Friday, September 14, 2012

People v. Casassa case brief

      • People v. Casassa- ∆ become romantically obsessed w/ his neighbor and after she consistently rejected him he confronted her and stabbed her in the neck w/ a knife. He was charged w/ murder and the trial court rejected his argument that whether he was under an extreme emotional disturbance sufficient to mitigate to manslaughter should be viewed from a subjective viewpoint. Instead the court, w/o a jury, found the reaction to be so peculiar to ∆ that it was unreasonable to mitigate the crime.
        • The affirmative defense is permitted where “the ∆ acted under the influence of extreme emotional disturbance for which there was an explanation or excuse.” It is subjective as to whether or not the ∆ was in fact under extreme emotional disturbance. It is objective as to whether or not the disturbance was reasonable.
          • Test grew out of “heat of passion” manslaughter test, but differs that homicide doesn’t have to be contemporaneous to the triggering event, as heat of passion almost always requires.
        • Hypo: what if someone was a hothead who carries a gun all the time and someone steps on his foot and he kills him. Should the MPC cover him? NO, that is not the right kind of situation… (No considering Hot Heads)
        • Body Dysmorphia- actually think you look one way and you really don’t
          • If it is a disease (not your fault, chemical issue?) then ok, if not (your fault)then not okay
          • Argument- people should control their diseases and not use them as an excuse

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