March 19, 2004

Attempted Murder

What is attempted murder? When you try and murder someone I would guess, but when does it become an 'attempt', rather than just 'planning' to murder someone?
They just arrested a kid in America, with a bunch of guns and explosives in his car, along with a note saying he wanted to kill everyone. He was parked in the grounds of his school. He has been charged with attempted murder.
I guess there is some kind of legal definition, but I can't see where the 'attempt' is. Maybe he would have chickened out and nothing would have happened?
If the stuff had been found in his house, or with no note, would that be attempted murder too?
Even if it is a crime to plan a murder, surely that's not the same as actually attempting one. Maybe just getting the weapons is an 'attempt', but that doesn't seem right. I guess I should ask an American lawyer...

Read the story here

Posted by paul at March 19, 2004 01:03 PM


Funnily enough, I just watched an episode of 'The Practice', an American lawyer TV show, and it very handily explained that it's about the 'point of no return'.
So, if you decide that the murder was definitely going to happen unless the police had stepped in, then it's 'attempted murder'.
See, you can learn things from TV...

Posted by: Angry Beaton at March 20, 2004 12:33 PM