Case Briefs- Criminal Law

Omission of an act is only punishable where the duty

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: sserted at the trail was that Durham was of unsound mind at the time of offense. We are now urged to reverse the conviction because (1) the trial court did not correctly apply existing rules governing the burden of proof on the defense of insanity and (2) existing tests of criminal responsibility are obsolete. "The question will be simply whether the accused acted because of a mental disorder, and not whether he displayed particular symptoms which medical science has long recognized do not necessarily, or even typically, accompany even the most serious mental disorder." CALIFORNIA: person was incapable of knowing/understanding act and distinguishing right from wrong. Jones v. United States (Omission only for legal duty) Facts. Defendant’s friend had a 10- month- old illegitimate child who was placed with Defendant. The mother lived in the house with Defendant for some time, however the evidence was conflicting as to how long and as to whether or not Defendant was paid to take care of the child. Defendant failed to provide for the child and such failure resulted in the child’s death. Defendant was charged and convicted with involuntary manslaughter based on his failure to provide for the child. At trial, the court failed to charge the jury that it must find beyond a reasonable doubt that Defendant was under a legal duty to provide for the child. Defendant appeals. Issue. Was failure to instruct the jury that it must find beyond a reasonable doubt that Defendant was under a legal duty to provide for the child plain error? Omission of an act is only punishable where the duty neglected is a legal duty and not merely a moral obligation. A legal duty can be imposed by statue, by virtue of relationship to another, where one has assumed a contractual duty to care for another, and where one has volunteered to care for another and in doing so secluded the person in manner that prevents others from rendering aid. Wheeler v. Goodman (Status) North Carolina vagrancy statute is unconstitutional. It is unconstitutional because it punishes mere status and discriminates against those without property, all in violation of 14th Amendment. In the US, belief and noninjurious behavior are not punishable. Smith v. State (BWS + expert testimony) Issue: The defendant was charged with murdering her live- in boyfriend. Her defense is self- defense. The case is to consider whether an expert’s opinion regarding the battered woman syndrome was admissible at trial or was properly excluded on the basis that the expert’s opinion regarding condition was the ultimate fact to be decided and t...
View Full Document

This document was uploaded on 03/06/2014 for the course POLISCI 122 at Stanford.

Ask a homework question - tutors are online