2017 (Criminal Law) Bar Exam Questions: Question 7

[Answer/discuss the question below, or see 2017 bar exam Criminal Law Instructions; 2017 Criminal Law questions: 1234568910, and 11; See also 2017 Bar Exam: Information, Discussions, Tips, Questions and Results]


Bernardo was enraged by his conviction for robbery by Judge Samsonite despite insufficient evidence. Pending his appeal, Bernardo escaped in order to get even with Judge Samsonite. Bernardo learned that the judge regularly slept in his mistress’ house every weekend. Thus, he waited for the judge to arrive on Saturday evening at the house of his mistress. It was about 8:00 p.m. when Bernardo entered the house of the mistress. He found the judge and his mistress having coffee in the kitchen and engaging in small talk. Without warning, Bernardo stabbed the judge at least 20 times. The judge instantly died.

Prosecuted and tried, Bernardo was convicted of direct assault with murder. Rule with reasons whether or not the conviction for direct assault with murder was justified, and whether or not the trial court should appreciate the following aggravating circumstances against Bernardo, to wit: (1) disregard of rank and age of the victim, who was 68 years old; (2) dwelling; (3) nighttime; (4) cruelty; and (5) quasi-recidivism. (10%)

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