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.

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)

See: cruelty

malice aforethought


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.

References in periodicals archive ?
100) The SJC found the trial court's inclusion of the "grievous bodily harm" language in the jury instruction improperly lowered the Commonwealth's burden of establishing malice aforethought beyond a reasonable doubt.
Be that as it may, the Court calibrated that "[t]he third-party killing of a fetus with malice aforethought is murder.
In both Malice Aforethought and Hide and Seek the victims of murder die by injection of heroin, but the social milieu in which they expire could hardly be more different.
In Cobb, for example, the police had no way of knowing whether the prosecutor would charge felony murder or murder with malice aforethought.
Despite years of listening to phrases like malice aforethought and preponderance of evidence, 31 percent of potential jurors still think it would be interesting to serve on a jury and look forward to being called.
Miller has acted in films including The Parole Officer, Birthday Girl, Johnny English and The Prince and Me, and has also starred in small-screen offerings Marple, Malice Aforethought, The Book Group, The Worst Week of My life, Moving Wallpaper and Primeval.
In the instant case, the grand jury was presented with reasonably trustworthy information sufficient to warrant a prudent person in believing that Samia, either alone or with others, knowingly participated in the murder of Harkins with deliberate premeditation and malice aforethought," Judge Kenton-Walker found.
Sirhan went on to testify that he had killed Kennedy "with 20 years of malice aforethought," and was convicted and sentenced to death, which was eventually reduced to life in prison in 1972.
In short, the net, for all its benefits, has become the favourite forum for the bully boys, girls and adults who heedlessly and with malice aforethought spew their spite and bile out into cyber space.
Pepe, Alvaro Arbeloa, Ricardo Carvalho and even Xabi Alonso tackled with malice aforethought.
WILL someone please explain to Arsenal's Arsene Wenger it is possible to get injured in a football match without there being any malice aforethought in the challenge.
Malice Aforethought, A History of Booby Traps from World War One to Vietnam.