Can the defendant use any affirmative defenses? Why or why not?

Insanity Defense. A local business owner has been arrested for the nonfatal shooting of a competitor, who he said taunted him and destroyed his business reputation. The defendant is from a culture in which people who commit social wrongs make public apologies; in some cases, they commit suicide to show remorse. The defendant stated that his competitor slandered him to vendors and to customers. In addition, he refused to apologize when confronted, and only laughed at the defendant. The defendant said that he was “out of his mind” with rage when he pulled the trigger.

a) Can the defendant use any affirmative defenses? Why or why not?

b) Should the defendant be charged with any crime? Why or why not? What crime?

Anonymous User
Anonymous User
Asked Mar 25, 2013

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The answers would of course depend on the laws where the event occurred. An affirmative defense would be an admission that the defendant killed the victim but that there are additional facts that explain his/her actions. In this case, being that he was "out of his mind."

In most jurisdictions, this would not be an insanity defense where the defendant didn't have the mental capacity, rather it would be considered an affirmative defense under diminished capacity.

The defendant should be charged with second degree (Non-premeditated) murder. If the excuse of "rage" allowed killers to walk, it would provide a free pass to homicide.

Answered Mar 25, 2013

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