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Mordmerkmal

English translation: murder criterion

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
German term or phrase:Mordmerkmal
English translation:murder criterion
Entered by: Steffen Walter
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16:39 Nov 6, 2007
German to English translations [PRO]
Law/Patents - Law (general)
German term or phrase: Mordmerkmal
In an application to a court.

"Für das Vorliegen einer grundsätzlich als Mordmerkmal des sonstigen niederen Beweggrundes in Betracht kommenden Eifersucht bei demonstration eines uneingeschränkten Besitzrechts (various legal text-book references at this point) genügt die Beweislage nicht, um insoweit einen hinreichenden Tatverdacht annehmen zu können".

Mordmerkmal is clearly an important feature of the definition of murder in German law (as distinct from manslaughter); Wikipedia has a good article on it. But can some-one please help me with the corresponding expression (if any) used in English law or in the US?
transatgees
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:44
murder criteria
Explanation:
Initially, I was going to agree with Nicholas, but it seems that Mordmerkmale include both mens rea (state of mind) and actus reus (act), especially in Gruppe 2: Besonders verwerfliche Begehungsweise. Mordmerkmale under German statutory law seem a bit different from the common law elements of murder, so it's probably better to translate it as "criteria (criterion if singular) of murder" or "murder criteria." Elements of murder might work too.

http://www.germanlawjournal.com/article.php?id=582 - this article translates it as "murder criteria."

HTH!

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Note added at 6 hrs (2007-11-06 22:57:05 GMT)
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oops, typo. criteria FOR murder, not OF :P
Selected response from:

Maki Ahn
Grading comment
Thank you and thank yuou also to Johanna. I am sorry I cannot divide the points.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
3 +2mans rea
Nicholas Krivenko
4criteria for murder
Johanna Timm, PhD
3 +1murder criteriaMaki Ahn
3 +1indicium of murder or cause of murder or reason for suspecting murder or motiviation for murder
Dr. Fred Thomson


  

Answers


13 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
mans rea


Explanation:
Well, since you are talking about the state of mind here, you are talking about MANS REA (Latin for a "guilty mind"). I wrote a paper on it in law school. When talking about the distinction between murder and manslaughter this is what turns the latter into the former. In your context this would mean something like the ***necessary attribute of mans rea expressed as... (jealousy and the rest)*** could probably work. I am ABSOLUTELY sure about the actual term, but very little time to think about fitting it in. Sorry! I hope this helps. Google the term and you'll see for sure.

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Note added at 51 mins (2007-11-06 17:31:23 GMT)
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My apologies! My hands got ahead of my brain. Of course it should read MENS REA. Apologies onece again!

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr (2007-11-06 18:08:13 GMT)
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PLEASE SEE THE COMMENT ABOVE! I took enough bashing for the typo! Thank you!

Nicholas Krivenko
Ireland
Local time: 05:44
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 20

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Ingeborg Gowans: shouldn't it be "mens" rea? mensmeaning mind/spirit, if I remember correctly from my Latin classes?
23 mins
  -> Thank you! This was a stupid thing: hands typing a word they are more used to. Like playing piano - the notes have long ago been forgotten, but I still play with "hand-memory".

agree  Neil Crockford: agree "mEns rea"
39 mins
  -> A TYPO!!! Thank you still.

agree  Katarina Peters: mens rea is correct, Ingeborg, and it is used in English legal documents.
42 mins
  -> A TYPO!!!! Thank you still.

neutral  stanley lawson: I am out of my depth here...sorreeeeeeeeeee
1 hr
  -> No one blames you. This is a very specialised term used only by defence lawyers, prosecutors, judges, and legal scholars. You need at least some legal education to even come across it. Or experience.

disagree  Johanna Timm, PhD: see my answer below
6 hrs
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6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
murder criteria


Explanation:
Initially, I was going to agree with Nicholas, but it seems that Mordmerkmale include both mens rea (state of mind) and actus reus (act), especially in Gruppe 2: Besonders verwerfliche Begehungsweise. Mordmerkmale under German statutory law seem a bit different from the common law elements of murder, so it's probably better to translate it as "criteria (criterion if singular) of murder" or "murder criteria." Elements of murder might work too.

http://www.germanlawjournal.com/article.php?id=582 - this article translates it as "murder criteria."

