Tuesday, 23 October 2012
Emedinews:Insights on Medicolegal Issues:What is murder?
Medicolegal Update (Dr Sudhir Gupta, Additional Prof, Forensic Medicine & Toxicology, AIIMS) Murder is the act of killing another human being with malice, traditionally called "malice aforethought." Malice is defined as the intent to kill or to inflict bodily injury, either express or implied. If a deadly weapon is used, intent to kill will necessarily be implied by a court of law. The presumption is that if the assailant brought a deadly weapon with him/her there was intent to use the weapon. If the assailant picked up a weapon at the scene of the crime in an act of defense or in a provoked fit of rage, there might not be malice. Murder, as defined in common law countries, is the unlawful killing of another human being with intent or malice aforethought and generally this state of mind distinguishes murder from other forms of unlawful homicide • Manslaughter means unlawful premeditated killing of a human being by a human being. • In the United States, the principle of dual sovereignty applies to homicide, as to other crimes. If murder is committed within the borders of a state, that state has jurisdiction. • According to the modern Russian Criminal Code, only intentional killing of another human considered as a murder. • In Sweden, Murder (Mord) is defined as a planned taking of life of another and is punishable with imprisonment between 10 to 18 years or life imprisonment. • However, according to the Romanian Penal Code, a person can face a penalty ranging from 10 to 25 years or life imprisonment for murder. • In Norway, an act of murder (mord or drap) may be either planned murder, intentional murder or murder as a result of neglect. • Murder is defined in the New South Wales Crimes Act 1900 as follows: o Under NSW law, the maximum penalty for murder is life imprisonment with a standard non–parole period of 20 years, or o 25 years for the murder of a child under the age of 18 years, or police official • In Finland, murder is defined as homicide with at least one of four aggravating factors: deliberate intent/Exceptional brutality or cruelty significantly endangering public safety Committed against a public official engaged in enforcing the law.