Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Criminal Law Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 2000 words - 1

Criminal Law - Essay Example Finally, there is the possibility that the actions of the doctor in giving the wrong blood transfusion and taking Alan off of life support would break the chain of causation so that Derek would not be liable for homicide after all. Therefore there a number of possible offenses and a number of possible defenses here for Derek and the Doctor. What homicidal offences might Derek have committed? What are the potential difficulties with regards to mens rea and actus reas? First, did Derek cause death or great bodily harm to Alan? The answer to this is yes, so the actus reus for homicide has been established. Second, can we establish that Derek aimed to cause death or great bodily harm to Alan? If so, then the mens rea for homicide has been established.1 While, in this case, it would be a stretch to state that Derek aimed to kill Alan, it may be shown that he, in fact, did intend great bodily harm to Alan when he set fire to Alan’s flat. What is not known is whether Derek was aware that Alan was inside the flat or not. If Derek had thought that Alan was not in his flat, then it could conceivably be said that Derek did not form the proper mens rea for homicide, because, in that case, Derek would have only had the mens rea for arson and not homicide. On the other hand, if it could be shown that Derek was affirmatively aware that Alan was asleep in the flat, then it could be said that Derek did, indeed, intend to cause great bodily harm to Alan, and the mens rea would be established. At any rate, even if Derek is not responsible for homicide, he would probably be responsible for manslaughter, as one only has to prove, as the actus reus for manslaughter that a person intended an unlawful act to another person for manslaughter to be established. As Derek intended arson on Alan’s home, this could be said that Derek intended an unlawful act on Alan, so he would be guilty of manslaughter even if there is no mens rea for homicide.2 Moreover, the mens rea might b e negated by Derek’s intoxication.3 The test here is whether Derek was so intoxicated that he could not form the mens rea that is necessary to commit the homicide. The facts stated that Derek had quickly downed four vodkas. This would certainly make a person drunk, however, the actual crime occurred four hours after Derek drank these vodkas, so Derek was probably not still so intoxicated by vodkas that he could not form the mens rea for the act. That said, the facts also said that Derek was suffering blackouts before the incident, although it is unclear what is causing these blackouts. Therefore, this might be a case of diminished responsibility. The rule on that is there must be present an abnormality of the mind that substantially impairs his mental responsibility.4 This is a possibility – perhaps Derek is suffering from an abnormality that would cause him to perform criminal acts of which he was somehow unaware. If this is the case, then he would have a defence unde r this. What defences might Derek have to homicide? The first defence will be that of provocation. The elements of provocation are as follows 1) the loss of self-control must coincide with the killing;5 2) a reasonable person would react in the same manner.6 We also have to look at the reasonable person in

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