Jack, Andy, Dale and Tom are hanging out one evening in the basement at Andy’s house. Jack pulls out an AR-15 that he recently purchased. Jack is bragging about how awesome the weapon is and says, “no one is going to mess with me now!” Andy teases Jack saying, “you aren’t so tough. I dare you to shoot that thing.” Jack points the gun at Andy and pulls the trigger. To Jack’s surprise, the safety was not on. The gun fires, hitting Andy in the chest. Stunned, Jack drops the gun and runs out of the house. Dale and Tom load Andy into Dale’s truck and drive to the hospital. When they get to the hospital, Dale and Tom leave Andy on the sidewalk, honk the horn so the nurse could see someone needed help, and drive off. Andy later dies from the gunshot wound. Jack is later taken into custody and interviewed by police. During the interview, Jack says that he thought the safety was on when he pointed the gun at Andy and pulled the trigger.
Marcy is hosting a birthday party for her 13-year-old daughter and several friends. On the day of the party, Marcy realizes she forgot to pick up the birthday cake at the local bakery. Marcy gets in her car and drives to the bakery. As Marcy is speeding through the parking lot of the bakery, a 3-year little boy runs out from behind a car. Marcy does not see the little boy until it’s too late and she is not able to stop her vehicle. Marcy hits the little boy and he later dies from his injuries.
Jenny and Mike have been married twenty-five years. Jenny is an airline pilot and is often gone several days during the week. One day, Jenny came home early from a trip. She found Mike and Lisa, the housekeeper, in bed together engaged in sexual acts. Jenny asked Mike what he was doing. Mike told Jenny that the marriage was over and that he wanted a divorce. During an argument that followed, Lisa ran run out of the house and drove away. Jenny went to the gun safe in the home and got one of Mike’s hunting rifles. She loaded the gun and told Mike that she hoped that he had enjoyed life. Jenny shot and killed Mike. Later that night, Jenny walked to Lisa’s house, only a few miles away. Jenny cut the screen on Lisa’s bedroom window, climbed in, and shot Lisa in the head as she slept. Lisa died from her injuries.
After you have reviewed and studied the scenarios, conduct research to locate the Minnesota State statutes regarding the following:
609.185 Murder in the first degree
609.19 Murder in the second degree
609.195 Murder in the third degree
609.20 Manslaughter in the first degree
609.205 Manslaughter in the second degree
609.21 Criminal vehicular homicide and injury
For your written assignment, submit a paper where you address the following issues related to each scenario, based on wording of applicable Minnesota statutes:
- What offenses, if any, have been committed in each scenario?
- In other words, if you were the prosecutor, what offense(s) would you charge and why?
- Are there different levels of homicide that have been committed?
- What are the elements that the prosecutor must prove for each offense?
- Be sure to include the relevant wording of each statute in your discussion.
- What defenses might be raised?