Lacey is involved in a violent marriage for five years. One night, after her husband pushes her down the stairwell and proceeds to continuously beat her, Lacey shoots him. She calls 911, reports the crime, and asks for an ambulance. At the hospital, a detective interviews her and notes that she appears to be quite calm when explaining what happened. Lacey admits to killing her husband but claims that it was a cycle of abuse and that she was scared for her life. The detective charges Lacey with murder in the first degree.
Review the posts of your fellow learners and respond to at least two. In your response posts, you must do one or more of the following:
Be sure to support your initial post and follow-up posts with scholarly examples from the module readings and additional literature where appropriate. You must cite all references according to APA style.
Classmate # 1 Joseph
As Lacey’s defense, I would argue that she killed her husband in self-defense. I would argue her history of abuse and her feeling of her life being endangered due to that abuse and the assault that took place the night she killed her husband. Lacey would not qualify for an insanity defense in North Carolina since she knew what she was doing (Gardner, D.S., 1951). However, that does not take away from the self-defense argument. I think there is a very valid self-defense argument in this case, again, due to the history of abuse.
Classmates # 2 Paige
you were Lacey’s defense attorney, what defenses would you use? For
starters Lacey did not premeditate or intentionally murder her husband. I
would claim self defense. Title 18 § 505. Use of force in
self-protection (a) in the Pennsylvania Crimes Codes states that “Use of
force justifiable for protection of the person. – The use of force upon
or toward another person is justifiable when the actor believes that
such force is immediately necessary for the purpose of protecting
himself against the use of unlawful force by such other person on the
present occasion (“Section 505 – Title 18 – CRIMES AND OFFENSES,”
Review the law on insanity in your state. Based upon the laws of your state, can she use an insanity defense? In the Pennsylvania Crime Codes under Title 18 § 314. Guilty but mentally ill. It states that a person may enter the plea of guilty, but mentally ill. In short it says that the person was not legally sane during the commission of a crime. There are two definitions under this section. 1: Mentally Ill – which lacks the ability to understand wrongfullness 2: Legal Insanity – at the time of the crime the person was not aware of their actions (“Title 18,” n.d.). I believe that she could possibly fall under this category, but it would be a hard reach. In Pennsylvania, I wasn’t able find many instances of this in domestic violence cases. I do believe with a good attorney one could prove insanity, but I think self defense is more in reach.