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  #1  
Old 12-19-2001, 01:55 AM
PKTSU01 PKTSU01 is offline
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Here's a law school exam question, have fun with it!

Here's a question from a hypothetical law exam that was given to me earlier this semester. We were told that a few months of school would skew our perception on things that seem common sense so, i figured i'd like to see the reaction from some people who aren't studying the law as compared to some people who are. K, here's the hypo...

John and Sandy have been married for six months and the relationship is already rocky. Sandy suspects John of cheating and vice versa. One day John arrived home early from work to find Sandy's car in the driveway along with one he had not seen before. Upon entering his bedroom he found his wifes clothes sprawled out on the bed and floor and a strange man asleep in his bed. His wife was not in the room. Upon seeing this John flew into a fit of rage, grabbed a gun from his dresser drawer and fired 4 shots at the man in the bed. All of the shots hit the man. 2 in the head, 2 in the chest. He had obviously killed the man.

Upon hearing the shots, a neighbor called the police, who arrived quickly to find the husband and wife in a heated argument in the room with the body. It turns out that while having her affair, the wifes sexual partner dropped dead of a heart attack in the middle of the act. John shot a man who was already dead!

The question is this. Will John be held liable for attempted murder and violent assault even though the body was already dead? Or, does the fact that it already was dead free him from any criminal wrongdoing?

I know my answer, but I ain't sharing yet...have fun figuring it out!
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  #2  
Old 12-19-2001, 02:00 AM
IowaHawkeye IowaHawkeye is offline
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oh this is interesting...

umm, i'm not positive, but i'm going with my gut on this one, i think he can be held liable since he intended to hurt the guy and had no way of knowing he was dead or not. if it was his intent to do the man harm, he can be held liable? i don't know...
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  #3  
Old 12-19-2001, 02:21 AM
shopgirl shopgirl is offline
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I think he would/could be held liable for attempted murder. His intent was to cause harm upon this man. He assumed the man was alive, otherwise why would he shoot him? However, since the man was already dead perhaps his punishment will not be so severe, i.e. less time served, a greater chance for probation, etc.
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  #4  
Old 12-19-2001, 02:24 AM
amycat412 amycat412 is offline
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mansluaghter or murder 1? intent was there, for sure. but also crime of passion which get treated differently anyways-often assumed person not in right mind... but again, it was an already dead man and that coupled with the crime of passion could get him a lesser sentence.
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  #5  
Old 12-19-2001, 10:47 AM
KarenC725 KarenC725 is offline
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I agree on the intent/liable issue. He fired four shots and wanted to hurt the man.
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  #6  
Old 12-19-2001, 11:02 AM
Beef Beef is offline
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Intent or no intent, the man was already dead. For all he knows, this guy just broke into his house and raped his wife.

He would probably get some type of firearm charge, but I dont think it would be murder or attempted murder. You cant attempt to murder someone if they are already dead.

Last edited by Beef; 12-19-2001 at 11:21 AM.
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  #7  
Old 12-19-2001, 11:23 AM
PenguinTrax PenguinTrax is offline
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He's liable for criminal charges. Intent was clear. He made a concious decision to get the gun and fire it. Just because the guy was already dead doesn't mean there wasn't a crime commited.
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  #8  
Old 12-19-2001, 11:52 AM
Kevlar281 Kevlar281 is offline
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Well it was a stranger in his house so under Texas law he was in his legal rights to shoot him.
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  #9  
Old 12-19-2001, 11:56 AM
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ZTAngel ZTAngel is offline
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He had criminal intent. He may not get convicted of manslaughter charges but possibly an intent to kill charge.
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  #10  
Old 12-19-2001, 01:06 PM
Betarulz! Betarulz! is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kevlar281
Well it was a stranger in his house so under Texas law he was in his legal rights to shoot him.


Don't you love Texas?
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  #11  
Old 12-19-2001, 01:17 PM
James James is offline
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The man was dead already so the husband cannot be charged with murder. IF he is in violation of other state laws, like firing a weapon within the city limits, or the weapon isn't properly registered, or there is law about acceptable treatment of a dead body he could be charged with something like that.

Intent only applies in specifically defined situations, such as the amount of drugs you have leading to an intent to distribute. The bottom line is that he no more killed the man than if he never walked into the room.

However, I am not a lawyer so I might be wrong
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  #12  
Old 12-19-2001, 02:03 PM
Beef Beef is offline
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This is how I see it. Murder implies that something is living and is killed by a person. In this case, Since the man was already dead, he can no longer be murdered, and you cant intend to kill someone thats no longern exists.
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  #13  
Old 12-19-2001, 02:05 PM
kimmykimmy kimmykimmy is offline
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My guess was attempted murder. And he would be guilty.
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  #14  
Old 12-19-2001, 02:11 PM
James James is offline
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Ok we need a lawyer to come in and tell us the truth now

Remember, its not so much what we believe to be true, its actually a matter of legal definitions.
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  #15  
Old 12-19-2001, 02:23 PM
bruinaphi bruinaphi is offline
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It's so much more fun to read everyone's responses than to tell ya'll the answer.
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