California criminal Law Assignments | Online Assignment Services

You are a defense attorney and have been appointed to represent Don Smith. Don was recently arrested and charged with first degree murder for killing a woman named Valerie. Don shot and killed Valerie as she was walking into a local gas station.

When interviewed by law enforcement, Don said he has schizophrenia and that he often hears “voices.” Don told officers that on the day Valerie was murdered, he was walking down the street and saw a wolf. Don stated that the wolf told him to kill Valerie because she was a “bad person.” The wolf told Don that Valerie was going to kidnap Don and lock him up in a cave. Don then went home and got his hunting rifle. He shot Valerie as she was walking into a gas station. After the shooting, Don sat down on the sidewalk. Officers immediately responded to the call of “shots fired” and arrested Don without incident. Don was arrested and booked at the county jail. He waived his Miranda warning and proceeded to tell officers about his schizophrenia, the wolf he saw, and that the wolf told him to kill Valerie.

For your written assignment this week, first research your own state law regarding the insanity/mental capacity defense. Review and study the relevant statutory language concerning the insanity defense.

Prepare a 2-3 page paper that addresses the following issues. Support your comments and discussion based on the wording of your state’s statute.

  • According to the wording of relevant statute in your state regarding defenses, as Don’s attorney, what defenses will you raise on Don’s behalf?
  • What is the specific wording from your state statute(s) that applies in this scenario?
  • What elements or proof must you present to be successful in your defense?
  • What elements or proof does the prosecutor must be present in response to your defenses?


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