MD MPJI-Cr 4:17.5 Homicide — First Degree Premeditated MURDER, SECOND DEGREE SPECIFIC INTENt MURDER, AND VOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER (DURESS)

MD MPJI-Cr 4:17.5 Homicide — First Degree Premeditated MURDER, SECOND DEGREE SPECIFIC INTENt MURDER, AND VOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER (DURESS)

State: Maryland

Maryland Pattern Jury Instructions-Criminal (MPJI-Cr)

4:17.5 Homicide — First Degree Premeditated MURDER, SECOND DEGREE SPECIFIC INTENt MURDER, AND VOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER (DURESS)

The defendant is charged with the crime of murder. This charge includes first degree murder, second degree murder, and voluntary manslaughter.

A 
FIRST DEGREE MURDER

First degree murder is the intentional killing of another person with willfulness, deliberation, and premeditation. In order to convict the defendant of first degree murder, the State must prove:

(1) that the defendant caused the death of (name);
(2) that the killing was willful, deliberate, and premeditated; and
(3) that there were no mitigating circumstances.

Willful means that the defendant actually intended to kill (name). Deliberate means that the defendant was conscious of the intent to kill. Premeditated means that the defendant thought about the killing and that there was enough time before the killing, though it may only have been brief, for the defendant to consider the decision whether or not to kill and enough time to weigh the reasons for and against the choice. The premeditated intent to kill must be formed before the killing.

B 
SECOND DEGREE MURDER

Second degree murder is the killing of another person with either the intent to kill or the intent to inflict such serious bodily harm that death would be the likely result. Second degree murder does not require premeditation or deliberation. In order to convict the defendant of second degree murder, the State must prove:

(1) that the defendant caused the death of (name);
(2) that the defendant engaged in the deadly conduct either with the intent to kill or with the intent to inflict such serious bodily harm that death would be the likely result; and
(3) that there were no mitigating circumstances.

C 
VOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER (DURESS)

Voluntary manslaughter is an intentional killing, which would be murder, but is not murder because the defendant acted under duress. This does not result in a verdict of not guilty, but rather reduces the level of guilt from murder to manslaughter. You have heard evidence that the defendant killed (name) under duress. In order to convict the defendant of murder, the State must prove that the defendant did not act under duress. If the defendant did act under duress, the verdict should be guilty of voluntary manslaughter and not guilty of murder.

Killing under the influence of an overpowering force is a mitigating circumstance. This is called duress. In order for this mitigating circumstance to exist in this case, the following four factors must be present:

(1) the defendant actually believed that the duress placed [him] [her] in immediate and imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm;
(2) the defendant’s belief was reasonable;
(3) the defendant had no reasonable opportunity for escape; and
(4) the defendant killed the victim because of the duress.

In order to convict the defendant of murder, the State must prove that the mitigating circumstance of duress was not present in this case. This means that the State must persuade you, beyond a reasonable doubt, that at least one of the four factors of duress was absent. If the State has failed to persuade you that at least one of the four factors was absent, you cannot find the defendant guilty of murder, but may find the defendant guilty of voluntary manslaughter.

In order to convict the defendant of murder, the State must prove that the defendant did not act under duress. If the defendant did act under duress, the verdict should be guilty of voluntary manslaughter and not guilty of murder.

By | 2015-06-12T12:39:08+00:00 June 12th, 2015|Comments Off on MD MPJI-Cr 4:17.5 Homicide — First Degree Premeditated MURDER, SECOND DEGREE SPECIFIC INTENt MURDER, AND VOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER (DURESS)