A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.
The Adams Papers Digital Edition is undergoing active maintenance while we work on improvements to the system. You may experience slow performance or the inability to access content. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We will endeavor to return to full capabilities as soon as possible.

Browsing: Legal Papers of John Adams, Volume 3

Docno: ADMS-05-03-02-0001-0003-0005

Author: Paine, Robert Treat
Date: 1770-10-25

Paine's Minutes of Samuel Quincy's Argument for The Crown1

25 October 1770

Mr. Quincy.
3 Inst. 472
4 Black 195. Definition of Murder3
1 Haw. p. 80. §18. What killing of Malice prepense.4
1 H.H. 4515
{ 62 }
F. 261 §36
3 Inst. 627
Key. 127. “He [that] doth a cruel act voluntarily doth it of Malice prepense.”8
2. 3 Coke, Institutes *47, discusses murder, and is paraphrased in the footnote next following.
3. 4 Blackstone, Commentaries *195: “Murder is . . . 'when a person, of sound memory and discretion, unlawfully killeth any reasonable creature in being and under the king's peace, with malice aforethought, either express or implied.”
4. 1 Hawkins, Pleas of the Crown 80, c. 31, §18:
“[A]ny formed Design of doing Mischief may be called Malice; and therefore . . . not such killing only as proceeds from premeditated Hatred or Revenge against the Person killed, but also in many other Cases, such as is accompanied with those Circumstances that shew the Heart to be perversly wicked, is adjudged to be of Malice prepense, and consequently Murder.”
5. 1 Hale, Pleas of the Crown 451, discusses malice.
6. Foster, Crown Cases 261, §3, distinguishes murder, manslaughter, and accidental death.
7. 3 Coke, Institutes *62: “Malice prepensed. That is, voluntary and of set purpose, though it be done upon a sudden occasion: for if it be voluntary, the law implieth malice.”
8. Reg. v. Mawgridge, Kelyng 119, 127, 84 Eng. Rep. 1107, 1111 (Q.B. 1707). Quotation marks supplied.