Domestic violence cases are becoming more spread among the population worldwide. There is a developing tendency that allows people to stop being silent about domestic abuse incidents, although many individuals are still scared of defending themselves. Martha Monroe v. United States is a demonstrative murder trial with numerous investigative aspects. Murder is one of the most complicated issues for trials, as there are multiple consequences that the jury has to take into account. Moreover, the correctness of the decision depends on the intention and motives of the defendant, which different terms can complicate. It is essential to explore the mock case of Martha Monroe v. United States to examine the reasons for sentencing.
Martha Monroe shot her husband three times in the back when he was sleeping at night. According to the information provided in the case, her husband slept face-down, which eliminates the version about self-defense. Mr. Monroe did not represent an immediate threat to which Mrs. Monroe could react by shooting. Hence, the murder was intentional; there were comments from witnesses which denote Mrs. Monroe’s guilt. For example, the director of the women’s shelter, where Monroe appealed, stated that the woman was not helpless. Furthermore, her brother Alex claimed that Mrs. Monroe made an emotional call in which she intentionally decided to kill her husband.
Therefore, there is a motive for the murder of Mrs. Monroe; she had a plan of action. Intentional murder is a first-degree murder, which is a severe crime (Teka, 2020). The law determines this act as an unlawful and predetermined killing committed after planning. However, after considering the side information about domestic abuse, it is possible to suggest that Mrs. Monroe committed manslaughter. This crime is recognized as less culpable than first-degree murder, as it contains a basis. For instance, the court does not eliminate the version about domestic abuse, which is the reasonable cause for the person to murder their offender. Mrs. Monroe is guilty of making manslaughter against her husband, as she acted intentionally, but it is impossible to exclude her emotionality at the moment.
During the murder trial, several court members are present– the judge, the jury, the accused, and lawyers. Regarding the case information, the lawyer is a barely single chance for Martha Monroe to be protected. However, lawyers attempted to promote the self-defense version, which was eliminated almost immediately; self-defense suggests responding to a direct threat (FindLaw, 2020). Martha Monroe’s husband was sleeping, which makes him innocent of being capable of immediate danger. Each professional member of the murder trial aims to defeat their point of view, considering factors that led the individual to the crime.
Unprofessional members of the murder trial play a significant role, as they can provide valuable information unavailable to other members. For instance, witnesses can share their memories about the defendant’s actions before or after the crime, adding to the whole picture of the case. The significance of side members cannot be eliminated, as numerous circumstances can affect the court’s decision and influence the degree of guilt of the defendant.
There is a severe condition that can potentially undermine any mitigating circumstances for Mrs. Monroe, which is proven by unprofessional members – the two witnesses. It is known that her brother Alex offered her help, which could prevent the murder. However, she refused to receive aid and decided to commit a crime. Apart from this, the director of the woman’s shelter offered psychological assistance to ensure comfort for Martha Monroe, but she refused. It is vital to note that Martha Monroe appealed to the woman’s canopy voluntarily; it is where battered females seek help. Monroe was provided with an aptitude test, in which she received high points; it proves that the woman had options to continue her life and quit living with an abusive husband. Indeed, she proceeded to live with Mr. Monroe, complicating the case, as the court understood that the female could leave.
Domestic violence cases involve pretrial procedures, which help determine various circumstances and restraints according to the case. The preliminary process is the police’s intervention, collecting evidence and arresting the defendant before the trial. Then, the police officer takes fingerprints and personal data and can confiscate property. Bail is another stage of pretrial activities – release on bail suggests a suspect appear in all court procedures; indeed, bail is not obligatory. Next, the court schedules an arraignment, where the defendant must appear. The judge presents the charges, and the suspect should proclaim themselves guilty or not guilty. It is important to remember that the court can plan further arraignments when the prosecutor provides reports related to the case. Moreover, the defendant is equipped with a lawyer if they cannot afford it according to financial or other causes. Pretrial hearings are part of related activities which determine domestic violence misdemeanors.
Plea Bargaining in Domestic Violence Cases
The defendant agrees with the charges presented to them by the judge and proclaims themselves guilty. Plea bargains depend on the judge – for example, they can be decided upon or ungreased. If the judge wants to conduct a more severe penalty, the defendant withdraws their agreement on being guilty and appeals to the court to review the decision. It is essential to remember that the penalties for a domestic violence case can be severe and might involve mandatory jail periods, violence counseling, and loss of child custody. Indeed, a plea bargain can allow the defendant to avoid more extreme penalties for a domestic violence conviction. It can help reduce prison time and lower the charges presented to the defendant.
Indeed, some courts do not note the availability of negotiation for domestic violence cases. It is essential to understand that the prosecutor can refuse to protect the defendant if there are multiple charges against the suspect. However, the first-time offender can have a diversion program involving paying fines and fees, reporting to probation, and performing community services. Moreover, the individual will undergo medical tests for alcohol and substance monitoring. Overall, a plea bargain is used to mitigate the circumstances of domestic violence cases, although some courts do not consider the ability to reduce charges.
Criminal sentencing presents a symbolic statement that the defendant should be punished for committing a criminal action, undermining the code of human values. Sentencing is a usually immediate practice executed after convictions when the defendant has pled guilty. In criminal cases, the sentencing judge makes decisions based on reports from the prosecutor, the defense, and the probation department. Numerous factors, such as the defendant’s criminal history, the crime’s nature, or the suspect’s regret, influence the criminal sentence. The purposes of criminal sentencing are different; for example, it is done to ensure that the defendant is adequately punished for the crime. Here, the court acts per the principle of proportionality, recognizing facts that led the defendant to punishment.
Accordingly, one of the rudimentary reasons for criminal sentencing is the prevention of crimes against other people. It helps to avoid threats to society if there are any; in addition, it strives to show individuals what they will meet if they plan to commit similar crimes. Furthermore, criminal sentencing makes the offender accountable for their actions: denouncing an individual’s guilt is a fundamental purpose of criminal law. The criminal law system aims to provide citizens with safety; hence, there is a strong need for criminal sentencing of defendants.
Overall, there are multiple stages before the individual is put to jail for a certain period. Methods and practices of pretrial activities aim to investigate and understand the defendant’s intentions and explore side conditions that can affect the charges. A plea bargain might help to avoid or mitigate charges presented by the judge to the defendant. Moreover, plea bargaining in domestic violence cases reduces the severity of penalties. Indeed, the individual will have to undergo medical monitoring, through which their alcohol or substance consumption is monitored. Accordingly, the courtroom contains several professional and non-professional members, each with a specific aim in the court. Unprofessional participants, such as witnesses, can provide valuable information, which influences the outcomes for the defendant. Apart from making the defendant conscious about committing the crime, one of the fundamental principles of the criminal system is to provide human life’s safety, which is the reason for conducting criminal sentencing.
FindLaw (2020). Self-defense law: Overview. Web.
Teka, M. (2020). First degree murder overview. FindLaw. Web.