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Criminal Law Problem question - Essay Example

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Neither Edward nor Sarah is criminally liable for the death of Lisa whichever it is founder either on unlawful act ("unlawful act manslaughter") or on gross negligence. Section 23 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861 or the Act provides: "Whosoever shall unlawfully and maliciously administer to or cause to be administered to or taken by any other person any poison or other destructive or noxious thing, so as thereby to endanger the life of such person, or so as thereby to inflict upon such person any grievous bodily harm, shall be guilty of [an offence] and being convicted thereof shall be liable…
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Download file "Criminal Law Problem question" to see previous pages... The relevant facts in the Kennedy case are substantially similar to the facts in the given problem. In Kennedy, as in the case of Edward, the defendant merely prepared a dose of heroin for the deceased. It was the deceased who self-administered the drug as in Lisa's case. In the Kennedy case, the court ruled that defendant Kennedy cannot be held criminally liable for manslaughter.
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Applying the Kennedy ruling, then Edward cannot likewise be held criminally liable for Lisa's death because Edward was not the one who injected the deceased with the drug. Under the same principle, Sarah cannot likewise be held criminally liable for Lisa's death as she was not the one who injected Lisa with the drug. Notably, Edward (unlike in Kennedy) was not also the one who gave the syringe to the deceased. If Kennedy (who was the one who gave the syringe to the deceased) is not criminally liable, then a fortiori Edward should not also be held criminally liable for Lisa's death since he was not even the one who gave the syringe to the deceased. In ruling for the defendant, the Kennedy court had occasion to discuss the elements of the crime of unlawful act manslaughter: (1) that the defendant committed an unlawful act; (2) that such unlawful act was a crime and (3) that the defendant's unlawful act was a significant cause of the death of the deceased. In the given problem, Edward admittedly committed an unlawful (and criminal) act by supplying the heroin to the deceased. The mere act of supplying heroin, however, could not have possibly caused Lisa's death since "the supply of drugs would itself have caused no harm unless the deceased had subsequently used the drugs in a form and quantity which was dangerous."2 Clearly, any unlawful act manslaughter charge cannot be based on the mere act of supplying the heroin.
According to the Kennedy court, the heroin (as in the given problem) is described as "freely and voluntaril ...Download file "Criminal Law Problem question" to see next pagesRead More
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