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.
application of the felony-murder doctrine in the present context will not have the effect of precluding] the jury from considering the issue of malice aforethought .
The concept of malice aforethought was divided into "express" and "implied" malice.
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.
With malice aforethought, He rigs us with the capacity to lie, cheat, deceive, connive, steal, harass, hate, torment, cripple, kill.
In Cobb, for example, the police had no way of knowing whether the prosecutor would charge felony murder or murder with malice aforethought.
And so, while the battle rages, we see a wounded bird struggling pathetically on the ground, or a snake trailing with malice aforethought toward a soldier (who thinks his only problem is the gunfire in front), or a swarm or' bats in the trees, chittering with overtones of mockery and carnivorousness.
In Davao, it is estimated that about 10 percent of those killed were not involved in any crime, just cases of mistaken identity or being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or worse, malice aforethought.
The chaos in Iraq and Syria is not out of pure American stupidity rather than with malice aforethought.
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.
But he is much given to making threats, bearing grudges and behaving with malice aforethought.