Homicide and Voluntary Manslaughter

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Date Submitted: 01/22/2013 02:55 PM

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1. What would be Sally’s criminal homicide liability for the death of Vic, and what defenses could be asserted? Discuss.

2. What would be Debbie’s criminal liability for her actions above, and what defenses could be asserted? Discuss.

Rule: Murder, the unlawful killing, with malice aforethought of another human.

Conspiracy: Conspiracy is an agreement by two or more persons to commit a criminal act or series of criminal acts, or to accomplish a legal act by unlawful means.

Solicitation: A person is guilty of solicitation to commit a crime if his/her purpose is to promote or facilitate the commission of substantive offense with such purpose, he/she commands, encourages or requests another person to engage in conduct that would constitute the crime, an attempt to commit it, or would establish the other person’s complicity in its commission or attempted commission.


Homicide liability for Sally in the Killing of Vic can be murder, the unlawful killing, with malice aforethought of another human. The unlawful killing element is established since we know Vic is dead as a result of Sally’s action. The intent formation we can establish that premeditation to murder Vic existed since there was pre-planning to take his life. The fact pattern shows that Sally had formed the intent prior to leaving the bar and had discussed the plans with her co-worker. Therefore the malice aforethought element is met.

However this charge most likely can be reduced to a voluntary manslaughter charge if the defenses of voluntary intoxication and or heat of passion are raised. Under the defense of voluntary intoxication it could be argued that Sally lacked the ability to form the required intent by reason of her intoxication. This would relieve of her from criminal liability but reduce the first degree murder charge to a voluntary manslaughter charge. Secondly, she can raise the defense of heat of passion murder in which Sally can...