Lesson 2: Crimes Against PersonsChapter 8: HomicideModule 8.1: Introduction to HomicideLearning Objectives●Distinguish between criminal homicide and non criminal homicide.●Define human being for purposes of homicide law.Summary●Homicideis the killing of a human being by another human being.●Homicide is broken down into 2 categories:1.Murder■First-degree murder (could be executed)■Second-degree murder (could NOT be executed)2.Manslaughter ●Homicide often carries a negative connotation, but it need not.●A healthy, living person is a human being.●There is some disagreement over the meaning of human being at the beginning/end of life.○The Beginning of Life■Most jurisdictions retain the common law definition of the beginning of life, namely that life begins when a fetus is born alive. There are exceptions to this definition.■Massachusetts and several other states have begun to treat viable fetuses as human beings. ●In such states, it’s possible for people to be convicted of the crime of feticide, causing the death of an unborn fetus.○The End of Life■Most courts now define death as “brain death.” A person is no longer considered alive if he or she is brain dead.●Year-and-a-day rule- A common law rule stating that a person could not be prosecuted for homicide unless the victim died within 1 year and a day of the act 1
that was responsible for the fatal injury.○Today, most states have abandoned this rule and can prosecute killers for deaths that occur years after the crime was originally committed.●Homicide is a legally neutral term.●Successful excuse and justification defenses ensure that a person who commits homicide is not criminally liable for it. Module 8.2: The Elements of HomicideLearning Objectives●Distinguish between first-degree murder and second-degree murder.●Explain when the death penalty is an acceptable form of punishment for homicide.●Summarize the elements of voluntary and involuntary manslaughter.●Explain the Model Penal Code approach to homicide.Summary●Murder- The unlawful killing of another person WITH malice aforethought.●Manslaughter- The unlawful killing of another human being WITHOUT malice aforethought.●In general, if one person kills another person without justification, excuse, or any mitigating circumstances, that person is said to have killed with malice aforethought.○There’s no requirement that aforethought involve deliberate planning well in advance of a murder.●Some states do not distinguish between first- and second-degree murder.●First-Degree Murder○In general, first-degree murder is murder that is willful, premeditated, and deliberate. It is a “cold-blooded” killing, one that is arguably more “evil” than a spontaneous killing.