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Crime - Movie Review Example

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Summary
Carl Lee Hailey is a poor farmer. His ten year old daughter is kidnapped and raped by two white men. When the case appears in the trial court, he shows up and shoots the two defendants dead. He is charged with murder offence. He is sure to get a death penalty…
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Crime

Download file to see previous pages... f actus reus) is that it comprises all the elements of the definition of the offence except those that relate to the mental element (mens rea) required on the part of the accused." (Allen; p.18)
The actus reus of murder requires that a person is killed unlawfully under the Queen's peace.
Queen's Peace - in times of peace rather than war time.
Unlawful - that there is no lawful excuse or justification.
Person means a human being.
Lord Lane, C.J. in R v Nedrick [1986] 1 WLR 1025, states:
"Where the charge is murder and in the rare cases where the simple direction is not enough, the jury should be directed that they are not entitled to infer the necessary intention, unless they feel sure that death or serious bodily harm was a virtual certainty (barring some unforeseen intervention) as a result of the defendant's actions and that the defendant appreciated that such was the case, the decision being for the jury to decide on a consideration of all the evidence."
Mens rea: (Gammon Ltd v Attorney General of Hong Kong, 1985)
The above case was decided as:
"In their Lordships' opinion, the law relevant to this appeal may be stated in the following propositions:
(1) There is a presumption of law that mens rea is required before a person can be guilty of a criminal offence
(2) The presumption is particularly strong where the offence is truly criminal in character;
(3) The presumption applies to statutory offences, and can be displaced only if this is clearly or by necessary implication the effect of the statute;
(4) The only situation in which the presumption can be displaced is where the statute is concerned with an issue of social concern, and public safety is such an issue;
(5) Even where a statute is concerned with such an issue, the presumption of mens rea stands...
"Murder is when a man of sound memory, and of the age of discretion, unlawfully killeth within any country of the realm any reasonable creature in rerum natura under the King's peace, with malice aforethought, either expressed by the party or implied by law, so as the party wounded, or hurt, etc. die of the wound or hurt, etc. within a year and a day after the same."
"A useful working definition (of actus reus) is that it comprises all the elements of the definition of the offence except those that relate to the mental element (mens rea) required on the part of the accused." (Allen; p.18)
"Where the charge is murder and in the rare cases where the simple direction is not enough, the jury should be directed that they are not entitled to infer the necessary intention, unless they feel sure that death or serious bodily harm was a virtual certainty (barring some unforeseen intervention) as a result of the defendant's actions and that the defendant appreciated that such was the case, the decision being for the jury to decide on a consideration of all the evidence."
(5) Even where a statute is concerned with such an issue, the presumption of mens rea stands unless it can be shown that the creation of strict liability will be effective to promote the objects of the statute by encouraging greater vigilance to prevent the commission of the prohibited ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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