I do concur with the observations in the paper. The scenario presented place the accused, John Doe, at the scene armed with the armory, motive and malice. As such, it can be argued that both the act and the mental intent can be proved beyond reasonable doubt and that he should be convicted with the murder. As observed, the Georgia State Law is clear on the elements of murder of the first degree. As it stands, John Doe had a premeditated intent to kill. This demonstrated by a number of occurrences and events that precede the event occasioning the death. This is first collected from the confrontation he is reported to have had with the deceased Frank Reilly. An admissible and credible witness, in Tony Smith, observed the confrontation. In addition, Doe reported to Smith his anger at Reilly and his intention to kill the deceased. This could have been considered provocation for his anger was a consequence of his interaction with the deceased during the confrontation. However, the space between the confrontation and the actual killing is far too long for a defense of provocation to survive judicial scrutiny. On the contrary, the space in terms of time only suffices to illustrate the deliberate action which is in no way an unprecedented. This is even made clearer by the fact that John Doe could not avail any reasonable explanations for carrying his gun to work. It is not in order for one who previously had no guns to all of a sudden start carrying a gun around. The timing is equally poor for it comes just after he has clashed with Reilly and he is still in the state of anger. This could serve as circumstantial evidence that point to a direction of a premeditated intent to murder.
The second element captured in the Georgia State Laws in respect to guilt to first degree murder is the action considered as being under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to human life. In this particular case, it is observed that John Doe repeatedly stabbed the deceased with a pair of scissors. Indeed, the use of the pair of scissors on human life did not only threaten the very life that is the subject of this case but also showed the extreme indifference by the accused. John Doe must have had the mental intent to occasion the grievous bodily harm. The said harm, it can be deduced from his activity, was intended to kill the deceased. In fact, the imparting of the harm read together with the fact that he finally shot the deceased indicate the premeditated intent to kill which was finally successfully implemented.
Lastly, it is essential to exclude John Doe from the special category of insane persons. While insane persons, as was held in Ford v Wainwright, lack the capacity to form the mental intent and hence ought not to be executed, sane persons, the category in which Doe rightly belongs, have the mental capacity and, therefore, ought to face the law for their actions. It is necessary for the law not to forget the injustice visited upon the deceased and his family. In that respect, the courts ought to find the accused guilty and convict him to suffer the penalties prescribed in the laws. Ultimately, the rule of law demands that law breakers are brought to account for their actions.
Herring, Jonathan. Criminal Law. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.