November 10, 2013

Commonwealth v. Carrol - 412 Pa. 525, 194 A.2d 911 (1963) - Supreme Court of California

FACTS: Husband was a hard worker who had a good reputation among the neighbors.  Wife had hit her head while leaving the defendant's car in '58 which supposedly contributed to her schizoid personality type.  '59 she carried out sadistic discipline on the 2 kids and also was committed.  Defendant got a job where he had to be gone 4/7 days a week which started and argument which lasted from dinner to 4AM.  In bed he picked up a gun and shot her twice, 5 min. after the last time she had spoken.

HISTORY:
Court found him guilty of 1st degree murder and sentenced him to life imprisonment.

ISSUE:
Does
having the time to deliberate necessarily mean that one used it?

HOLDING: No

RATIONALE:
Court would be abdicating its judgement to a doctor for determining criminal liability.  You cannot remit to psychiatrists the right to determine the state of mind of the accused at the time the homicide was committed.

No time is too short for premeditation.

NOTES: 
Having the time to deliberate does not necessarily mean that one used it.