Toopah v. Republic of Liberia

The defendant appealed a homicide conviction for the shooting of his wife, arguing that the killing resulted from his discovery of her adultery and could, therefore, only amount to manslaughter. In a charge of homicide, the law requires a showing of malice (i.e., a murder committed with premeditation). Implied malice (i.e., murder committed in the “heat of passion;” without premeditation) is nullified by sufficient provocation. The court found that his contention of provocation was unsupported and that his testimony was contradicted by witnesses’ testimony, which indicated that he routinely beat his wife and threatened her life. On the day of the shooting, he took the rifle home without permission and he called his wife to return home prior to shooting her. No evidence showed that his wife was committing adultery. Thus, the Court upheld the conviction, refusing to consider provocation as a mitigating circumstance and finding that the murder was premeditated because the evidence proved express malice.



Avon Center work product