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Homicide Approach
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Homicide Approach

Homicide is implicated when there is a killing. The proper response to a homicide question will vary depending on the call of the question.

Opened ended questions asking you to discuss “murder or any lesser-included offense” will require a broad treatment of all the crimes under this approach. Note “Murder” without any additional title is assumed to mean the common law crime, so address Common Law Murder, Voluntary Manslaughter and Involuntary Manslaughter, not the statutory crimes of First Degree Murder or Second Degree Murder.

If specific crimes are mentioned, only address those topics and provide clear references to the question in your headings.

Examples of General Calls

February 2008 #3 1. Can Dan be convicted of murder or of any lesser-included offense? Discuss.
July 2007 #4 1. May Dan properly be found guilty of the crime of murder or any lesser-included offense? Discuss.

Recommended Approach for General Calls

Common Law Murder
Intent to Kill
Intent to Commit Great Bodily Injury
Reckless Disregard
Felony Murder
Voluntary Manslaughter
Provocation – Objective and Subjective
Time to Cool – Objective and Subjective
Involuntary Manslaughter
Misdemeanor Manslaughter

Examples of Specific Calls

Example #1

February 2007 #3 1. Can the jury properly find Dan guilty of first degree murder? Discuss.

2. Can the jury properly find Dan guilty of second degree murder? Discuss.

3. Can the jury properly find Dan guilty of voluntary manslaughter? Discuss.

Recommended Approach

Second Degree Murder
Intent to Kill
Intent to Commit Great Bodily Injury
Reckless Disregard
Voluntary Manslaughter
Provocation – Objective and Subjective
Time to Cool – Objective and Subjective

Example #2

July 2004 #1 1. May Dan properly be convicted of either first degree or second degree murder, and, if so, on what theory or theories, for:
a. The death of Art? Discuss.
b. The death of Bert? Discuss.

Recommended Approach

Second Degree Murder
Intent to Kill
Intent to Commit Great Bodily Injury
Reckless Disregard

Next: First Degree Murder

Homicide Approach

Second Degree Murder
Intent to Kill
Intent to Commit Great Bodily Injury
Reckless Disregard
Common Law Murder
Intent to Kill
Intent to Commit Great Bodily Injury
Reckless Disregard
Felony Murder
Voluntary Manslaughter
Provocation – Objective and Subjective
Time to Cool – Objective and Subjective
Involuntary Manslaughter
Misdemeanor Manslaughter

Please note: The model answers often contain errors of law, spelling and grammar. We provide them as starting points to craft your own responses.

Model answer materials The State Bar of California, used with permission. All other materials BarProse LLC