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80 votes
Accepted

Suppose someone kills more people than they intended. Did they murder the extra people?

Through the legal doctrine of "transferred intent", wherein if one intends to murder A, and undertake actions to kill A, but one's actions kill B, one has murdered B. Whatever crimes one ...
sharur's user avatar
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80 votes
Accepted

Why is murder considered a more serious crime than attempted murder?

Your question is the subject of longstanding and ongoing debate that has generated countless articles and books and dissertations, so you're probably not going to get a fully satisfactory answer here. ...
bdb484's user avatar
  • 58.2k
79 votes

If a signal person in California tells me to kill someone, do I have to do so?

You are not reading a law book here and you should not interpret a driving test so literally. It's quite clear that the question implies you should follow all of their instructions regarding how to ...
animuson's user avatar
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65 votes
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Is it true that a teacher can't engage/attack a shooter from behind during a school shooting that is in progress?

Is it true that a teacher can't engage/attack a shooter from behind during a school shooting that is in progress? No. Any use of force of any kind that only harms or kills the shooter who is actively ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 206k
63 votes

Pregnant spouse slipped abortion pills unknowingly. What would the legal ramifications be?

Although abortion is legal in the US, not everyone is allowed to perform an abortion. In Washington, the law allows a physician to terminate a pregnancy, and recognizes a woman's right to choose to ...
user6726's user avatar
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56 votes
Accepted

What crime is hiring someone to kill you and then killing the hitman?

It appears you want to go for a defense strategy based on a self-defense argument. This won't work in many jurisdictions, because self-defense usually doesn't apply when you intentionally caused a ...
Philipp's user avatar
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53 votes
Accepted

Can you legally move a dead body to preserve it as evidence?

In this specific scenario, not only is it not a crime, failure to do so is a breach of proper maritime protocols and could be illegal. A person manning a boat and sees a human in water in distress ...
hszmv's user avatar
  • 22.9k
43 votes

If someone commits a crime, but suffers brain damage and has no memory of the crime, will they get punished?

canada Unless Bob is unfit to stand trial, the trial will go on. "Unfit to stand trial" is defined in the Criminal Code as: unable on account of mental disorder to conduct a defence at any ...
Jen's user avatar
  • 51.5k
40 votes

If someone stops a potential murder by subduing a gunman, what would be the possible consequences?

He would be thanked and sent on his way. We don't generally punish people for preventing murders, even if they are rogue cops or soldiers. If you wanted him to plausibly land in legal peril, he'd ...
bdb484's user avatar
  • 58.2k
39 votes
Accepted

Can I be charged for murder if I throw peanuts at someone who has a severe peanut allergy and they die as a result of that?

You don't specify a jurisdiction but taking the US as an example, yes you could be charged with 2nd Degree Murder - you intended to harm them but not specifically to kill them: A second situation ...
motosubatsu's user avatar
  • 4,672
39 votes

What crime is hiring someone to kill you and then killing the hitman?

Applying the Model Penal Code, which is the law in most of the United States: By requesting that A kill B, you are guilty of soliciting murder. By reaching an agreement with A to pay to kill B, you ...
bdb484's user avatar
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37 votes
Accepted

Can someone be charged with the murder of unidentified victims?

Yes, a person can be charged with the murder of person or persons unknown The reason that police are really keen to identify the victim include (in no particular order): It will probably clear up a ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 205k
37 votes
Accepted

If I made a detailed plan to kill one person, then change my target at the last minute, was the murder premeditated?

It's still premeditated murder because you made a decision to kill and then acted on it. "Premeditation" doesn't require detailed planning or an extended period of time between the decision ...
bdb484's user avatar
  • 58.2k
35 votes

Suppose someone kills more people than they intended. Did they murder the extra people?

To add a perspective from a different legal system: In Germany, this would fall under the notion of Eventualvorsatz (loosely translated, "recklessness"). Basically, whenever the criminal ...
sleske's user avatar
  • 8,075
33 votes

Can you legally move a dead body to preserve it as evidence?

Using Florida as an example, this would be fine. Tampering with evidence requires the intent to destroy, alter, or conceal it to impair its usefulness. The intent here was the exact opposite- there is ...
Comic Sans Seraphim's user avatar
31 votes
Accepted

Does it constitute murder if the attempted murder fails but the victim dies anyway as a side effect of the attacker's actions?

california You intended to kill them, you killed them, that's murder California Penal Code Section 187(a): Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being, or a fetus, with malice aforethought. ...
Ryan M's user avatar
  • 10.3k
30 votes

Is self-defense mutually exclusive of murder?

The simple answer to the question you asked is that they are not mutually exclusive. Self-defense and “castle doctrine” are defenses. A person can be charged and tried for murder, and one or both of ...
Damila's user avatar
  • 1,620
29 votes

Is it true that a teacher can't engage/attack a shooter from behind during a school shooting that is in progress?

No, this is not true In self-defense, anyone is entitled to use any reasonable force to defend themselves (or other people) from anyone who they reasonably consider a threat. They only need to show ...
Graham's user avatar
  • 2,701
29 votes

"Murder laws are governed by the states, [not the federal government]." Is Vivek Ramaswamy right?

It's a bit of an oversimplification. You're correct that there is a federal law against murder, 18 USC 1111. However it applies only to a murder committed in the special maritime and territorial ...
Nate Eldredge's user avatar
28 votes
Accepted

Is murder unconstitutional?

The Constitution does not define any crimes (except for an explicit limit on what can be considered 'treason.') It places limits on what penalties the government may apply for crimes and how crimes ...
reirab's user avatar
  • 2,953
27 votes

Why is murder considered a more serious crime than attempted murder?

You may get more effective murderers that way I would frame the question from the perspective from the criminal. If they know they will be punished equally from attempted murder from actual murder, ...
André LFS Bacci's user avatar
26 votes
Accepted

Is attempted murder the same charge regardless of damage done?

united-states He'd be looking at ~6+ more years in prison in the second scenario In the United States, this would be attempted murder in both cases, though in the case of actual physical harm, the ...
Ryan M's user avatar
  • 10.3k
26 votes

What crime have you committed if you hire an assassin but cancel the contract?

Here is the case of Michael Musbach, who hired a hitman over the internet on a murder-for-hire website, paying him $20,000 to kill his target. When he was asked to make additional payments, he sought ...
Nuclear Hoagie's user avatar
25 votes

Is murder unconstitutional?

The U.S. Constitution sets up the structural framework of the government and the restraints upon it. While much of the Constitution consists of a general framework for the federal government’s form ...
Jen's user avatar
  • 51.5k
24 votes

How are five murder charges used for each defendant in the Arbery case?

Georgia doesn't have degrees of murder, but instead has malice murder and felony murder. Neither requires prosecutors to prove an intent to kill. The three men demonstrated “malice aforethought” when ...
Michael Harvey's user avatar
23 votes

Pregnant spouse slipped abortion pills unknowingly. What would the legal ramifications be?

germany In Germany, the situation is somewhat unique because (following a compromise reached in 1976 and a revision in 1995) abortion is illegal but the "offence is not considered fulfilled" ...
Michael Borgwardt's user avatar
23 votes
Accepted

What constitutes murder in war?

As with all international law, it depends on "who says so": I will draw on the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War as most relevant. Article 3 ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k

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