The Key Aspects of Criminal Law
eath, or the intent to cause grievous body harm and almost all kinds of criminal offenses require a demonstration of mens rea to endorse culpability of offense. (Mens rea. 2006).In this case, it could be seen that Amelia’s mens reus was to cause death to her husband, and therefore, prima facie, Amelia is guilty of first-degree murder, or manslaughter. However, there are mitigating circumstances, which shall presently be considered. It is seen that in this case, Amelia has been a victim of continuous torture and violence over a period of time and could be said to be suffering from battered wife syndrome.In the leading case of R v. Ahluwalia (1992) 4 AER 889, the woman killed her abusive and aggressive husband and claimed provocation as the precipitating cause for her actions. The Court questioned the jury as to whether an educated woman living in the UK could have lost her self-will to such an extent that she needed to take recourse to murder her husband. The defense pleaded that the loss of self will be caused by the physical and emotional battering the wife had endured over a long period of time, which forced her to take such an extreme step. Considering the mitigating circumstances of the case, the Court called for a retrial on the basis of this fresh medical evidences emanating. (Judgments – Regina v. Smith (On Appeal from the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division).The features in the Ahluwalia case were also seen in the R v. Thornton (No 2) 1996 2 AER 1023 which is akin to that of Ahluwalia case? In this case, the defendant claimed to be suffering from mental disease and the Court ordered retrial based on these extenuating grounds. (Judgments – Regina v. Smith (On Appeal from the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division).When the mens reus regarding Amelia’s contribution towards the death of her baby is concerned, it is seen that in all probability, means reus cannot be established, since there are no ostensible intention of either killing the baby or causing her grievous bodily harm.