Helpful responses

Write helpful responses for each of the students 1-4(student posts). State how you agree with the student. Add more information and add you opinion. Keep it positive.


Justification Defense

– An acceptable or sufficient explanation made in the court for an act the defendant committed for which they are accused of doing

– A trial in Kansas in 2010, based on a justification defense of a shooting that killed an abortion doctor. Defendant Scott Roeder was on trial for the murder of Dr. George Tiller but Roeder claims that the shooting was justified on the belief that he was saving the lives of unborn children which only further added to the complexity of the legal aspects of abortion in the state of Kansas
Source: (Links to an external site.)

Excuse Defense

– An explanation of the conduct of an act as means for an exemption/relief from certain guilt

– A disturbing example of this type of defense draws back to our early history, in the year of 1957. Notorious individual, Ed Gein, arrested and tried for the murder of Bernice Worden but pled not guilty under the reason for insanity and was actually and legally deemed insane. After the plea, he served a total of 11 years in the hospital for the criminally insane and was to be found guilty of 1st-degree murder in the year of 1968.

– Source:


1. Based on Marshall’s testimony, he was motivated by self-defense because he was intimidated by the man’s aggressive behavior. I would understand that he would be scared of him since there was only a counter between Marshall and the man, and if he saw the hammer that is within reach of the man. Since the man was drinking and has acted up with slamming his hat and cursing, it’s reasonable for Marshall to anticipate for an attack. However, he should have waited until the deceased shows that he is clearly ready to hit him by picking up the hammer and preparing for a swing. Since the man was shot before picking up the hammer, we have no way of knowing if he was actually going to attack. Had Marshall shot him when it is clear that an attack is happening, he would have been justified.

2. The force that Marshall was justified was when he was feeling threatened by the man and believing that the deceased planned to assault him.

3. The reasoning behind the verdict is that Marshall used excessive force. He said that he shot the pistol because he was scared of the man, yet he still wasn’t 100% if an attack was going to happen. Therefore, he was not in “imminent danger of death or great bodily harm when he shot the deceased.”


Lippman, M. R. (2016). Contemporary criminal law: concepts, cases, and controversies (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.


Andrea Yates drowned and killed her 5 kids in a bathtub. Her defense was insanity because of mental illness, she claimed she was hearing the devil telling her to kill them. I do not think her defense should have been successful and I would have found her guilty and to have been sane when murdering her children. She went through the effort of waiting for her husband to leave and committing the act before his mother arrived. Yates also went as far as locking up the family dog in order to prevent him form interfering. I believe if she put in that much effort into committing the murders she knew what she was doing was wrong.The jury did not find the defendant guilty by reason of insanity and believed her to be sane when she murdered her children.


The mistake of law is a defense in which a criminal defendant either misunderstood or was rather ignorant of the law at the time. The rule that the mistake of law does not constitute for is the knowledge in which people are expected to know, the evidence in which a defendant may falsely claim that they were unaware of the law, the public policy in which is enforced by the law to ensure social stability, and uniformity in which individuals are not to be permitted to denote themselves for the legal rules of the govern society. The mistake of fact is a defense in which the defendant makes the mistake in which results in a lack of criminal intent. According to the Model Penal Code “ignorance or mistake is a defense when it negatives the existence of a state of mind that is essential to the commission of an offense.” These two terms differ from each other in that the mistake of law has no excuse due to individuals knowing what the law is whereas the mistake of fact allows for an excuse if it negates the criminal intent. The one that is an effective defense to a crime is the mistake of fact.The mistake of law is not a good defense for a crime since if you do not understand the law and commit a crime, you are still in trouble by the law. An example of a mistake of the law is if someone is accused of taking money from another in which that person owed them. Since the defendant is unaware that the law allows for self help and due to the defendant not trying to gain control over the other persons property, a mistake of law can be implied. An example of a mistake of fact is if someone grabs the wrong jacket off a chair thinking that it is theirs. Since they are unaware of taking someone else’s property thinking that it is theirs, then they are not committing a crime.


Lippman, Matthew Ross. Contemporary Criminal Law: Concepts, Cases, and Controversies. 4th ed., SAGE, 2016. Print.

< a href ="">