Jennings - Criminal Law - Assignment Three-Madame.docx -...

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MEMORANDUMTo: GraderFrom: Chelsea JenningsDate: October 3, 2016RE: Joe’s defense of intoxicationRelevant FactsJoe, a resident of Virginia was fired by his boss Jerry. While processing his anger, Joe goes to a bar and downs four pints of beer. Joe then leaves the bar and heads for Jerry’s house, stopping at the hardware store on his way, where he purchases a knife. Upon arriving at Jerry’s home, Joe busts through the door, hunts Jerry down and murders him with the knife.As Joe is now facing charges, he claims that although the murder was seemingly planned and voluntary, he was so drunk that there is no way he could have properly formed the intent to kill and should therefore be charged for involuntary manslaughter. However, the prosecution argues that even with the intoxication factored in, the murder was premeditated and should therefore constitute as first degree murder.IssueThe issue presented is, under Virginia Law, can a defendant use mere intoxication as a defense for committing a crime.Applicable Law“Voluntary drunkenness does not excuse crime. Every crime committed by one in a state of intoxication, however great, is punished just as if he were sober. Drunkenness, therefore, can never be relied on as an excuse for murder. It matters not how drunk one is, if he purposely slay another, without other excuse, palliation or justification than that of his drunkenness, he is just as guilty of murder as if he had been sober. There are certain grades of crime, however, which a

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