It's not nice, so why do we do it? Murder is the illegal killing of one human being by another. Murder is distinguished from other forms of homicide by the elements of malice and the lack of justification. All jurisdictions, ancient and modern, consider it a most serious crime and impose a severe penalty for its commission.
Sometimes murder is used to describe what is really a homicide. While the two terms are similar they are not synonymous. Although all murders are homicides, only intentional homicides are murders. Also, police will often call their investigation into a murder a homicide investigation in order not to prejudice any findings of the investigation, possible charges that could be laid, or any conviction of an offender. However, the crime will normally be identified as a murder once there is sufficient evidence to indicate that a murder is the more likely crime than any other.
An estimated 520,000 people were murdered in 2000. Two-fifths of them were young people between the ages of 10 and 29 who were killed by other young people.
There are an estimated 55,000 murders in Brazil every year, about 30,000 murders committed annually in Russia, approximately 25,000 murders in Colombia (in 2005, murders went down to 15,000), approximately 20,000 murders each year in South Africa, approximately 15,000 murders in Mexico, approximately 14,000 murders in the United States (666,160 murders from 1960 to 1996), approximately 11,000 murders in Venezuela, approximately 6,000 murders in El Salvador, approximately 1,600 murders in Jamaica, approximately 1000 murders in France, approximately 500 murders per year in Canada, and approximately 200 murders in Chile.
The term murder may also be applied more colloquially, especially to describe an activity that was difficult, dangerous or unpleasant, or a particularly bad artistic or sporting performance.
As with most legal terms, the precise definition of murder varies between jurisdictions and is usually codified in some form of legislation.
In some jurisdictions, murder is a common law crime, considered so wrong that there is no need for any legislation to define it. In such jurisdictions precedent, (case law or previous decisions of the Courts of Law), define what is considered murder.
It is often expressed as the unlawful killing of another human being with "malice aforethought." However, the element of malice may not be required in every jurisdiction, though intent normally is.
Most jurisdictions require that the victim be a natural person; that is a human being that has been born and was still alive at the time of being killed.
Some also consider killing a fetus or unborn child to be murder, though, legally, most jurisdictions distinguish this act as a different crime, such as illegal abortion of a fetus, or the unlawful killing of an unborn child. The distinction between a fetus and an unborn child often being that a child could survive if it had been born, while a fetus could not.
Almost all jurisdictions require that the offender be a natural person. Where a corporate legal entity, such as a business, is involved, each person involved is considered a separate offender, but the corporate entity is not considered an offender.
Most countries allow conditions that "affect the balance of the mind" to be regarded as mitigating circumstances. This means that a person may be found guilty of "manslaughter" on the basis of "diminished responsibility" rather than murder, if it can be proved that the killer was suffering from a condition that affected their judgment at the time. Depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and medication side-effects are examples of conditions that may be taken into account when assessing responsibility. Shooting someone below the waist is not considered attempted murder in some Jurisdictions
Mental disorder may apply to a wide range of disorders including psychosis caused by schizophrenia, and excuse the person from the need to undergo the stress of a trial as to liability. In some jurisdictions, following the pre-trial hearing to determine the extent of the disorder, the verdict "not guilty by reason of insanity" may be used. Those who successfully argue a defense based on a mental disorder are usually referred to mandatory clinical treatment until they are certified safe to be released back into the community, rather than prison.
Some countries, such as Canada, Italy, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia, allow post-partum depression (post-natal depression) as a defense against murder of a child by a mother, provided that a child is less than a year old (this may be the specific offense of infanticide rather than murder and include the effects of lactation and other aspects of post-natal care).
Some jurisdictions permit the defense of provocation, reasoning that being provoked has diminished the offender's self-control and thus their balance of mind. Provocation may form part of a defense of temporary insanity, especially in jurisdictions that do not explicitly allow this defense.
Acting in self defense or in defense of another person are generally accepted as legal justifications for killing a person in situations that would otherwise have been murder.
For a killing to be considered murder there normally needs to be an element of intent. For this argument to be successful the killer generally needs to demonstrate that they took precautions not to kill and that the death could not have been anticipated or was unavoidable, whatever action they took.
In some common law jurisdictions, a defendant accused of murder is not guilty if the victim survives for longer than one year and one day after the attack. This reflects the likelihood that if the victim dies, other factors will have contributed to the cause of death, breaking the chain of causation. Subject to any statute of limitations, the accused can still be charged with an offense representing the seriousness of the initial assault. With advances in modern medicine, most countries have abandoned a fixed time period and test causation on the facts of the case.
In the UK, due to medical advancements, the "year-and-a-day-rule" is no longer in use. However, if the death occurs three years after the original attack, then the Attorney-General's approval/permission will need to be granted before prosecutions can take place after a three year period has expired.
In the United States, many jurisdictions have abolished the rule as well. Abolition of the rule has been accomplished by enactment of statutory criminal codes, which had the effect of displacing the common-law definitions of crimes and corresponding defenses. In 2001's Rogers v. Tennessee,, the Supreme Court of the United States held that retroactive application of a state supreme court decision abolishing the year-and-a-day rule did not violate the Ex Post Facto Clause of Article I of the United States Constitution.
LINKS and REFERENCE
http://www.boston.com/news/world/latinamerica/articles/2006/09/25 Brazil murder rate similar to war zone
Harris, Anthony R.; Stephen H. Thomas ; Gene A. Fisher ; David J. Hirsch (05 2002). "Murder and medicine: the lethality of criminal assault 1960-1999" (fee required). Homicide studies 6 (2): 128-166.
Murder in the UK Detailed information about murder in the UK. Some categories include serial killers, mass murderers and cannibals
Murder Victims Families for Reconciliation, Inc. - An Anti-Capital Punishment Group
Murder Capital of the World. - Pop Rock Band from Boston
FAMOUS MURDER CASES
Charles Milles Manson
Joss Stone (attempt to murder her)
Myra Hindley & Ian Brady (Moors Murders)
Sharon Marie Tate (victim)
Tupac Amaru Shakur
J F Kennedy
Lee Harvey-Oswald (Murderer and victim)
Martin Luther King Jr
Very many persons accused of assault, especially sexual assault, are either innocent or having been found guilty by a Court, are later found to have been innocent all along.
Under current legislation the accuser's identity is protected, whereas the accused is not. Where the majority of persons accused turn out to be innocent, during the period they are under suspicion, they are reported in the press, with an assumption of guilt, which usually ruins their lives: relationships and businesses. This particularly applies to Carers or Teachers, or those involved in such professions.
The man in the street is particularly vulnerable when entering into a relationship, since he or she has no body to turn to for advice and is not in any event tuned into the potential dangers. Those most at risk include males joining single parent families with children, and most especially young girls who are most likely to hurl accusations and usually where a relationship is not working or is breaking down.
F.A.C.T. (Falsely Accused Carers and Teachers)
Guidance for education staff and volunteers in schools
SOME PROMINENT MISCARRIAGES OF JUSTICE:
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