Part 1: Howard returned home from a business trip and discovered his wife Susan asleep in bed with Larry his business partner. Howard went into a rage, grabbed a knife, and stabbed Larry, who died on the spot. He then went into the kitchen and drank a beer. As he watched a football game on television and drank his beer, he became even more enraged. At half-time, Howard went to the local gun store and purchased a .38 caliber revolver. He then went home and killed Susan, who was hiding under the bed. Howard watched the rest of the game, then went to bed. Discussion Questions:
- What crimes, if any, is he guilty of?
- Students will be marked down for postings that are “posted” in a manner where they cannot be discussed (i.e. posting required comments on Saturday at 11:45 p.m.). One or two sentences “comments” will be graded down.
Howard committed voluntary manslaughter. When Howard saw his wife in bed with his business partner, he snapped. (As anyone would) and since voluntary manslaughter is defined as the killing of someone intentionally but without malice and under sudden intense passion stemming from a sudden quarrel or in this case seeing his wife in bed with his partner.
He also committed premeditated murder. I say this because after Howard killed Larry he had a chance to calm down; he watched football and had a few beers. Instead of calming down, he was enraged and decided to kill his wife Susan. He planned his trip to the gun store as noted in him waiting until the game’s half time. Some might argue that he did not carefully form his decision or weigh the pros and cons of his actions, so it was not premeditated. However, the courts have said that it is not the length of time you thought about it but the extent of that thought.
On a side note: I was 28 years old and my children’s father beat me so bad I wore his footprint on my thigh for six months afterwards. When I got away from him the night it happened I called my brother and told him to bring me my gun. After telling him what happened he refused to bring me a gun and he told me that because I had time to think about it and I had removed myself from the situation if I went back and killed him I would be in jail for premeditated murder.