Sunday, November 17, 2013

Terrell v. State case brief

Terrell v. State case brief summary
8 S.W. 212 (1888)

Defendant appealed a judgment of the Circuit Court of Weakley County (Tennessee) upon a conviction for mayhem.

Defendant was convicted of mayhem for using a brick to put out a prosecutor's eye.


  • On appeal, the court affirmed. 
  • The court ruled that the trial court did not err by refusing defendant's instruction that specific intent was a necessary element of the crime of mayhem. 
  • The court noted that the phrases indicating that intent was required were omitted from the current version of the mayhem statute. 
  • No words of the same or similar import were substituted for them. 
  • The court ruled that the use of the word "maliciously" in the statute provided no justification for the contention that the crime of mayhem could be committed only when the blow was stricken for the purpose of inflicting that particular injury upon the victim. 
  • The court held that a specific intent to maim was not a necessary ingredient in the crime of mayhem.

The court affirmed the judgment against defendant.

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