Murder Criminal Law Essay

Liability in Criminal Law Essay

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'Liability in criminal law normally requires the prosecution to establish that the accused has caused the relevant prohibited consequences or conduct to occur. For instance, in homicide, that the accused has caused the victims death.'

Within the English Legal System, the chain of causation is established via numerous principles, which have been recognised by case law, as the problem areas have come before courts. It is clear that when ascertaining whether the defendant is the person to fix liability, the courts will look at two main issues. The first being whether, the defendants conduct had actually resulted in the death of the victim and secondly whether the defendants conduct made him liable…show more content…

It was decided after having had looked at the facts that if it hadn't been for the driver travelling along the road the child's death would not have occurred and therefore the charge in itself could not be sustained. Therefore, it is clear that the 'but for' test plays a significant part, as it has been a way in which the courts have approached the idea of causation.

After having had looked at the factual cause of death, the legal cause must be taken into consideration, which consists of two factors. The first being that the defendants act must be a substantial cause of death as explained in Cato 1976 and later emphasised in Kimsey 1971 where it was decided that, the contribution must be 'more than a minimal' cause of death. The second factor being that no intervening act had broken the chain of causation, because the conduct at the beginning of the chain far outweighed any other events, which may have taken place, after the original act had occurred. Clearly, the courts consider the legal cause very closely when dealing with the requirement of causation.

The chain of causation itself consists of various categories, which suggest that the act in question wasn't the reason why the victim had died but did so due to the fault of an intervening act and therefore pass on the blame. The first being that

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For QUESTIONS ONE, TWO and THREE, you need only refer to the following list of state statutes for all substantive crimes. For criminal law defenses, however, refer to your own knowledge under both the common law and the Model Penal Code.
FIRST-DEGREE MURDER:
(A) A homicide perpetrated by any kind of willful, deliberate and premeditated killing; or

(B) a killing proximately caused in the perpetration of, or attempt to perpetrate, a felony.


SECOND-DEGREE MURDER:
Any murder which is committed recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life.

VOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER:
(A) A homicide that would otherwise be murder is committed in a sudden passion or heat of blood caused by provocation sufficient to deprive an average person of his self-control and cool reflection; or
(B) a homicide committed recklessly.

INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER:
A homicide committed negligently.

ROBBERY:
The taking of anything of value belonging to another from the person of another, or that is in the immediate control of another, by use of force or intimidation, when the offender leads the victim to reasonably believe he is armed with a dangerous weapon. Robbery is a felony carrying a sentence of no less than 3 and no more than 40 years in prison.

RAPE:
Sexual intercourse with another person by force or threat of force against the will of the other person. Rape is a felony carrying a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

ATTEMPT
An attempt to commit any other crime is a felony carrying a sentence of up to five years in prison.

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