malice aforethought

(redirected from Malice prepense)
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Synonyms for malice aforethought

References in periodicals archive ?
Where the plaintiff established duration through a succession of instants, the defendant did so by redefining "the act" in such a way as to project backward onto its origin its felonious character, an operation that depends on intention (here technically malice prepense mens rea) to sustain duration as a teleological construct apparently the opposite of the momentariness into which the plaintiff analyzes the same act.
To achieve this, they must resolve intentional action into two parts: "For the End of the Act shall be construed by the Beginning of it, and the last Part shall taste of the first, and as the Beginning of the Act had Malice prepense in it, and consequently imported Murder, so the End of the Act,
The more general fiction of implied malice responds to the obvious difficulty of determining whether or not someone had acted with malice prepense.
All malice prepense is fictitious in the sense that accounts of intention always involve the fictional reconstruction Aristotle calls hypothesis; but transferred and implied malice are also fictions in the strict sense, since they were accepted, implicitly, as such.
This construction of a homicide as an act of self-defense translated in turn into a suicide originated as a mitigating fiction used by medieval juries to help those patently guilty of a simple slaying avoid the rigor of the law of homicide, which had as yet developed no intermediate category between accidental killing and murder with malice prepense.