Murder Cases

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: _laurenb
  • Created on: 22-12-15 10:00

'The Unlawful...'

  • Judged based on the force that the defendant genuinely believed was necessary

MARTIN

  • D shot burglars after they had begun to leave his property
  • force held to be excessive

CLEGG

  • D shot at a car he believed to be driving towards him after the car had passed him
  • force held to be excessive

IF FORCE IS FOUND TO BE EXCESSIVE, IT IS UNLAWFUL!

1 of 10

When is Force Lawful?

  • When the defendant genuinely believes it is necessary

BECKFORD

  • D shot and killed a man who he believed to have a gun
  • held this force was genuinely percieved as necessary
  • defendant not charged

RE A

  • doctor separated conjoined twins
  • this killed one twin, but saved the other
  • held there was a genuine belief that it was necessary to kill one twin to save the life of the other
  • defendant not charged
2 of 10

'...Killing'

  • can be carried out by an act or an omission (a failure to act)

OMISSIONS: 5 exceptions to the rule

1. a duty that is contractual (PITTWOOD)

2. a duty because of a relationship (GIBBINS AND PROCTOR)

3. a duty due to a self-started chain of reactions (MILLER)

4. a duty that is taken on voluntarily (STONE AND DOBINSON)

IF D CARRIED OUT ANY OF THE ABOVE AND THIS RESULTED IN THE MURDER OF V, HE WOULD HAVE 'KILLED' UNDER THE COMMON LAW OF MURDER.

3 of 10

'...Of a Reasonable Creature in Being'

WHO IS NOT CLASSED AS A REASONABLE CREATURE IN BEING?

A FEOTUS WITHOUT AN EXISTENCE SEPARATE FROM ITS MOTHER:

  • as declared in A-G's REFERENCE
  • D was attacked and her unborn child was killed
  • as the child was killed whilst being in the mother's womb, the defendant could not be charged

SOMEONE WHO IS BRAIN DEAD:

  • as declared in MALCHEREK
  • doctors turned off the life support machine of a patient in a persistent vegetative state (PVS)
  • could not be charged with patient's death

if anyone but a qualified doctor did this, they could be charged!

4 of 10

'...Under the Queen's Peace'

  • whilst in conditions of peace
  • bit of a pointless phrase...
  • but it protects soldiers who kill each other at war
5 of 10

'With Malice Aforethought Express'

'EXPRESS' - intent to kill... but what is intention?

NENDRICK

  • decided that vitrtual certainty is evidence of intent
  • if the defendant was have been virtually certain that his actions would result in death, he has the necessary intent
  • D must foresee this virtual certainty (WOOLIN)
  • if it is not evident to D, he has no intent

NO INTENT = MANSLAUGHTER!

6 of 10

'...Or Implied'

'IMPLIED' - intent to cause GBH... this then results in death

VICKERS

  • D broke into a shop
  • punched and kicked V (GBH)
  • V died
  • D charged with murder

CUNNINGHAM

  • D hit V over the head with a stool (GBH)
  • V died
  • D charged with murder
7 of 10

Evaluation

KEY CONSIDERABLE POINTS:

  • Bit By Bit Development (specifically regarding intention)
  • The Serious Harm Rule
  • Lack of Defence Where Excessive Harm is Used (CLEGG/MARTIN)
  • No Defence of Duress
  • Mandatory Life Sentence (no discretion for different severities of crimes)
8 of 10

Reform

LAW COMMISSION'S PROPOSALS:

Divisions of murder into two categories:

1. first-degree murder (where death/serious harm was intended with foreseeability of a serious risk of death)

2. second-degree murder (no foreseeability; carries a discretionary sentence)

GOVERNMENT RESPONSE

  • Two tiered approach completely rejected!
  • BUT 'loss of control' (due to a fear of violence) was introduced in the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 which provided a defence for those who used excessive force (CLEGG/MARTIN)
9 of 10

Euthanasia

R (PURDY) V DPP

  • D applied for assitance of death from her husband
  • decided her husband would be charged with her murder if he assisted

Is it right for someone who killed the person they loved to spare them further pain to be charged with the same mandatory life sentence as someone who killed just for the sake of killing?

AIREDALE NHS TRUST V BLAND

  • held that doctors could turn off the life support machine of a patient in a PVS,but could not issue anyhting to him to aid his death

But how is it better to let someone starve to death rather than to just administer them a drug?

10 of 10

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar Law resources:

See all Law resources »See all Criminal law resources »