Administration of Justice 200: Elements of Homicide

I don’t know how to handle this Law question and need guidance.

All crimes consist of “elements.” The elements of the crime are found by breaking down the crime’s definition from the Penal Code.

For instance, in a petty theft, the CA Penal Code defines this crime as “the taking of another’s property with the intent to permanently deprive the owner thereof.” If we break that down, we have the following elements:

1. The taking (the defendant must actually take or move the property)

2. Another person’s property (the property must belong to someone else)

3. With the intent to permanently deprive (they don’t intent on giving it back, they aren’t just borrowing it or walking out of the store with it because they simply forgot to pay)

The prosecutor must prove each of these elements beyond a reasonable doubt.

So let’s talk about 1st degree homicide.

First, look up the California Penal Code definition of homicide (it’s section 187).

Then write the definition. Now break the definition into it’s parts, into it’s elements.

Choose one of the elements and describe how a prosecutor might prove that element. For example, if you choose premeditation, what are some facts (use a real case or make up a factual scenario) that the prosecutor would use to prove premeditation.


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