Dressler, pp. 229-266: Intentional Killings


1.     Degrees of Murder: The Deliberation-Premeditation Formula


Case: State v. Schrader


Case: Midgett v. State


Case: State v. Forrest


1.     Manslaughter: “Heat of Passion” Killings

a.     Common Law Principles


Case: Girouard v. State


Dressler: “Rethinking Heat of Passion: A Defense in Search of a Rationale”


b.     The Objective Standard: Who is the “Reasonable Man”?


Introductory Comment


Who is the “reasonable man”?  Is the reasonable man someone who is like the defendant in every respect except, potentially, he is reasonable and the defendant is not?  Or is the reasonable man also sort of the “average” man with average physical and mental characteristics?


In Bedder, the courts in England laid down a very objective standard.  Parliament, in response, enacted the Homicide Act, which made the standard of reasonableness a matter for the jury, and thus made it somewhat more subjective.


Case: Director of Public Prosecutions v. Camplin


c.     Model Penal Code and Beyond


Case: People v. Casassa


2.     Murder Versus Manslaughter: A Literary Problem


Willa Cather—O Pioneers


Back to Casebook Notes