Attempted Murder/Magic

How much does intent tie into attempted murder?

if my boss asked me to get coffee and put some suger in it

From the dictionary at

n. the killing of a human being by a sane person, with intent, malice aforethought (prior intention to kill the particular victim or anyone who gets in the way) and with no legal excuse or authority. In those clear circumstances, this is first degree murder. By statute, many states consider a killing in which there is torture, movement of the person before the killing (kidnapping) or the death of a police officer or prison guard, or it was as an incident to another crime (as during a hold-up or rape), to be first degree murder, with or without premeditation and with malice presumed. Second degree murder is such a killing without premeditation, as in the heat of passion or in a sudden quarrel or fight. Malice in second degree murder may be implied from a death due to the reckless lack of concern for the life of others (such as firing a gun into a crowd or bashing someone with any deadly weapon). Depending on the circumstances and state laws, murder in the first or second degree may be chargeable to a person who did not actually kill, but was involved in a crime with a partner who actually did the killing or someone died as the result of the crime. Example: In a liquor store stick-up in which the clerk shoots back at the hold-up man and kills a bystander, the armed robber can be convicted of at least second degree murder. A charge of murder requires that the victim must die within a year of the attack. Death of an unborn child who is “quick” (fetus is moving) can be murder, provided there was premeditation, malice and no legal authority. Thus, abortion is not murder under the law. Example: Jack Violent shoots his pregnant girlfriend, killing the fetus. Manslaughter, both voluntary and involuntary, lacks the element of malice aforethought.


Attempted murder is all about intent – unlike the actual crime of murder, attempted murder requires an actual intent to kill. Attempted murder also requires, IIRC, an overt act toward performing the crime.

Attempt is a felony in its own right, and may be thought of as a sort of one-person conspiracy. Might one ask what the rest of your post was going to say? If you were going to say “if you accidentally put rat poison in the coffee, because the box looked just like Skinny ‘n’ Sweet, except for the little skull and crossbones on the label,” then no, that’s not attempted murder.

Here’s a question that came to mind due to the subject line, and one that’s been touched on in stories and such in the past: there have been recorded instances of priests in shamanistic religions, such as voodoo and some African systems, who have “cursed” people, whose belief in, and worry about, the curse has caused them to die, with no other action on the part of the priest other than the laying of the curse. Where would that fall under the murder definitions?

Am I the only one here going “WTF???”

Remind me not to ask owl for any freakin’ coffee.

What does this have to do with ‘magic?’

I suspect the OP was truncated due to some sort of technical glitch. That seems to have happened at least a couple of times recently. I’m not sure what’s up.

Well, if your boss is a sexist egotistical lying hypocritical bigot, you can always tie him up with a garage-door opener.

[sub]what a way to make a living…[/sub]

Nah. In order to qualify as attempted murder, the actual method of attempt has to have some objective hope in hell of actually succeeding. The old classic voodoo doll won’t cut it.

But only during the hours of 9 to 5.