- "Malice aforethought" was mens rea
- Now distorted somewhat (term of art)
- 1. Intent to kill (unmitigated)
- 2. Intent to inflict SBI
- 3. Extreme recklessness (“depraved indifference to human life”)
- 4. Felony murder
- Voluntary act leading to death
- Convicted of first-degree murder which requires an extra-special mens rea:
- premeditated (thinking ahead of time) and deliberate (cool, calculating)
- Provocation (sudden) that would cause a reasonable person to lose composure and not have sufficient time to regain composure.
- MPC: extreme emotional disturbance (lower, more flexible standard).]
- Husband and wife separated, husband 2nd-year law student.
- Court recognized that adulterous affair/seduction of wife would enflame passions in a reasonable person.
- Gross/extreme negligence OR recklessness that leads proximately to death.
- How different from 2nd degree (depraved indifference)?
- MPC: have involuntary manslaughter (reckless conduct, conscious unreasonableness) plus negligent homicide (gross negligence).
Commonwealth v. Welanksy
- Owner of nightclub charged after fire in club, exits blocked.
- Seller of Sterno cans, customers drinking it for alcohol. New industrial version contained more methanol, killing 30+ people.