2013 (Criminal Law) Bar Exam Questions: Essay Question 1

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I.

Bruno was charged with homicide for killing the 75-year old owner of his rooming house. The prosecution proved that Bruno stabbed the owner causing his death; and that the killing happened at 10 in the evening in the house where the victim and Bruno lived. Bruno, on the other hand,successfully proved that he voluntarily surrendered to the authorities; that he pleaded guilty to the crime charged; that it was the victim who first attacked and did so without any provocation on his (Bruno’s) part, but he prevailed because he managed to draw his knife with which he stabbed the victim. The penalty for homicide is reclusion temporal.

Assuming a judgment of conviction and after considering the attendant circumstances, what penalty should the judge impose? (7%)

I.

Bruno was charged with homicide for killing the 75-year old owner of his rooming

house. The prosecution proved that Bruno stabbed the owner causing his death; and

that the killing happened at 10 in the evening in the house where the victim and

Bruno lived. Bruno, on the other hand,successfully proved that he voluntarily

surrendered to the authorities; that he pleaded guilty to the crime charged; that it

was the victim who first attacked and did so without any provocation on his (Bruno’s)

part, but he prevailed because he managed to draw his knife with which he stabbed the

victim. The penalty for homicide is reclusion temporal.

Assuming a judgment of conviction and after considering the attendant circumstances,
what penalty should thejudge impose? (7%)

21 comments

    1. The question is a tricky one, but on my part I based my answer only on the things that have been proven during trial on the part of the accused, voluntary surrender and plea of guilt which are two separate mitigating circumstance. The supposed aggravating circumstance of dwelling, night time and disregard of age I purposely did not take into consideration since the accused was a tenant, he did not purposely sought the night, and that there was no disregard of age as it was proven by the accused that the first attack came from the victim. After taking the above considerations the judge should impose an indeterminate penalty ( this is where I illustrated the appropriate penalty). Whether Im correct or not I believe I earn points for that kind of answer, hehe

      1. Please enlighten me sparkle on this proposition of yours baka may legal basis ka na hindi ko lang natatandaan, alam mo na sa dami ng pinag aralan baka naghalo halo na, hehe but as far as I can recall dalawa lang kasi ang kino consider ko na priveleged mitigating circumstance, first is minority second is incomplete justifying or exempting circumstance.

      2. Court cannot grant two separate mitigating circumstance under Art.13 par.7 Statutory construction of “or”. There could only be one mitigating circumstance in par.7 of Art 13.

  1. a case of incomplete self-defense. under the indeterminate sentence law, Bruno may be sentenced to 6 years and 1 day minimum, go 8 years maximum.hehe

    1. Yup i forgot to mention but i have considered incomplete self defense as a privileged mitigating circumstance thereby lowering it by one degree, taking into consideration the two mitigating circumstance without any aggravating hence applying it in the minimum. After which ISLAW application na

  2. I answered this differently.

    Bruno should be acquitted, he should not have been convicted. He was able to prove self-defense. There was no provocation on his part when the victim attacked him. The fact is silent as to the nature of the attack, but I assume that there was necessity on Bruno’s part that’s why he used his knife. Again, he did not provoke the victim and it was the latter who attacked first. As a supplemental, assuming that Bruno failed to establish self-defense, he is entitled to claim incomplete self-defense and the other mitigating circumstances given and then use ISLAW to determine the actual penalty.

    While I was taking the Crim Exam, my default is always Pro Reo. And even if there’s a slight chance of acquittal or lowering the penalty, I always answered in favor of the accused. Hope my gamble would pay off.

    1. Dont worry wala naman makakapagsabi na mali ka or tama dahil puro tayo nangangapa sa ating kapalaran sa bar. Our answers are based only on what is being asked kasi, the examiner explicitly wants us to assume that he was convicted so ganun ang mga sagot namin.

  3. So twice pala dapat na lower in degree and court na bahala in which period ang imposition, hehe minus points na naman eh, dapat tlaga alam na alam natin i interrelate ang mga provisions ng law otherwise medyo bitin tlga answers natin

  4. Mali din ako dito, Anon. Pero sana umabot ng 75 ang grade ko. Hehe. Hirap ng crim talaga. Parang ang simple, pero hindi e. Mapanlinlang. Haha

    1. Ang masaklap sa dito, I studied so hard sa Merc during the pre-week kasi waterloo ko ang Merc at the expense of Crim. Ang nangyari, ang dali2x ng Merc at ang hirap ng Crim. So ang ending, I overestimated Merc and underestimated Crim. Haist

  5. I got frustrated afterwards because of this question. I dove right into computing the penalty that should be imposed. After the exam, I heard someone mention that the problem did not state that the aggravating circumstances have been alleged in the Information. Shucks, gusto ko batukan sarili ko nung marinig ko yun. :/

  6. IN the given circumstances i would prefer to convict the accused ” Imprisionment till the Rise of court.” and appropriate compensation to the family members of the victim according to the capacity of accused .I am reffering this in the context of Indian Law.
    Since accused has showed his bonafide and pleaded guilty . however he has to be convicted because of the following circumstances .
    when he has snatched the knife from the hand of the victim (hereinafter called aggressor ) then accused could have restrain himself.IT is not explained by the accused during trail that why he has exceeded hi Right of Self Defence ?

  7. Considering two mitigating circumstances are present, penalty should be one degree lower which will be prision correctional maximum to prision mayor medium.

  8. There is also a privileged mitigating circumstance incomplete defense so the penalty should be arresto mayor maximum to prision correction medium pala.

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