Murder and Reckless Manslaughter Purposeful Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

The second case, in which the individual received a verdict of reckless manslaughter, was less clear, but it was determined by the court upon appeal that the crime was not planned or premeditated, and that it was carried out due to the upset that the individual felt at the time. In other words, it was a crime of passion and a reasonable person could have been provoked to the point of taking someone else's life under those same circumstances.

The culpability and conduct elements of the two crimes differ greatly, and that is much of the reason that the verdicts for the two individuals were quite different. Of course, the first case also has the added information that more than one person was killed. While this is important and does figure into the case, it is not the central point in why the first individual received a verdict of purposeful murder and the second individual received a verdict of reckless manslaughter. The main difference in the culpability and conduct issues is the clear premeditation that took place in the first case, and which was not seen in the second case to be examined.

The first court thought that there was premeditation, but the most recent examination of this case by a court of law determined that the premeditation could not be proven, and that it was more likely that that individual was simply provoked to the point that he 'lost his temper' and took the life of the individual that he felt had wronged him. Simply speaking to someone inappropriately is not enough for this type of defense, but the individual was also pushed around by the bouncer at the bar twice, was pinned against the wall by the door, and was kicked, which the court determined could be enough to provoke a reasonable person into the actions that the individual took shortly after the altercations took place.

These kinds of facts and determinations are highly important as to whether an individual is convicted of purposeful murder or reckless manslaughter, and they must be proven in order for a particular verdict to be rendered. if, however, the components of purposeful murder cannot be proven, then the individual will likely be found guilty of a lesser charge, such as reckless manslaughter. This kind of charge does not carry the death penalty, and also carries a lower prison term than the purposeful murder charge, so it is obviously the most desirable of the guilty verdicts that a person could receive under those circumstances.

Individuals that cannot show clear evidence that they committed their crime in the heat of passion and upset, however, are more likely to receive a lesser murder charge (such as second-degree murder) as opposed to a reckless manslaughter charge, because there are specific elements that must be proven in order for a crime to be ruled as reckless manslaughter. In either instance, the person that is judged guilty took at least one life, but it was the manner in which that life was taken and the circumstances that surround the crime that will ultimately help the judge and/or jury to make the determination of which crime was actually committed by the individual who has been charged.

Where the two cases discussed earlier are seen, it is clear that there are many differences in the issues that relate to culpability, conduct, and causation, which is why the verdicts ended up much different for these two individuals. The heinousness of the crimes that were committed was very different, as were the reasons behind the crimes. This makes a strong difference in the severity of the penalties that the individuals received and the way that the court determined what these individuals were actually guilty of where each case was concerned.

Bibliography

2C: 11-3. Subtitle 2. Definition of specific offenses. Part 1. Offenses involving danger to the person. Chapter 11. Criminal homicide.

2C: 11-4. Subtitle 2. Definition of specific offenses. Part 1. Offenses involving danger to the person. Chapter 11. Criminal homicide.

State of NJ vs.…

Sources Used in Document:

Bibliography

2C: 11-3. Subtitle 2. Definition of specific offenses. Part 1. Offenses involving danger to the person. Chapter 11. Criminal homicide.

2C: 11-4. Subtitle 2. Definition of specific offenses. Part 1. Offenses involving danger to the person. Chapter 11. Criminal homicide.

State of NJ vs. List, 270 N.J. Super 169.

State of NJ v. Mauricio, 117 N.J. 402.

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