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Crime of murder/Criminal Law - Essay Example
Section 187 of the California Penal Code 1873, defines murder as the "unlawful killing of a human being or a fetus with malice aforethought". According to this section, an act will constitute murder, if a person willfully and with malicious intent causes the death of another…
However, one point of importance is that once malicious intent to cause death is determined on the part of the person committing the crime, then there is no need to prove any awareness of or obligation to act in accordance with the established rules.
Murder is then classified as First Degree Murder and Second Degree Murder and as Voluntary or Involuntary Manslaughter. Section 189 of the California Penal Code defines Murder of First Degree as any act that causes the death of an individual by any person who knowing fully well, plans and commits the act with the intention of killing another using destructive or explosive device or by using large amounts of ammunition or using torture, poison,. It also includes any act of causing such death in order to commit another heinous crime like rape, robbery, theft etc. A brief reading of this definition shows that in order to constitute murder of first degree, firstly there should be knowledge that such an act would cause death, secondly there should be intention in the mind of the person committing such an act to cause death of another and finally the person should have planned or premeditated in advance.
For example, John and Stuart are good friends. John comes home and sees his wife in bed with Stuart and realizes that this is a routine affair. He leaves the house and a few days later he waits outside his house for Stuart to leave and kills him. ...