Writing’s on The Wall – New James Bond theme song

Serial killer Edward Wayne Edwards really did leave writing on the wall, it was one way he signed his crimes. Some of those wrongly convicted for his crimes are still in prison, even on death row. Please share! And enjoy the song as well, Art mirroring Life.

A trailer for the film, I’m looking forward to seeing it, I reckon it’s a good one:

Longer version:

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Murder

Murder is:

1. Deliberately killing a particular person, without justification.

Example: a man is angry that another man has damaged his property. He takes a gun and shoots him.

2. Deliberately killing any person without justification.

Example 1: a terrorist plants a bomb in a shopping centre, it explodes killing several people.

Example 2: a man is angry that another man has damaged his property, he takes a gun a shoots a person, but it turns out to be someone else.

Murder may be:

3. Committing a crime, in the course of which someone is killed ( Felony murder ). Applies in some countries only.

Example: a man robs a bank, a police officer dies chasing after the robber.

Murder is not:

4. When a person kills in the belief that he is acting lawfully to defend himself and/or others.

Example 1: a man hears a burglar enter his home at night. He takes a gun and shoots the burglar.

Example 2: a man thinks he hears a burglar enter his home at night. He takes a gun and shoots the person, but it turns out the person is not a burglar.

Example 3: a police marksman shoots a terrorist in the belief that the terrorist is a danger to the public.

Example 4: a police marksman shoots an innocent man in the wrong belief that he is a danger to the public.

5. When a person kills someone without meaning to.

Example: a driver fails to see a pedestrian and runs him over.

In cases 4 and 5 there may still be a crime (manslaughter), if the killer was negligent in not acting with sufficient care, reckless behaviour, but it is not murder.

Note: the belief/intention of the killer is important, as well as the physical act, this idea is referred to by the Latin term “Mens Rea” meaning “the act is not culpable unless the mind is guilty”.

Reform / difficult cases

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-defence_in_English_law#Reform

The Law Commission’s report on Partial Defences to Murder rejects the notion of creating a mitigatory defence to cover the use of excessive force in self-defence, but accepts that the “all or nothing” effect can produce unsatisfactory results in murder cases. For example, a battered woman or abused child using excessive force because they are physically at a disadvantage and not under imminent attack, would be denied a defence. Further, an occupant not sure if violence to defend their property against invasion is reasonable, may feel forced to do nothing. It was always possible the same set of facts could be interpreted as either self-defence or provocation where there was a loss of control resulting in death. Thus, the Commission recommends a redefinition of provocation to cover situations where a person acts lethally out of fear. This reflects the present view of psychiatrists that most people act in violent situations with a combination of fear and anger in their minds, and to separate the two emotions is not legally constructive.

Conclusion

Someone subjected to unlawful threats, and who kills out of fear of future violence, should be charged with manslaughter and not murder, where their actions were not entirely lawful. Sentencing should fully take into account the level of provocation and steps the accused person took to lawfully resolve the situation before killing out of fear.

See also What is Murder ?

Jury Pools And The Guilt-Minded

Lawyers on Strike

Here in Rochester we recently had an interesting and high profile murder case that ended in a hung jury.  The Defendant’s name is Charlie Tan and you can read the basic allegations here.

We’re not going to get into that as much as the dynamics of the jury, that deliberated for a week before the judge pulled the plug and declared a mistrial.  To a trial attorney those dynamics are both fascinating and instructive.

According to one local news reporter:

jurors said they began with 9-3 in favor of acquitting Charles Tan and ended 8-4 in favor of guilty.

So.  Three people who were guilt minded managed to convince another five to change their minds over 50 hours of heated deliberations and a solid week cooped up in a jury room.  And they were upset that the judge pulled the plug because I’m sure they felt they could convince…

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Day Two – A Prison Guard Bolsters an Inmate’s Confession, State Denies Courtroom Access

The FPD ultimately did nothing with the confession.

The Fairbanks Four

October 6, 2015 –

During the second day of the Fairbanks Four hearing, two witnesses and one argument over the right of the petitioners to attend proceedings dominated the day.

torquatoCalifornia Prison employee Officer Torquato and his supervisor’s video taped depositions were played in the courtroom. Torquato is the correctional officer, working as chaplain and educational officer in 2011, who first alerted authorities to Holmes’ involvement in the Hartman murder. Holmes confessed to Torquato, but vowed he would never name names or come forward with the story. Torquoato described in his testimony attempting to persuade Holmes to come forward to no avail, then seeking the guidance of his supervisor. Both correctional officers remember writing out the Holmes account and sending it to Fairbanks Police Department, after first making contact with officer Nolan there. The FPD ultimately did nothing with the confession. Torquato further described how he encouraged Holmes to come clean…

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