Remus and Agrippas Deaths

In any event, the classic definition of murder offered by Sir Edward Coke is a good starting point. He defined murder as:
“When a man of sound memory, and of the age of discretion, unlawfully killeth within any country of the realm any reasonable creature in rerum natura under the Kings peace, with malice aforethought, either expressed by the party or implied by law, so as the party wounded, or hurt, etc. die of the wound or hurt, etc. within a year and a day after the same.”1
The relevant facts will be considered in light of this definition of murder and its common law development. The necessary mens rea to substantiate both murder charges is perhaps the most problematic for CPS in light of the possible provocation defenses available to both Romulus and Nero. Causation is less problematic and will not likely lend itself to any defence of diminished responsibility. In any event, as will be argued, the CPS will most likely succeed in obtaining convictions of manslaughter in either case but will be obliged to begin with murder charges leaving the decision to a jury to determine if on the facts Nero and Romulus are guilty instead of manslaughter.
While CPS must prove that the defendants’ conduct indeed caused the deaths of Agrippa and Remus it is not necessary to prove that the defendants’ conduct was the sole and main cause of death. If an intervening cause is shown as in both cases here to be characteristic of the victim the defendants cannot rely on it to defeat causation as a result of the “thin skull rule”. By virtue of the “thin skull rule,” a defendant will take his victim as he finds him.2
In R v Hayward (1908) 21 Cox CC 692 a husband chased his wife out into the street, kicked her and threatened her. The wife had a pre-existing thyroid condition which made her particularly vulnerable to&nbsp.physical contact and she died as a result of a combination of the husband’s kick and her condition.&nbsp. The husband was convicted of manslaughter.