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Criminal Law

2011

Indiana Law Journal

Premeditation-Deliberation

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Not The Crime But The Cover-Up: A Deterrence-Based Rationale For The Premeditation-Deliberation Formula, Michael J. Zydney Mannheimer Jul 2011

Not The Crime But The Cover-Up: A Deterrence-Based Rationale For The Premeditation-Deliberation Formula, Michael J. Zydney Mannheimer

Indiana Law Journal

Beginning with Pennsylvania in 1794, most American jurisdictions have, at one time or another, separated the crime of murder into two degrees based on the presence or absence of premeditation and deliberation. An intentional, premeditated, and deliberate murder is murder of the first degree, while second-degree murder is committed intentionally but without premeditation or deliberation. The distinction was created in order to limit the use of the death penalty, which generally has been imposed only for first-degree murder.

Critics have attacked the premeditation-deliberation formula on two fronts. First, they have charged that the formula is imprecise as a measure of …