Donald Smith Penalty Phase, Prosecution Opening Statements | Summary and Q&A

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February 20, 2018
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Law&Crime Network
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Donald Smith Penalty Phase, Prosecution Opening Statements

TL;DR

Homicide is not always considered murder, as it can be accidental or justifiable under certain circumstances.

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Questions & Answers

Q: Is all homicide considered murder?

No, not all homicide is considered murder as it can be accidental or justifiable under certain circumstances. Murder involves the intentional killing of another person.

Q: How does the prosecution prove aggravation in a murder case?

The prosecution must provide evidence that shows certain factors, such as the murder being committed during the commission of a felony or the purpose of avoiding a lawful arrest, which make the murder more severe or aggravated.

Q: What is the significance of proving aggravation in this case?

Proving aggravation is necessary in order for the prosecution to seek the death penalty. It establishes that the murder is particularly heinous, atrocious, or cruel.

Q: Will the defense argue that the defendant, Donald Smith, has brain damage and impulse control problems?

Yes, it is expected that the defense will present testimony from doctors and experts who will claim that Donald Smith has brain damage and impulse control issues, potentially as an attempt to mitigate his actions.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Homicide, the killing of one human being by another, is not always classified as murder and can be accidental or justifiable.

  • In order to convict someone of first-degree murder, the prosecution must prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

  • The prosecution in this case is focusing on proving aggravation beyond a reasonable doubt in order to seek the death penalty.

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