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Criminal Responsibility And Homicide Essay

1349 words - 5 pages

Criminal Responsibility and Homicide

A killing can be either lawful or unlawful. Killings that are lawful
are those by the police, armed services and doctors in strictly
controlled circumstances. An unlawful homicide is considered to be
those of: murder, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter,
infanticide and death caused by dangerous driving or careless
driving. Homicide in criminal law is the killing of a human being by
the act, procurement, or negligence of another.

Murder is the ‘killing of a human being with malice aforethought’,
where the person will have the intention to kill or cause serious
harm. It is a common law offence that was developed by judges. When
someone has been convicted of murder, the judge will impose a
mandatory sentence of life imprisonment.

Children between 10 and 14 years of age may be found guilty of a crime
if the court believes they knew what they were doing was wrong.
Children over 14 are assumed in law to know the difference between
right and wrong. For defendants under the age of eighteen that are
detained under her Majesty’s pleasure, is always 12 years. Lord Woolf
has set out guidelines when deciding how long a person should stay in
prison for being released. These starting points are: ‘a whole life
order’, a ‘term of 10 years’ and a ‘term of 15 years’. A whole life
order is where the judge believes that the defendant should never be
considered for release early. The offence must have been exceptionally
high and the defendant must be over 21 years of age. A 30 year order
can be for a defendant that is 18 years or over, however not any older
than 21 years old. This is for cases where the offence is not so
grave. A 15 year order can be considered for any defendants over the
age of 18 years where the offence is not as grave as in the other

Manslaughter can voluntary or involuntary. Voluntary manslaughter is
an unlawful killing with malice aforethought but reduced to
manslaughter by the Homicide Act 1957. In cases of Diminished
responsibility under s2 of the Homicide Act 1957, Provocation under s3
of the Homicide Act and The Survivor Of a Suicide Pact under s4 of the
Homicide Act. On the other hand, involuntary manslaughter is the
unlawful killing with no malice aforethought. There are two types,
constructive manslaughter and gross negligence manslaughter.
Constructive manslaughter is where an unlawful and dangerous act
results in a death. Gross negligence manslaughter is where the
behavior or omission causing the death is so grossly negligent that
only a criminal charge is appropriate. S2 of the the Homicide Act 1957
states that a person may be found guilty of the lesser offence of
volutry manslaughter rather than murder, if he was suffering from an
abnormality of mind, casused by an inside source, that...

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