Mr. Aiken is charged of murdering his wife and her lover it is probable that he will be charged with capital murder of the mailman is a Federal employee. “Capital murder according to Virginia law § 18.2-17. When capital punishment inflicted no crime shall be punished with death unless it be authorized by statute. Code 1950, § 18.1-10; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15 and can be considered by a judge when more than one murder has taken place as well as during different criminal activities, but the murders are committed within the same course of conduct (Virginia, 2018)”.
Evidence suggests that Mr. Aiken intentionally committed both murders of the mailman and his wife.
The justification used by Mr. Aiken for the murder of his wife and mailman was in the heat of passion. This can be explained as Mr. Aiken in response to finding his wife and mailman when he arrived home in bed together. This then caused Mr. Aiken to act in a rash and aggressive way without taking into consideration his emotions that had been aroused from seeing the woman he loved with another man.
Sherman and Hoffman stated, “anger, as a negative emotion, has unique effects on decision-making and judgement, it can be a precursor to a fast and strong aggressive response (Hoffman & Sherman, 2007)”. Jim Aiken could be charged with premeditated criminal homicide as well because of both shootings that he knowingly caused the death of both his wife and her lover.
These homicides were not a product of negligence he committed these murders of his own free will and decided to take matters into his own hands.
“Although the law does not strictly limit the voluntary manslaughter doctrine to killings motivated by anger, legal experts describe such cases as the primary application of the doctrine. Defendants who seek to invoke the doctrine in homicide cases involving other emotions, such as fear, have not always fared so well.” (Ormerod & Laird, “13. Voluntary Manslaughter”, 2018) Although in some U.S. states it began to abolish the death penalty, most states held onto capital punishment. Some states made more crimes capital offenses, especially for offenses committed by slaves.
“In 1838, to make the death penalty more palatable to the public, some states began passing laws against mandatory death sentencing instead enacting discretionary death penalty statutes.” (Death Penalty Information Center, “Part I: History of the Death Penalty”, 2018) Jim Aiken and the murder he carried out against his wife and the postal delivery worker can be argued that his actions were that of brief madness. The crime that Aiken committed falls under second degree murder that would generally apply to these types of cases in which the killing may have been decided but was not planned. These crimes regularly refer to wrongdoings of passion such as in the case against Mr. Aiken. Cases such as these can lead a man down the path of destructive fierceness and murder.
The actions that he decided to take against his wife and her lover would infuriate any man with the discovery his wife in bed with another man. For the crime committed in this case Mr. Aiken could be charged with second degree murder and in some states, it can be additionally intense due to the nature of the crime which the defendant could face a long time in prison he can even face life in jail though capital punishment is not a plausibility in these cases. The best criminal defense when for Mr. Aiken would for the lawyer to lay out a story that is best situated for this case by demonstrating or painting the defendant Mr. Aiken in the most exceptional light. Mr. Aiken can attempt to use the defense that it was in the heat of the moment because he had come home to his home to find his wife in bed with another man and had committed those murders. Heat of passion crimes require proof of frustration that could produce extreme rage this type of rage does not give the opportunity to cool off which in turn led to the killings. Anytime a person discovers a spouse engaged in adultery is generally deemed as an adequate provocation for a person such as Mr. Aiken finding himself in the situation, he was put in. The goal of his attorney’s strategy is not exonerating Mr. Aiken but to find a way to reduce his client’s criminal responsibility or argue for a conviction of a lesser crime. “A reasonable man standard, which required the lack of a “cooling off” period wherein the heat of passion might have dissipated, was central to the English categorization of provocation. Although this standard has reportedly never been confined to the viewpoints of adult males in recent times women have joined judiciaries and juries, meaning that the “reasonable man” evolved for centuries through the common-law interpretations of males.”
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