Law Defense for Homicide, law homework help

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HYPOTHETICAL: Suppose you are a defense attorney whose client is charged with murder. You have interviewed your client and made these notes on the case and its implications:

The defendant, Shelley, is charged with murdering her husband Toby. She states that she had not formerly thought of killing the deceased but was compelled to do so under certain circumstances. The defendant had filed for divorce against him and they were staying separately for the past 2 months.

On the day of the occurrence, she visited him to discuss certain matters with a view to settle the case mutually, but they broke into a fight when her husband claimed the custody of their 10-year-old son. Toby started abusing Shelley, accusing her of a boisterous life style, and having illicit relationships with other men. Enraged by the accusations, the defendant picked up a kitchen knife and grappled with her husband for about 10 minutes before she stabbed him.

The entire incident was witnessed by her husband’s friend Dick, who made no attempt to stop her. Dick informed the police after the incident.

Issues to be examined:

    1. Is the element of actus reus present? How?
    2. Does the defendant’s act reveal mens rea? Why or why not?
    3. Dick is the star prosecution witness in this case. Does Dick have any liability in this case? Does his failure to stop them or to inform the police while the incident took place constitute omission of duty? Can he be held legally responsible for not attempting to stop the fight or to inform the police or alerting the neighbors when the fight turned violent?
  1. Write a two-page report on the merits of this case, answering the questions raised in your notes.

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