Law Homework – Reforms of Murder and Voluntary Manslaughter My criticisms of Murder and Voluntary Manslaughter
Murder is the most serious form of unlawful homicide. Murder is a common law offence, and has never been defined by statute. The most commonly accepted definition is the one given by the early 17th century judge, Sir Edward Coke. He defined murder as: ‘The unlawful killing of a reasonable person in being under the Queens peace with malice aforethought, express or implied.’’ The actus reus of murder is the ‘unlawful killing.’ Some killings are recognised by the law as being justified. For example a person who kills in self-defence or in the prevention of a crime, provided that the force used was reasonable in the circumstances, will not be guilty of an unlawful killing. However a criticism of this is that the ‘reasonable’ force used in self-defence or in the prevention of a crime is subjective to each individual and it depends on how scared each person would be in that circumstance for example a woman who is quite confident and fearless could be attacked on the street by a man and she just pushes him away and runs however a woman who is extremely terrified in the situation could react more irrationally and hit him with a weapon such as an iron bar to get him away from her because she is so terrified, therefore it is hard to dictate to some-one what reasonable force is as reasonable force to me could be completely unreasonable force to another. A reform I would suggest for this would be to clearly set out guidelines within this as what would be considered unreasonable force so that it is not as subjective to each individual. The next part of the actus reus of murder is ‘a reasonable person in being’. A reasonable person in being is considered to be any person in being, a baby is only considered to be such when it has been fully expelled from its mothers body. A criticism I think of this is that this should be allowed. I think after abortion is...
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