Starter: Murder or Manslaughter? On the cards in front of you are 12 situations.All of you need to decidewhether D would be liable forthe death of V.Most of you will be able toexplain why you have reachedthat conclusion.Some of you will be able todivide those that are liable forthe death into murder andmanslaughter.
Voluntary Manslaughter (1): DiminishedResponsibility Criminal Law Miss Hart 2012-13
Introduction: What is diminished responsibility? Student Task: 1. What element of the crime is itLook at the case reports in targeted at? front of you. 2. What must you be suffering from toAll of these are cases where be able to plead it successfully? the issue of diminished responsibility was raised 3. What sort of conditions are covered by the defence?Using the information in there, and your 4. Who decides on your liability for manslaughter?own knowledge, see ifyou can work out the AO2: Can you identify answers to these any issues or problems questions: with DR?
What is voluntary manslaughter? Homicide Act 1957 & Coroners and Justice Act 2009 Diminished Loss of Control Survivor of a suicide Responsibility pacts.2 as amended by s.52 ss.54-5 s.4 Murder (Abolition of the Death Penalty) Act 1965 To show your understanding, complete the questions on p.2.
Old vs NewCan you spot the key elements of the two offences? And the changes?
The Basics of pleading it Diminished responsibility is a defence Why do we need it? Proof and getting before the jury...Cause the law on insanity and automatism is nuts! And the You argue it, but only if themandatory life sentence isn’t reasonable jury would think far behind. you’ve got a case! Moyle 2008 Why wouldn’t you Sutcliffe 1981 want to plead it? What might influence a judge to withdraw it?
Element One:Abnormality of Mental Functioning R v Byrne (1960) “ state of mind so different from that of an ordinary human being that the reasonable man would term it abnormal.” “The mind’s activities in all its aspects”
Starter: Can you spot the problems with this paragraph? Diminished responsibility is a partial defence, which D may only argue to murder. It has Diminished responsibility is a complete defence, which D may only argue to murder. It most recently been reformed in the Coroners and and Justice 2009, which updated and has most recently been reformed in the Coroners Justice Act Act 1957, which updated and clarified the law. clarified the law. D must prove the defence beyond all reasonable doubt,and must advance medical D must prove the defence on balance of probablilities, and must advance medical evidence to support his argument. The majority of DR cases end up before a before a evidence to support his argument. The majority of DR cases do not end up jury, who jury, who have to judgesanity of a defendant. have to judge the the sanity of a defendant.There are fourthree elements to the defence, which need to be proven. Firstly,D suffering There are elements to the defence, which need to be proven. Firstly, was was Dfrom an abnormality of mental functioning, whichdefined in Burn as a as ‘a state of mind suffering from an abnormality of mind, which is is defined in Byrne state of mind so so different from the ordinary that it is abnormal’. In addition, this must be caused by a different from the ordinary that it is abnormal’. In addition, this must be caused by arecognised medical condition. This is quite a wide category and has included depression (Seers), epilepsy (Campbell), post-traumatic Stress (Bradley) and postand post natal (Seers), epilepsy (Ahluwalia), post-traumatic Stress (Tony Martin) natal depression depression (Reynolds). (Reynolds).The final two elements require D to be substantially impaired within the wording of theact, and for his abnormality to have been thecause of the killing. This last decision has act, and for his abnormality to have been a cause of the killing. This last decision has been welcomed by doctors.
CONDITION? CASE? Element Two:Psychopathy R v Byrne (1960) Recognised MedicalParanoia R v Martin (Tony) 2001 Condition Student Thinking:Epilepsy R v Campbell (1997) What about Mr Higginbotham?Depression R v Seers (1984) R v Gittens (1984) Has the law lost its merciful origins?Premenstral tension R v English (unreported) 1981Postnatal Depression R v Reynolds (1988)PTSD R v Bradley (2007)Asperger‟s syndrome R v Reynolds (2004)Battered Women‟s R v Ahluwalia (1992)Syndrome R v Thornton No.2 (1995)
Element Three:Substantially Impaired In the Act, it actuallyLloyd 1967 specifies what is meant by this, and D may argue anyThe word substantial in the of these. 1957 Act did not mean total, nor did it mean trivial Understand the nature ofor minimal. It was something their conduct in between and Parliamenthad left it to juries to decide The ability to form on the evidence. rational judgement Confirmed by The ability to exerciseBrown 2011 control
What‟s the case? Can you identify the facts or the name of the case?1. Precedent can be deadly!2. My mind is burning with one desire...3. I told you I’d do it!4. Not a perfect plan to reach France...5. He was a bit too eagr to break in (hic!)6. Depression isn’t everything (not when itcomes to manslaughter!) Can you identify the7. They really were coming to get me! area the case applies8. The baby made me do it. to?
A particular problem:What if intoxication “substantially impaired” D What’s the issue? D is intoxicated and suffers from an D’s AoMF is caused by the unrelated AoMF intoxication Despite the drinkGittens was D sufficiently impaired Egan If sober would he have been impaired Dietschmann
Dietschmann Read the enclosed law report1. What are the facts of the case? and answer the questions:2. On what grounds was D arguing diminished responsibility?3. What is the general rule on intoxication and diminished responsibility?4. When can drink give rise to a s.2 Homicide Act 1957 defence?5. What is the ratio of the case?6. Does s.2 require the abnormality of mind to be the sole cause of D‟s acts in killing?7. What is the question to be put to the jury when assessing whether the impairment is sufficient?8. Which case did they follow: Egan or Gittens? Why?
