Criminal Law Murder Problem Question Essay

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Criminal Liability of Dot for the Children Actus Reus of murder “Murder is when a man of sound memory, and of the age of discretion, unlawfully killeth in any county 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." Dot was the reason for the children’s death as it was under her care that the children ate the poisonous mushrooms. However, this fault does not necessarily mean she is actually criminally culpable of murder. In murder, once Actus Reus has been established Mens Rea must also be satisfied. Mens rea being ‘malice aforethought’ which can be established by “foresight of death or grievous bodily harm as virtually certain.” Therefore, to sentence Dot with murder it must be established that she foresaw either the death of the children or their grievous bodily harm as virtually certain. Considering she had no knowledge that the children had been poisoned and did not intend the events to happen, simply thinking they were suffering from a stomach ache; it is unlikely that the jury would find intent under the Woolin test. Nonetheless, if the jury did not find the necessary Mens Rea, she could instead be charged with the crime of manslaughter, which is committed when a defendant commits the Actus Reus of homicide but the killing is not sufficiently blameworthy to warrant liability for murder. Dot could be convicted of involuntary manslaughter satisfied under subjective reckless manslaughter if she had an absence of intention to kill or cause serious injury, but was aware that her conduct involved a risk of causing death or serious injury and she unreasonably took that risk. As established in Maloney, where the House of Lord held that cases in

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