Defences for murder essay

The elements for murder are: The victim died; The act or omission of the accused caused the death of the victim; The act of the accused was without lawful cause or excuse; and The act or omission causing death was done by the accused: If you have an alibi An alibi, if established, is a complete defence to murder, as the crown would not be able to prove the second element that it was the act or omission of the accused that caused the death.

Defences for murder essay

Hire Writer This shows that the law on murder has remain consist over the centuries, and the same principles remain the same today as they did back in the 16th century. Also, murder is a common law offence which can cause a lot of inconsistancy in the law as different judges have different views on the same issue so there may be holes in the law due to the fact that the law on murder is based on cases instead of statutes which can properly defined murder in its widest sense.

There are several areas in which the law of murder is unsatisfactory, and is satisfactory. The first point is the fact that a defendant can be convicted of murder even though there is no intention to kill. Under the present law on murder, a defendant is guilty of murder if he had intention to cause grievous bodily harm and actually causes the victims death.

In some of these cases the defendant may not even realise that death could occur. Yet he is just as guilty as the man who sets out to kill his victim intentionally. One leading case where the point was put across was in Cunningham inwhere Lord Edmund Davies thought that for a sentence of murder the Defendant must only have the intention for murder.

However he thought that it must be changed by parliament, rather than changing the law through decisions on cases. This is a good point to stress the fact that Murder is a common law offence — which means it has been defined by cases.

So if murder is defined by cases, then why not continue changing it with cases, instead of waiting for parliament to pass a statute which by the time it has been passed will be out of Defences for murder essay anyway?

If murder has always been defined by cases, at what point did it stop being defined by cases and only have to be defined by statute? Can the law on murder not be challenged by cases which think it is incorrect and outdated, only to find it has to go through a long lengthy process to change it.

There have been attempts at persuading parliament to pass new law on murder but parliament has not been prepared to Defences for murder essay the necessary time to enact the law. So this brings me back to my earlier point — if parliament wont spend the time to change the law on murder to something which is a more reasonable sentence, then why cant it be change in cases, like it always has been?

This leads me in to my next point which is connected to the first. What is intention, and how do you prove the difference between the intention to kill and the intention to do GBH? The courts find it difficult trying to find out what is meant by intention, for how can you really prove a person intended to do a specific thing at any given point in time?

The main problems in the law are on foresight of consequences. The house of lords has tried on many occasions to explain it. However, at what point does the intention to cause GBH turn in to the intention to kill the victim?

The defendant could have the intention for murder, but plead intention to GBH to make the offence seem less than it really was. So that is one of the hardest things to prove — what the defendant really intended when he committed the guilty act — they may not have even intended to cause GBH, but would still be on a charge of murder.

There is also a problem with the sentence for murder. If someone is found guilty of murder, no matter what the circumstances they were under, the sentence for murder is always life.

So with the issues of the sentence, unless they were a serial killer, there are other options to the sentence of murder and the mandatory life sentence can be avoided. The mandatory life sentence then distorts the law by making necessary the special defences of provocation and diminished responsibility.

For with these special defences, the law on murder can be misued as murders think that even though they are facing a murder charge, they is always an option to escape from the life sentence of murder. As there is only one type of murder charge in the UK, anyone can use one of the defences and have a high probablity of having their sentence lessened by using one of the defences.

This defeats the object of the mandatory life sentence which is to have consistancy in the law for murder — if your charged with murder, you get a set sentence, but through misues of defences, murder can have any sentence up to 15 years. It also brings up the question of — whats the difference between a case that would be able to use a defence of diminished responisbility or provacation and reducing the sentencing to manslaughter and a full on murder case?

Different judges will pass different judgment on the same case — so how are we to know what is the right judgement for that case and what is the wrong one? However, with attempted murder, the judge can choose the most appropriate sentence for the offence.

The intention of killing was obviously intact at the point of the injuries, so this means that they are as dangerous as someone who has actually killed someone, and if they had the chance to they would have probably killed the person. So those who attempt murder could be as potentially dangerous as those who murder, yet the sentences are both different, which is unfair as the point of the law is to protect the public from potentially dangerous criminals and from harm.

Alternatively, the mandatory life sentence is inadequate, because most murderers are released after serving only years. For why should they be allowed to have some sort of life in the real world and be able to enjoy their lives when they have denied some one else of their right to live and enjoy a normal and happy life?

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They should pay for all the pain they have caused to the family of the victim, and the fact that they denied someone the previalage to live the rest of their lives — they gave up the right to be a normal human being and be able to enjoy their freedom when they gave up that right when they turned in to a murderer.

A lot of people believe in the saying a life for a life — if some one takes a life, then their life is worthless and needs to be given up in return for the life that they originally stole.

If a defendant can show that he used reasonable force in self defence or prevention of crime in doing the killing, he is not guilty of murder. However, where force is necessary in self defence or prevention of crime but the defendant uses excessive force in the circumstances, he is guilty of murder.

This all or nothing effect of the defence can been seen as very harsh in murder cases as the defendant can either be acquitted or given a life sentence. He was justified in using some force and his only fault is that he used more force than was reasonable.

When looking at the defence from this angle, it can be seen as harsh to make the defendant serve a life sentence for something which he had no intention to do, and the intention to do so would have never have crossed his mind.Legal defenses in criminal law come from the way crime is defined.

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There are numerous defenses that are seen in criminal cases. Self-defense is the most commonly seen legal defense. Papers - Defences for Murder.

Defences for murder essay

Affirmative Defences Essay - Affirmative defenses is the answer to which a defendant gives the court in response to the crime they are charged with. Legal defenses in criminal law come from the way crime is defined. There are numerous defenses that are seen in criminal cases.

Self-defense is the most commonly seen legal defense. At the beginning of its report on the Partial Defences to Murder (Law Com , ), the Law Commission says expressly that it “has long considered that the law of murder is in need of review”.

Essay on Defences for Murder Words | 3 Pages. Defences for Murder There are only three partial defences for murder; suicide pact, provocation-the loss of self control and reaction must be instantaneous and diminished responsibility.

Essay on Defences for Murder - Defences for Murder There are only three partial defences for murder; suicide pact, provocation-the loss of self control and reaction must be instantaneous and diminished responsibility. Amongst the three mentioned two are most frequently used, these are provocation and diminished responsibility, and only one full.

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