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Example of a question of law, and a question of fact in a murder case

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example of a question of law, and a question of fact in a murder case

Attorney Answers 2


  1. A question of law in a murder case is whether the facts adduced at trial can constitute Murder or a lesser crime. A question of fact is whether testimony will support a factual basis for sustaining a Murder charge based upon the testimony.

    An example of a question of fact is a person says they saw the Defendant shoot somebody and another person says they saw somebody else do the shooting. Its left up to the trier of fact, usually a jury, to decide which testimony they want to accept as "fact."

    An example of a conflict of law may be whether a Defendant can be charged with Attempted Murder and Assault 1st. Both result in serious physical injury, but one has a different intent than the other and a Defendant can't have both states of mind simultaneously. This happened in a case that is presently pending in New York and the DA dismissed the Attempted Murder charge before the case went to the jury because both charges couldn't stand at the same time before the jury.

    Hope that helps.


  2. Example of a question of law (up to the judge or judiciary to decide): If a man shot at another man (who was in his backyard and had raped his wife earlier that evening), but hit a neighbor child and killed her when his bullet did not find its true target, could the shooter be charged with murder?
    Examples of questions of fact (up to the jury usually to decide): Who fired the shot? At whom? Where was the target? Did the target present a continuing threat? Was the child killed by the bullet fired by the husband? What facts fit the instructions and the crime charged as indicated by the court?

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