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  1. Murder
    Types of Murder
    Definition: unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought (mens rea element)

    • First Degree: 
    • 1. intent to kill with premeditation & deliberation 
    • 2. Murder committed using means specified in statute 
    • 3. Felony murder rule applies (felony must be in statute & murder occurred during commission or attempted commission of a enumerated felony)     
    •     (2) Res gestae requirement    
    •     (4) Agency Rule

    • Second Degree: 
    • 1. Intent to kill without premeditation or deliberation 
    • 2. Intent to cause great bodily injury which leads to death 
    • 3. Depraved heart murder (recklessness intent towards human life) 
    • 4. Felony Murder Rule applies
    •     (1) Inherently Dangerous felony        
    •     (2) Res gestae requirement        
    •     (3) Merger Doctrine        
    •     (4) Agency Rule
  2. Murder: Premeditation & Deliberation 

    Brown Case 

    • Premeditation: thinking about a killing before hand 
    •    (1) Time Rule: can be formed in an instant 

    • Deliberation: thought process of killing is undertaken with a cool head 
    •    (1) Time Rule: Some period of reflection necessary to carefully weigh decision to kill
    •    (2) Actual Evidence Rule: opportunity (3 to 5 mins) to deliberate is not evidence of deliberation 

    No Defense: good faith intentions

    Brown Case (repeated blows to son lead death 2nd degree) 

    Bingham Case (rape strangulation 2nd degree) 

    Gilbert Case (wife shot to prevent suffering 1st degree) 
  3. Felony Murder Rule Cases: inherently dangerous 

    Approach 1: CA
    James (meth inherently dangerous)

    Approach 2:  
    Hines (felon possessing a firearm inherently dangerous) 
    • James Approach: 
    • Inherently Dangerous: felony cannot be committed without creating a substantial risk of danger to human life 

    Standard: look at elements of felony in the abstract 

    Evidence: common knowledge, scientific, medical, or technological literature or expert testimony

    • Hines Approach: 
    • Inherently dangerous: under circumstances the commission or attempted commission of a felony created a foreseeable risk of death 

    Standard: look at fact of case
  4.  Felony Murder Rule Cases: Res gestae 



    Res gestae: felony must be close in time & distance to the murder 

    Temporary Safety Rule: felony murder liability continues until defendant reaches a place of temporary safety

    • CA: liable for all killings during course of felony that were caused by the felony (felon or co felons) 
    • Other Jurisdictions: 
    • Redline rule: acts in furtherance of the felony must contribute to cause of death

    Bodely Case (death occurred during burglary escape & liable) 

    Stamp Case (store robbery & employee death by heart attack 15 mins after robbery & liable) 

    King (plane transporting drugs kills co-felon & not liable) 
  5. Felony Murder Rule: Merger Doctrine 

    Merger Doctrine: if a felony has any element that is assaultive, the felony merges with homicide 

    Assaultive Felony: involves a threat of immediate violent injury

    Rose Case (assault with deadly weapon & homicide: merges)
  6. Felony Murder Case: Agency
    • CA: 2nd degree  separate charge 
    • Provocative Act Murder: felon or co-felon commits a provocative act (starts dangerous situation) and the victim or police kills in reasonable response to the act, defendant liable 

    Other Jurisdictions Rule:
    applies only to deaths caused by the felon or his co-felons
  7. Murder: Depraved Heart Murder 


    Depraved heart murder: intent to commit an act with knowledge of its substantial danger to human life and conscious disregard for life

    Malone Case (Russian poker lead to death & 2nd) 

    Knoller (owned unmuzzled aggressive dogs)
  8. Manslaughter 
    Types of Manslaughter
    Definition: unlawful killing of a human being by another human being without malice aforethought 

    • Voluntary Manslaughter: second degree murder reduced by partial defense 
    • Partial Defenses: 
    • (1) Provocation (Heat of Passion) 
    • (2) Imperfect-Self Defense 
    • (3) Diminished Capacity 
    • (4) Involuntary Intoxication 

    Involuntary Manslaughter: person brings death to another human being through criminal negligene
  9. Voluntary Manslaughter Partial Defense: Provocation (Heat of Passion) 

    Berry Case

    Provocation: an act provokes into killing

    • Provocation Elements: 
    • (1) Defendant acted in heat of passion 
    • (2) Reasonable person would have been provoked 
    •       Time: series of events over long time sufficient 
    • (3) Reasonable person in defendants position would not have sufficient time to cool off between provocative act or event and killing 
    • (4) The provocation must have caused the killing

    • Berry Case (wife killed with telephone cord due to rage from manipulated emotions)
    • Carr Case (death provoked by homosexual acts)  
  10. Voluntary Manslaughter Partial Defense: Imperfect-Self Defense 
    Requirement: one of the elements of self-defense was not satisfied
  11. Voluntary Manslaughter Partial Defense: Diminished Capacity 


    Diminished Capacity: a mental state influenced killing 

    • Diminished Capacity Elements: 
    • (1) Defendant acted under extreme emotional disturbance 
    • (2) There must be a reasonable explanation and excuse for the extreme emotional disturbance from defendant's subjective perspective

    Dumalo (extreme irrational jealousy) 
  12. Involuntary Manslaughter: Criminal Negligence 

    • Majority Jurisdictions: 
    • Gross negligence: extreme departure from what an ordinary reasonable person would do under the circumstances 

    • Minority Jurisdictions:
    • Simple/Ordinary negligence: ordinary caution a reasonable person would exercise under the circumstances

    Williams Case (baby died from not bringing to doctor or simple negligence & liable)
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2015-12-03 03:56:27

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