Friday, February 03, 2012

U.S. vs. Zamora

Facts: December 8, 1914 at about 6pm. Defendant Alejandro Zamora met with Francisca Fonorella who he was courting. Unfortunately Francisca was not welcoming to his attempts to talk to her. He grew mad and tried to prevent her from leaving, even attempting to slap her. He grabbed her hair as she attempted to run away and manage to bring her down to the ground where he embraced her to prevent her from escaping. Francisca’s cries alerted the municipal president and others who managed to separate them. Enraged, Zamora reached into his pocket as if to grab something before yelling to the others to not come near him. He then ran toward his house. On the way he stopped by Custodio Pisan’s house and lamented on his misfortune with his sweetheart. Then, for no apparent reason he stabbed Pisan with the pocket knife he carried, causing his death two days later. Defendant testified for himself attempting to explain he did not even realize he was carrying a pocket knife until the police chief caught up with him and took the knife from his hands. The court did not find this statement to be of great weight as it was impossible for defendant to remember every part of the facts, as stipulated above, and not remember the knife.

Issue: Whether or not defendant is in the favor of a mitigating circumstance.

Held: No. Defendant cannot be considered insane because before the commission of the crime defendant was found to be habitually healthy and in the normal state of mind.

Mitigating circumstance, such as the one established in Article 13, paragraph 6 could be established as he was so annoyed and angered by the actions of Francisca that he would have harmed her if he had seen her however it does not exempt him, he must be held liable for the act he performed and for all its consequences, notwithstanding that such act and its effects were inflicted upon and suffered by a different person than the one upon whom he intended to wreak his vengeance, because "any person voluntarily committing a felony or misdemeanor shall incur criminal liability, although the wrongful act done be different from that which he intended." (Article 1, par. 3, Criminal Code.)

In the commission of the crime, no circumstance modifying defendant's criminal liability is to be taken into account, for, even though it be considered that the disdain and indifference displayed by his sweetheart, Francisca Fonollera, was such a powerful stimulus that it produced in him ungovernable passion and obfuscation, such a circumstance cannot be taken into consideration for the purpose of mitigating his liability, because Custodio Pisan, the deceased, had absolutely nothing to do with the quarrel between defendant and his sweetheart and took no part whatever in the acts performed buy defendant as a result of those causes.

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