LawFlowchart: Guilty or Not Guilty of Murder?
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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 defendant cause death in fact? (Following the 'But For' Test)
NO
It is not Murder







YES


The Defendant is not liable for murder
NO
Actus Reus: If the intervening act is an omission, was there a special relationship which made the defendant 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 defendant'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 Defendant may not be guilty of murder
NO
Mens Rea: Was the death a natural and probable consequence of the defendant's act?
NO
Mens Rea: Did the Defendant intend to cause Gross Bodily Harm?
NO
Mens Rea: Did the Defendant intend to kill the Victim?
NO
Mens Rea: Did the Defendant intend to kill someone else? If so, Transferred Malice Applies



YES



YES

YES

YES

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




YES





 
 
Coincidence of Mens Rea and Actus Reus: Did the Defendant 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



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