Midgett v. State

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Midgett v. State
Court Supreme Court of Arkansas
Citation 292 Ark. 278
729 S.W.2d 410
Date decided 1987

Facts

The defendant abused his eight year old son repeatedly and eventually punched him so hard in the stomach that he died. He was charged with first degree murder

Issues

Whether the evidence was substantial enough that a jury could find that the defendant premeditated and deliberately caused the death of another person, which is necessary to establish first degree murder.

Holding

Judgment reversed.

Rule

When there is no evidence to establish premeditated or deliberately, the jury cannot find the defendant guilty of first degree murder unless the statute language allows exceptions.

Comments

Dissent:

It is for the jury to decide what degree of murder.