CrimeGuilty or Not Guilty of Murder?
A SelectSmart.com Flowchart by Curt_Anderson
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Guilty or Not Guilty of Murder?

               
It is not Murder
NO
Is there a dead body?
YES
It could be Murder
Actus Reus: Factual Causation : Did the act (or omission) of the defendent cause death in fact? (Following the 'But For' Test)
NO
It is not Murder







YES


The Defendent is not liable for murder
NO
Actus Reus: If the intervening act is an omission, was there a special relationship which made the defendent liable for murder?
YES
Actus Reus: Is there an intervening act which might break the chain of causation?
YES
Actus Reus: Legal Causation: Was the defendent's act significant enough for legal causation?
NO
It is not Murder



YES

NO





It is not Murder
NO
The Victim: Was the victim a 'reasonable creature in being' under Rerum Natura?
YES
The Victim: Did the victim have a special condition?
YES
The Victim: Even if the victim does have a special condition, it is not relevant under the 'Thin Skull Rule'
 






NO



The Defendent may not be guilty of murder
NO
Mens Rea: Was the death a natural and probable consequence of the defendent's act?
NO
Mens Rea: Did the Defendent intend to cause GBH?
NO
Mens Rea: Did the Defendent intend to kill the Victim?
NO
Mens Rea: Did the Defendent intend to kill someone else? If so, Transferred Malice Applies



YES



YES

YES

YES

The Defendent may not be guilty of murder
NO
Mens Rea: Did the Defendent foresee that death was the natural and probable cause of death?
 
It could be an example of Murder
 




YES





 
 
Coinsidence of Mens Rea and Actus Reus: Did the Defendent have the Mens Rea at the moment of the attack?
NO
Was the attack part of a sequence of events which could be taken together for the purpose of Mens Re and Actus Reus?
 





YES

YES



 
 
Defence: Consider what defences are available when considering the above facts. Check Coke's Definition of Murder to make sure that the evidence suits the defence.