Essay Example on Manslaughter originates under the umbrella of Homicide









Manslaughter originates under the umbrella of homicide however Unlawful Act Manslaughter is divided into two sectors Involuntary and Voluntary manslaughter Murder is the more serious homicide compared to manslaughter which is seen as the lesser serious offence Murder is defined when the defendant has unlawfully killed the victim with direct intent or cause GBH Voluntary manslaughter arises when the defendant commits murder but has a special defence to back up their case such as loss of control diminished responsibility or suicide pact which does reduce the sentencing to manslaughter However involuntary manslaughter is coined when the defendant has committed an unlawful killing and the Actus Rea of manslaughter is present but does not have the Mens Rea of murder This can be committed in three ways which are unlawful act manslaughter gross negligence and guilty of reckless manslaughter In the scenario involuntary manslaughter is what the Keith and Ginger are potentially liable for The offence of UAM was defined in the case of Larkin 1944 as he was waving a razor blade around when he saw his girlfriend with another man however this resulted to the girlfriend falling onto the razor blade Courts therefore sentenced him to manslaughter as the act was performing was unlawful then if at the same time it is a dangerous act 

There are 4 elements of UAM which are an intentional act the act is unlawful the act is objectively dangerous and the act causes death which was underlined in the case of DPP v Newbury and Jones 1977 One way of committing involuntary manslaughter is by causing an unlawful act which means it should be a criminal offence In the scenario the fact that Keith and Ginger were both handling a form of toxic drug that can cause serious harm towards the victim contrary to s 23 of the Offence Against the Person Act 1861 meaning that Keith and Ginger may not have foresighted the risk of death or GBH however the prosecution will only require Mens rea for involuntary manslaughter when they are sentencing despite the act being just an experiment because of the fact that the act was danger to society As a result the act must also be dangerous implying that if the act presents the risk of another individual being physically injured For this there is an objective test from the point of view of a reasonable man which is denoted in the case of Church 1966 In this case a man knocked his girlfriend unconscious but he thought he had killed her so he dumped her body in a river however the results came to a conclusion of the result of the death was due to her drowning It was held in the case such as al sober and reasonable would inevitably recognise must subject the other person to at least the risk of some harm resulting therefrom albeit not serious harm There is only an objective test and therefore resulting to what the reasonable man would assume appropriate

This links to the scenario a Keith and Ginger must foresee the act of handling toxic drugs can be dangerous towards their friends and should not of injected it into them resulting to involuntary manslaughter As underlined in the case DPP v Newbury and Jones the act was dangerous and has intent therefore resulting to death hence the reason why Keith and Ginger are both going down for involuntary manslaughter Moreover the scenario in the question is supported by the case of Cato 1976 where the victim was injected by the defendant and resulted to death The defendant was convicted for involuntary manslaughter because the act endangered the victim to GBH The reason for this is that the defendant does not break the cause of causation as he is the one that injected the victim instead of the victim injecting himself This is why Keith and Ginger are both liable for the death of Kurt and Janis In part B of the scenario where Ginger confronts Lenny the case arise of whether a reasonable man would have seen the result of the victim consequently dying The law commission has come under intense scrutiny about how the law of UAM works in England and Wales For example moderate constructivist argue on how it was just bad luck or unfortunate that the victim had suffered from an usual medical condition which made the victim vulnerable 

As this links back to the death of Lenny causing the death of Ginger by banging on the table where it could be argued that Lenny was not aware of Ginger s health condition and therefore the objective test of Lenny s intention is not there as a reasonable man would not of known about the victim's health condition This is supported by the case of Dawson 1985 where the defendant could not be guilty of manslaughter because the victim's heart condition would not have been obvious or foreseeable to the reasonable person if they were present at the scene of the crime resulting to the subjective test of the jury being the reasonable person On the other hand in the case of Watson 1989 where the reasonable man would be able to foresee the harm to the victim as he would have seen the elderly person being vulnerable and frail

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