malice aforethought

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Related to malice aforethought: Excusable homicide

Malice Aforethought

A predetermination to commit an act without legal justification or excuse. A malicious design to

injure. An intent, at the time of a killing, willfully to take the life of a human being, or an intent willfully to act in callous and wanton disregard of the consequences to human life; but malice aforethought does not necessarily imply any ill will, spite or hatred towards the individual killed.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

malice aforethought

n. 1) the conscious intent to cause death or great bodily harm to another person before a person commits the crime. Such malice is a required element to prove first degree murder. 2) a general evil and depraved state of mind in which the person is unconcerned for the lives of others. Thus, if a person uses a gun to hold up a bank and an innocent bystander is killed in a shoot-out with police, there is malice aforethought. (See: malice, murder, first degree murder)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

malice aforethought

Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

MALICE AFORETHOUGHT, pleadings. In an indictment for murder, these words, which have a technical force, must be used in charging the offence; for without them, and the artificial phrase murder, the indictment will be taken to charge manslaughter only. Fost. 424; Yelv. 205; 1 Chit. Cr. Law, *242, and the authorities and cases there cited.
     2. Whenever malice aforethought is necessary to constitute the offence, these words must be used in charging the crime in the indictment. 2 Chit. Cr. Law, *787; 1 East, Pl. Or. 402. 2 Mason, R. 91.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Therefore, the crime of murder, which carries the most severe punishments in the English legal system (life imprisonment), is considered a common law offense (a crime included in jurisprudence and one with no definition in a legal text), being defined by Coke as the following: "Murder is when a man of sound memory, and the age of discretion, unlawfully killeth within any county of the realm any reasonable creature in rerum natura under the king's peace, with malice aforethought, either expressed by the party or implied by law, so as the party wounded, or hurt etc.
Murder, for example, is defined as "the unlawful killing of a human being, or a fetus, with malice aforethought." (23)
The charge of murder against Tom Cholmondeley was reduced to manslaughter as he did not show "malice aforethought" in the 2006 shooting of Robert Njoya.
There are not enough people with good jobs that can afford our products!" Businesses did this deliberately and with malice aforethought, only the malice has returned to bite their own behinds.
Taylor, who was sent-off for the tackle, primarily because of the severity of what happened to Eduardo's leg and ankle, not because there was malice aforethought - that's what Mike Dean told him several weeks later when he officiated Taylor and Blues again.
With malice aforethought he planned the heist How many commandments violated?
Willfully, and with full malice aforethought, deliberately held back The Golden Generation.
At common law, murder included the killing of a human being by another human being with malice aforethought. (13) The concept of "malice aforethought" developed during the Enlightenment, when criminal conduct was evaluated on reason rather than the religious concept of sin.
She went on to train at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and has worked steadily ever since, appearing in dramas like North and South, Malice Aforethought and Sharpe's Challenge.
It takes malice aforethought to plumb these perceived depths.
He's often said before that people usually fail to recognise him on the street, despite a body of work that includes this year's Malice Aforethought, Marple, the film Johnny English and his successful sketch show with Alexander Armstrong, Armstrong And Miller.
I am sure I must have touched their "last nerve," sometimes, but their assistance was unwavering and done without malice aforethought! Please indulge me a moment while I publicly acknowledge them.