An introduction to the issue of justifiable homicide

Homicide is justifiable when committed in the lawful defense of [the slayer] [the slayer's [husband] [wife] [registered domestic partner] [parent] [child] [brother] [sister]] [any person in the slayer's presence or company] when:

An introduction to the issue of justifiable homicide

Premeditation, Pathology, or Provocation? Candidate, Emory University School of Law I would like to thank Professor Kay Levine for her advice, without which this Comment could not have been written. I would also like to thank my family for their constant love and encouragement.

Grove frequently abused his wife, Jessie, throughout their twenty-two year marriage. One night inhe arrived home drunk, threatening to kill Jessie and the children. After Grove finally went to sleep, Jessie shot him.

The jury ultimately found her guilty of first-degree murder. Diaz physically and sexually abused his wife, Madelyn, for five years, often threatening to kill her. One night, Madelyn shot him as he slept, fearing that he would carry out his threats when he awoke.

An introduction to the issue of justifiable homicide

Like Jessie, she was charged with murder, but a New York court allowed Madelyn to receive a self-defense jury instruction, and she was acquitted. The stories of these two women provide just a glimpse into the inconsistent results reached in cases involving battered women who kill their abusers in nonconfrontational situations.

Most homicides committed by women against abusive partners occur during an actual physical confrontation, 9Holly Maguigan, Battered Women and Self-Defense: Even in cases involving an actual confrontation, however, seemingly justifiable self-defense claims have been rejected.

While some American jurisdictions allow a jury to consider self-defense when a battered woman has committed a nonconfrontational homicide, many do not because any threat from a sleeping abuser is regarded as non-imminent. Some Reflections, 3 Ohio St. This disparity in self-defense law results in varying outcomes for battered women defendants in homicide trials.

For self-defense to justify a killing, the defendant must have genuinely and reasonably believed that the use of deadly force was necessary to protect herself from an unavoidable, imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm. Evidence on Battered Woman Syndrome BWSa theory describing the effects of recurring abuse in domestic relationships, attempts to explain why conventional assumptions about reasonableness and imminence fail to account for the real-life circumstances of the battered woman defendant.

Nourse, Self-Defense and Subjectivity, 68 U. Of course, women do not exclusively make up the class of battered defendants.

An introduction to the issue of justifiable homicide

However, this Comment only focuses on battered women who kill in nonconfrontational circumstances. Some courts have used BWS to replace an objective standard of reasonableness with a primarily subjective standard, allowing battered women to more easily and, oftentimes, successfully argue self-defense even though no immediate threat would have been found under traditional legal theories.

However, the traditional reasonableness and imminence requirements are crucial components of self-defense law precisely because they help ensure that only unavoidable killings are justified.

One can hardly argue that a sleeping abuser presents a truly unavoidable threat. Hence, courts that stretch the traditional self-defense requirements to accommodate battered women distort the traditional elements of the law and may encourage violent self-help.

Justifiable use of measures in research on deadly force - ScienceDirect

On the other hand, jurisdictions that refuse to allow battered women who preemptively kill to claim self-defense, thus resulting in murder or manslaughter convictions, may be out of step with notions of substantive justice. The record number of pardons and commutations in recent years for battered women convicted of murder reveals that this is most likely the case.

Therefore neither approach is satisfying. This Comment illustrates how the current American approach of limiting battered women who preemptively kill to claims of self-defense has resulted in distortions in the law.

It explores some of the practical results of using self-defense for battered defendants in nonconfrontational cases and demonstrates that this approach leads to outcomes that are in tension with social sentiments and the goals of the criminal law.

Therefore, a new strategy is needed to better accommodate such cases. In proposing a new solution, this Comment draws from the experiences and strategies of approaches used in Australia and England to address the issues posed by battered defendants.

LaFave, Criminal Law 4th ed. However, current provocation laws do not accurately reflect the situational realities in which battered women kill their abusers.

Hence, provocation laws will need to be reformed to allow for situations in which women kill out of fear of serious violence. Defining Conspiracy and Homicide Marcus Vainisi Rasmussen College Author Note This paper is being submitted on October 25, , for Professor Patty Laney’s Introduction to Criminal Law course Conspiracy and Homicide A quick overview of the case in which we will be discussing, Alan, Betty, and Charlie think of a plan to rob a bank.

INTRODUCTION Homicide in California, contains information about and justifiable homicide crime data. Other databases this issue and that the exclusion of disposition data does not affect crime, arrest, death penalty, nor other.

Chapter 5 Criminal Homicide. Chapter Outline. Introduction. An Overview of Violent Crimes _____ Term used by some jurisdictions because of the problems of distinguishing justifiable homicide from excusable homicide. _____ The definition of this term has become a critical issue in many homicide cases, in part because of doctors.

Criminal Behavior: Homicide And Murder - Homicide/Murder is a very well-known criminal behavior. However, the complexity of this criminal behavior comes from the wide scale from who commits it, why they commit it and how to stop it from being committed.

Justifiable Homicide: What if the Victim Doesn’t Crime Statistics, Volume 19, Issue 9 2 Incident Date for a Justifiable Homicide: What if the Victim Doesn’t Die the Same Day?

Monday, September 29 Introduction to Data ollection TI Headquarters, Nashville. It is a defense to a charge of [murder] [manslaughter] that the homicide was justifiable as defined in this instruction.

View Document - Washington Criminal Jury Instructions