Using Chapter 1, "The Lure and the Law of Homicide," from the textbook The Will to Kill: Making Sense of Senseless Murder, what are some ideas for a journal paragraph about the chapter and jury...

Using Chapter 1, "The Lure and the Law of Homicide," from the textbook The Will to Kill: Making Sense of Senseless Murder, what are some ideas for a journal paragraph about the chapter and jury nullification? 

Expert Answers
lizedwards eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Chapter 1 of The Will to Kill has several sections, so your journal paragraph could touch on any details that stood out in any of those subtopics. The subtopics of the chapter are Fascination with Murder, Selling Evil, Homicide Law, Murder, Manslaughter, Defenses to Criminal Homicide, and Homicide Law in Practice.

A good place to start your journal paragraph would be to pick any one of those subtopics and reflect on it. For example, within the Homicide Law section, you could reflect on the fact that not all killings are illegal (soldiers in wartime, police killings, and executions all are legal). This topic brings up interesting social and ethical questions that could fill far more than a paragraph. Here are a few other topics you might focus on within your journal entry:

  • the idea of "premeditation" (Murder subtopic)
  • various justifications for killing such as intoxication, insanity, and sleepwalking, etc. (Defenses to Criminal Homicide subtopic)
  • voluntary vs. involuntary manslaughter (Manslaughter subtopic)
  • voluntary manslaughter vs. murder (Murder and Manslaughter subtopics)
These are just a few ideas that would all make great topics for discussion in your journal paragraph. 
 
Lastly, since you want to discuss jury nullification in your journal, the logical place to incorporate that topic would be within a discussion of the Homicide Law in Practice subtopic. Jury nullification is the process by which a jury comes to a different verdict than the judge's instructions, allowing juries to acquit defendants who by law are guilty but are not deemed to deserve punishment. Jury nullification often applies when a jury believes a defendant broke the law, but the law was unjust. In this way, a jury can reject and cancel out, or nullify, a judge's original verdict of "guilty."
 
Jury nullification can be discussed in your journal entry in several ways. You can discuss when a jury might nullify a judge's verdict in a homicide case and the possible ramifications of that decision.