Samaha Chapter 9 Smith

Samaha Chapter 9 Smith - Criminal Law Criminal Law Chapter...

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Unformatted text preview: Criminal Law Criminal Law Chapter 9 Chapter 9 Crimes Against Persons: Crimes Against Persons: Criminal Homicides Criminal Homicides CRJU E314 Criminal Law CRJU E314 Criminal Law Spring 2011, Spring 2011, Mr. Smith Mr. Smith Homicide Homicide is a legally neutral term merely meaning the killing of a human being. Homicides may be categorized as criminal, or non-criminal, in nature. Common Law Criminal Homicide At early English common law, homicide was defined as the killing of a human being by a human being, and, thus, included the felony of suicide , which was punishable by burial in the public highway with a stake driven through the body and forfeiture of all one's goods to the Crown. Modern statutes, however, generally define homicide as the killing of a human being by another human being. Suicide, and attempted suicide, is no longer a crime in either England or the U.S. Modern Criminal Homicide Laws Homicide, under modern American law, is divided into two distinct crimes: Murder and Manslaughter. In order for a defendant to be convicted of any type of criminal homicide, the victim must have been classified, by law, as a human being at the time the defendants infliction of social harm put an end to the victims existence. Human Being The majority of jurisdictions limit the term human being to human organisms who are alive, after their birth, for purposes of interpreting criminal homicide laws. In a minority of jurisdictions, however, statutes, or court decisions, have declared the term human being to include viable fetuses for purposes of homicide prosecutions. The South Carolina Supreme Court in the 1984 case of State v. Horne held that, after the date of the decision in the case, an action for homicide could be maintained if the State is able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an unborn fetus, at the time of the termination of its existence by the defendants action, was viable ( i.e., able to live separate and apart from its mother without the aid of artificial support.) Killing Essential to the definition and proof of any homicide is the establishment of the fact that the defendant caused the death of (i.e. killed) another human being. At common law, a person was deemed to be dead when that persons cardiopulmonary functions (e.g. respiration, pulsation and other vital functions) ceased. The modern trend has been to also incorporate the concept of brain death into the definition of death for homicide purposes. SC Uniform Determination of Death Act SC Code section 44-43-460. When individual is deemed to be dead; standards applicable to determination....
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This note was uploaded on 02/20/2012 for the course CRJU E314 taught by Professor Mr.smith during the Spring '11 term at South Carolina.

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Samaha Chapter 9 Smith - Criminal Law Criminal Law Chapter...

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