder in the second degree
    • -voluntary manslaughter
    • -involuntary manslaughter
    • -vehicular homicide
  5. How does Mass. General Law define murder?
    -the unlawful killing of a human being either with malice, or in the commission or attempted commission of certain life felonies
  6. Other than common law and Mass. general laws, what are the ways murder can/has been defined?
    Mass. case law and model jury instructions
  7. What are those legal issues that must be proved by the state in order to convict a person of murder?
    The elements of murder
  8. T/F: Each element of murder must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt by the state.
  9. What are the 3 theories for murder in the first degree?
    • Deliberate premeditation
    • Extreme atrocity or cruelty
    • Committed in the commission or attempted commission of a life felony
  10. What are the elements for deliberate premeditation?
    • unlawful killing
    • malice deliberate premeditation
  11. What is malice?
    specific intent to kill
  12. What are the elements required for extreme atrocity or cruelty?
    • unlawful killing
    • malice- specific intent to kill or do grevious harm; general intent to do an act known to likely cause death
    • killing extremely atrocious or cruel- one of the Cuneen factors must apply
  13. What are the seven Cuneen factors?
    • 1. defendant was indifferent to or took pleasure in the suffering of victim
    • 2. consciousness and degree of victim's suffering
    • 3. extent of injuries to the victim
    • 4. number of blows delivered
    • 5. manner, degree, and severity of force used
    • 6. nature of the weapon, instrument, or method used
    • 7. disproportion between the means needed to cause death and those employed-- excessive force
  14. What are the elements required for murder in the first degree when committed in the commission or attempted commission of a life felony?
    • unlawful killing
    • committed during commission or attempted commission of life felony
    • underlying felony was inherently dangerous or committed with disregard of risk to human life
    • death a natural and probable consequence of the felony
    • felony independent of the homicide
  15. How does Mass. General Laws define murder in the second degree?
    Murder which does not appear to be in the first degree
  16. T/F: The jury must return a verdict of the lowest degree of murder that the Commonwealth has proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
    False! The jury must return a verdict of the HIGHEST degree of murder proved
  17. What are the elements of murder in the second degree?
    • -defendent committed an unlawful act
    • -killing committed with malice- specific intent to cause death or grevious harm; or intent to do an act would have known to have plain and strong likelihood that death will result
  18. What is the difference between 1st degree felony murder and 2nd degree felony murder?
    In 2nd degree felony murder, the felony committed would not be punishable by life in prison.
  19. The Commonwealth must prove malice by showing the absence of mitigating circumstances. What are these circumstances?
    • 1. heat of passion upon reasonable provocation
    • 2. heat of passion induced by sudden combat
    • 3. excessive use of force in self-defense or defense of another
  20. What is voluntary manslaughter?
    An intentional infliction of injury likely to cause death and which does cause death where the defendant acted unlawfully.


    An intentional unlawful killing caused by excessive force in self-defense.
  21. What is involuntary manslaughter?
    An unintentional, unlawful killing during the commission of wanton or reckless conduct, thus creating a high degree of likelihood that substantial harm will result to another.


    An unintentional, unlawful killing committed during the commission of a battery, which the defendant know or should have known endangered human life.
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BU HI Lecture 2
2010-06-08 01:51:51
BU Homicide Investigation

What is Murder?
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