150 word agree or disagree to each questions
After reviewing this week’s lesson and both chapters 8 &9 I would find both Stacey and Michelle to be guilty of First-degree murder. This falls under the “model penal code” by the first two substantial steps.
- Both Stacey and Michelle completed the crimes. Which both would be found guilty of an attempt to commit murder and by brandishing a weapon and utilizing it is an omission and which culminates in the commission of the crime they committed.
- Both where strongly corroborative by making statements such as “I have had enough of you Steve” and “I loved him, how dare you”. By doing this Michelle and Stacey showed one of the seven examples of possession of a material that are specially designed for unlawful use when they used illegal weapons.
We could argue that Stacy was only working in self defense and protecting Michelle but I would argue did Stacey contact the police at any point when she witnessed Steve attacking Michelle. The time it took her to walk to a drawer and pull out a gun she could have easily placed a 911 call to the authorities. Instead she took anger and aggression for the Steve guy and took his life.
Storm, L, Criminal Law CH.8 (pp. 193-194), retrieved from http://ebooks.apus.edu.ezproxy2.apus.edu/LSTD302/Storm_Ch8.pdf
Just to review, the Model Penal Code (MPC), which was a project of the American Law Institute (ALI) and published in 1962 after a ten-year drafting period, is a text designed to stimulate and assist U.S. state legislatures to update and standardize the penal law of the United States of America. In this prompt, the MPC can apply to the possible charges of both Stacey and Michelle. When it comes to the murder (which both Stacey and Michelle can possibly found guilty of), it has elements of criminal act, criminal intent, causation, and harm.
Starting with Stacey, there is obviously a criminal act as she shot and killed Steve with a gun. When it comes to murder intent, it can be done purposely, knowingly or recklessly under circumstances that manifest extreme indifference to the value of human life, which is Model Penal Code § 210.2. In this situation, it would seem that Stacey met the requirement for the ‘purposely’ aspect, which is often referred to as ‘express malice.’ With that being said, it can be argued that what Stacey did could be considered only manslaughter. More specifically, in terms of voluntary manslaughter, an emotional state called a ‘heat of passion’ can negate the aforementioned murder intent. Further, an adequate provocation from the victim can inspire the heat of passion (Storm, 2012).
So for our case at hand, Stacey walked in and saw Steve stabbing Michelle, causing her to take action. Therefore, even though Stacey acted with the intent to kill Steve, it can be argued that Steve provoked the intent because his actions would lead any reasonable person to kill him. Now, the Model Penal Code does not require adequate provocation from the victim per se, but it does have a similar provision that reduced murder to manslaughter when there is a reasonable explanation or excuse, which is Model Penal Code § 210.3(1)(b).
Moving on to Michelle, this one is difficult to answer as it does not explicitly say whether Stacey died from the inflicted wounds to her chest. However, it can probably be assumed that she did as there was no one to stop Michelle from stabbing her, unlike with Steve. In terms of her murder intent, I would highly doubt that it would fall under the ‘purposely’ category due to what she just went through with Steve. However, I would say that it would meet the requirements of the Model Penal Code’s ‘knowingly’ or ‘recklessly’ aspect, which would be referred to as ‘implied malice’, aka the intent to cause serious bodily injury.
Serious bodily injury is defined by the MPC as bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ (Model Penal Code § 210.0(3)) [Storm, 2012]. And once again, I think it could be argued that Michelle acted out of the heat of passion of noticing her boyfriend had been shot dead by Stacey, which may or may not be adequate provocation which may or may not lower the charges from murder to manslaughter.
Storm, L. (2012). Chapter 9 – Criminal Homicide. In Criminal Law. Retrieved from http://ebooks.apus.edu.ezproxy1.apus.edu/LSTD302/Storm_Ch9.pdf
This case appears to me to have several options open for both defendants. So, lets first take a look at Stacey’s case, it is made very clear that Stacey is not a fan of Steve. She finds him to be an ignorant drunk that treats her friend badly, she makes no secret of her feelings. How does this play into her actions on scene? Well, her feelings about Steve are really irrelevant to the facts of the case. Let’s break it down, Stacey comes home to find her best friend repeatedly being stabbed by Steve. Steve is using deadly force on Michelle and by law is allowed to defend her friend. In this case she is allowed to use deadly force to save the life of another and would be covered by a defense of justifiable homicide (Storm, 2012). The fact that Stacey makes the comment “I have had enough of you Steve” can go towards her state of mind at the time of the homicide but does not change the facts. I think that in Stacey’s case the DA would refuse to even prosecute.
Michelle is another case entirely. Here we have a woman who has just been the victim of an attempted murder and she become angry at the person who saved her. While this may seem extremely unusual to some it is a fairly common occurrence in instances of domestic violence. Michelle is displaying a classic case of battered woman syndrome to the extreme, which is a mental illness and a form of post traumatic stress disorder. Michelle’s defense here is likely going to be along the lines of temporary insanity due to the overwhelming stress of almost being murdered. I do think that based on her statement the DA would likely pursue a charge of attempted voluntary manslaughter due to the fact that her stabbing Stacey occurred in the heat of passion (Storm, 2012).
Storm, L. M. (2012). Criminal Law.