A particular problem:What if intoxication “substantially impaired” D What’s the issue?D is intoxicated and suffers from an D’s AoMF is caused by the unrelated AoMF intoxication Must cause brain Tandy damage or irresistible impulse to drink. The clear lines drawn in Tandy are Wood no longer appropriate. It is the overall syndrome, not the nature of one drink as voluntary. Stewart
Can intoxication alone be enough for „substantially impaired‟? This is where D does not suffer from Alcohol Dependency Syndrome[ADS], but is just drunk. Is it enough to be a medical condition under s.2? The official guides to mental conditions, do list „acute intoxication‟ as a condition! R v Dowds 2012 D killed his partner by stabbing her over 60 times. He was a binge drinker. As he himself put it, he could choose when to drink, but when drinking couldn’t stop. Does he have a defence?
D‟s abnormality must provide an explanation for the killing “significant causal factor” Explains why diminished responsibility mitigates liability for murder (the reason it’s an excuse!) ... but it really doesn’t fit with modern medicine andStudent task: psychiatric notions of explanation – can you just blame the To show your condition for the reactions of the understanding, defendant? How do you tell the answer the two difference? questions, usingsupporting cases to explain your conclusions!
Applying the LawAre these guys liable for the manslaughter of the victims? Simon deliberately kills many Bob, who was suffering from women, claiming he was driven by depression and an alcoholic, God to rid the world of prostitutes stabbed his brother Jim to death (although several of his victims after drinking ½ bottle of whiskey. were not prostitutes). Medical Bob had just been prescribed experts all agree that he is a medication for the depression and paranoid schizophrenic. thought that his brother had been stealing them and replacing them with sugar pills. He usually drank vodka, but had none in the house.
AO2 Reform: What else could we do? “Developmental immaturity” Draft Criminal Code: “such mental abnormality as would be substantial enough to reduce the charge... to No manslaughter.”mandatory Burden of Proof? lifesentence?
Developing Your AO2: How accurate are these statements?1. It should be a mitigating factor in sentencing instead (the Spencer/Lloyd Amendment)2. The new version brings the law into line with medical knowledge.3. It is imposing an unfair burden of proof on the defence4. It classes those in abusive relationships as “abnormal” in some way.5. The new defence provides a much more strict approach to the interpretation of ‘abnormality of mental functioning’ and doesn’t allow the same flexibility as the old law. R v Higginbotham (2004)6. It is almost impossible to separate intoxication and inherent causes.7. The use of the defence can involve a range of overly complex and legal terminology which can be difficult for a jury to understand.8. The Coroners and Justice Act 2009 is only a halfway effective reform. The government only included it because they wanted to reform provocation.
Starter:How well did you understand?Working in pairs or threes: match up the cases to the facts and the right element of the definition! Area of Case Facts... application R v Byrne I’m burning for you, Abnormality even if I am the village psycho. of Mental Functioning
Section C Questions20 marks (one grade!)All AO2Definitions are key!Address each statementseparatelyNo cases or statutesUse bullet points andnames!Conclude clearly
Statement A: Sam would be liable for the murder of Statement B: Sam would not be able to argueSusie as he intends to cause her serious harm. diminished responsibility as he was not suffering from an abnormality of mental functioning Sam has recently been feeling very down as his girlfriend Susie has left him. He has been to the doctor, who has put him on medication to help. One night Sam meets his friend Mike for drinks, andStatement C: Sam would not be over the course of a couple ofable to argue diminished Statement D: Sam would be able hours, consumes a large quantity of to argue diminished responsibilityresponsibility as he was not alcohol. On the way home, he breakssubstantially impaired at the time as he was intoxicated at the time into Susie’s house and strangles her. of Susie’s death.of the death
Statement A: Jim cannot plead diminished responsibility over Statement B: Jim can still plead diminished responsibility to theLouis’ death as he was suffering from an abnormality of mental death of Louis despite the alcohol as he was still substantiallyfunctioning. impaired. Jim, who is on medication for an adjustment disorder, drinks half a bottle of vodka with his friend, Louis. Jim, thinking that Louis has stolen his vodka, attacks him with a claw hammer, causing him serious injuries. Sebastian, theStatement C: Jim is still responsible for paramedic comes to help, but accidently Statement D: Steven is notthe death of Louis despite Sebastian’s breaks Louis’ rib, puncturing his heart. responsible for Louis’ death as he hasactions. Louis is put onto a life support machine only switched off the life support which is switched off by Steven, who is machine. trying to save the hospital money.
Plenary:Answer one of these questions Examine the issues with the defence raised by theA case of Brown.B Why is the case of Byrne important to the law on diminished responsibility?C Identify two conditions which may be enough for a pleading of DR under the law and illustrate them with a caseD Explain why we allow some defendants to plead diminished responsibilityE What is meant by voluntary manslaughter?