Barry SCHWARTZ (Barijo ŜVARC) (chemoelectric) wrote,



Common law murder is defined as the:
1. unlawful
2. killing
3. of another human being
4. with a state of mind known as "malice aforethought".

The first three elements are relatively straightforward; however, the concept of "malice aforethought" is a complex one that does not necessarily mean premeditation. The following states of mind are recognized as constituting the various forms of "malice aforethought":

(i) Intent to kill;
(ii) Intent to inflict serious bodily harm short of death;
(iii) Reckless indifference to an unjustifiably high risk to human life (sometimes described as an "abandoned and malignant heart"); or
(iv) Intent to commit a dangerous felony (the "felony-murder" doctrine)....

Under state of mind (iii), an "abandoned and malignant heart", the killing must result from defendant's conduct involving a reckless indifference to human life and a conscious disregard of an unreasonable risk of death or serious bodily injury....

We have for George W. Bush, entirely unlike any other White House occupant, knowledge that he knew he was lying for the purpose of getting American fighting people in situations where he knew some of them would be killed. But this is merely the beginning. Every time Bush told us how much fun he was having and what a fine day it was, and now his having said how much he enjoyed being ‘Commander in Chief’, he was providing evidence of his reckless indifference and conscious disregard for life and death. There is so much evidence of intent against Bush that it is staggering, and he is the only ‘president’ for which there is anything like it. Presidents have gotten lots of people killed needlessly in wars, but that was, I’m sorry to say, legal, or at least it wasn’t murder; George W. Bush and only George W. Bush is a murderer.

The main problem is to establish jurisdiction. This is why Bush’s murders of Iraqis aren’t prosecutable, but Vincent Bugliosi’s idea is that, by broadcasting his provably knowing lies with massively provable criminal intent, Bush made himself a murderer practically wherever a soldier came from.

The cases against Cheney and Rice are pretty good, too, though the evidence of intent is not so overwhelming. Rumsfeld and Rove likely are murderers, but we do not yet have the evidence (despite knowing full well that they helped get lots of people killed needlessly). Colin Powell probably is an innocent dupe.

Addendum: I think it important that much of the prosecutor’s time would be spent showing the jury how much fun George W. Bush was having, how cheerful he was, how he bragged of not having sleepless nights. This is all evidence of murder; it is by such means that we judge a person’s ‘state of mind’.

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