About This Chapter
Criminal Homicide & Murder - Chapter Summary
In this chapter, you'll review a series of engaging lessons that break down the legal elements of criminal homicide and murder. Follow along with our expert instructors to study felony murder, manslaughter, excusable homicides, feticide, malice aforethought and related legal cases. The chapter can be accessed at any time using your desktop, laptop or mobile device. Take the accompanying lesson quizzes to check your understanding of the material, and feel free to use the Ask the Expert feature if you have any questions. By the end of the chapter, you should be able to:
- Define corpus delicti
- Recognize feticide laws
- Identify elements for a murder charge
- Explain the legal definition of malice aforethought
- Assess example of justifiable and excusable homicides
- Analyze the case of Laci Peterson
- Discuss the felony murder doctrine
- Explain the significance of Enmund v. Florida and People v. Berry
- Differentiate between manslaughter and murder
1. Corpus Delicti: Definition & Rule
Corpus delicti is a common law rule that was initiated over 300 hundred years ago in order to protect those in England who were innocent or even confessed to crimes that they never committed. Read on to learn more about this rule and then take a quiz.
2. Feticide: Definition, Laws & Cases
When a pregnant woman is murdered, many states are adding a homicide charge for the death of the fetus. In this lesson, we will learn the definition of feticide and explore the laws prohibiting it.
3. Required Elements for Murder
Murder is a crime, but what constitutes murder? In this lesson, we'll learn what the law says is required before someone who has killed another can be convicted of murder.
4. Malice Aforethought: Legal Definition & Examples
Malice aforethought is the conscious, premeditated intent to kill another human. A prosecutor must prove this level of intent before someone can be convicted of first degree murder. This lesson will explore the meaning of malice aforethought and provide examples of how it is used.
5. Justifiable & Excusable Homicides: Definitions & Examples
When a human being kills another human being, it's called homicide. It may or may not be a crime, however. In this lesson, we will explore the circumstances where a homicide is not a crime.
6. Case Study: Laci Peterson & the Unborn Victims of Violence Act
Laci Peterson was eight months pregnant when she was murdered by her husband Scott Peterson. As a result of the murder, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act was passed in 2004. This lesson will discuss the murder case and the passing of this act.
7. What Is Felony Murder? - Definition, Rule & Doctrine
Some states use a felony murder doctrine, which allows a person to be convicted of murder when that person didn't mean to kill, but was committing another felony. This lesson explains the felony murder doctrine.
8. Enmund v. Florida: Facts, Decision, & Significance
When is the death penalty not allowed? This lesson will examine the Supreme Court case ''Enmund v. Florida,'' including a discussion of the court decision and an exploration of the significance of this case.
9. Manslaughter & Murder: Definition & Differences
Manslaughter and murder are criminal charges brought for a criminal homicide. In this lesson, you'll learn the difference between the two and find out what it takes for a prosecutor to prove either one in court.
10. People v. Berry: Facts, Decision, & Significance
The difference between murder and manslaughter often hinges on the state of mind of the killer. In this lesson, we will see how the California Supreme Court decided whether a case was premeditated or in the heat of passion.
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Other chapters within the Criminal Justice 307: Advanced Criminal Law course
- Introduction to Advanced Criminal Law
- The U.S. Legal System, Jurisdiction & Evidence
- The Bill of Rights & Constitutional Protections
- Elements of a Crime
- Types of Criminal Defenses
- Parties to Crime & Inchoate Offenses
- Sexual Offenses
- Crimes Involving Force & Fear
- Crimes Against Property
- Crimes Against the Public
- Crimes Against the Government