HTH!

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 6 hrs (2007-11-06 22:57:05 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

oops, typo. criteria FOR murder, not OF :P

Maki Ahn
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in JapaneseJapanese
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Thank you and thank yuou also to Johanna. I am sorry I cannot divide the points.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Johanna Timm, PhD: good for you! we must have browsed the same pages at the same time.
28 mins
  -> It happened to me a couple days ago too!

neutral  Nicholas Krivenko: True. I did not think that far to be honest. Good for you that you had time to do the research!
2 hrs
  -> :) All I did was read Wikipedia (which transatgees mentioned) and google "criteria murder Mordmerkmale." Not that complicated - already had enough research time in law school :P
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15 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
indicium of murder or cause of murder or reason for suspecting murder or motiviation for murder


Explanation:
I can't agree with mens rea because mens rea means a gulity mind or a criminal intent or gulity knowledge and wilfullness.
I cannot agree with either an element of murder or criteria for murder. Elements of murder would be the unlawful killing of a human being and malice aforethought.
In your text jealousy is not an element of murder.
Jealousy is not among the criteria listed by Johanna.
Maki mentions the two elements of murder, but jealousy is not one of them.
Jealousy may very well be a motivation for murder, and during an investigation of a homicide one might suspect criminal homicide and murder if the killer was jealous. Jealousy might be a motivation for murder.
IMHO your best bet in this context would be indicium of murder (Plural: indicia); Jealousy can also be circumstantial evidence of murder.

Dr. Fred Thomson
United States
Local time: 22:44
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 608

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxhazmatgerman: Because it specifically relates to context of source text. I'prefer "motivation", though for the practical setting of the source.
2 hrs
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6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
criteria for murder


Explanation:
Bei Mordmerkmalen handelt es sich um verschiedene Gesinnungen, die der Tat/dem Mord zugrunde liegen. Genauer gesagt man differenziert zwischen
täterbezogenen und eine tatbezogenen “Mordmerkmalen” .Siehe auch
http://www.iuscomp.org/gla/statutes/StGB.htm#28

Gruppe 1: Besonders verwerfliche Gesinnung (täterbezogen)
· Mordlust
· Befriedigung des Geschlechtstriebes
· Habgier
· Sonstige niedrige Beweggründe
Gruppe2 : Besonders verwerfliche Begehungsweise (tatbezogen)
· Heimtücke
· Grausamkeit
· Gemeingefährliche Mittel
Gruppe 3: Besonders verwerflicher Zweck (täterbezogen)
· Ermöglichung oder Verdeckung einer Straftat
Nachzulesen hier: http://www.juraforum.de/encyclopedia/M/Mord_(-paragraph-_211...

In the legal literature, the established English term for this German concept seems to be “Criteria for murder” or "murder criteria":

“Subsection 2 of § 211 StGB contains three groups that qualify a killing as murder. The first group of murder-criteria describes the increased damnability of the motivation for the killing. The second group is characterised by the highly dangerous or inhumane way of killing the victim. The third group finally punishes the particular unlawful aims of the offender. Hence, the first and third group deal with the attitude and motivations of the perpetrator and therefore the subjective side of the killing, the second group deals with the objective way in which the crime was committed. “
http://www.germanlawjournal.com/article.php?id=582


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Note added at 1 day6 hrs (2007-11-07 22:42:54 GMT)
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@ Dr. Fred: I'm not entirely happy with "criteria" either - maybe "motivational factors" would work?

Johanna Timm, PhD
Canada
Local time: 21:44
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 637

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Dr. Fred Thomson: You are right! These are Mordmerkmale, but somehow I am still not entirely happy with murder criteria as a translation.
17 hrs
  -> www.jurawiki.de/Mord ...
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Changes made by editors
Nov 9, 2007 - Changes made by Steffen Walter:
Edited KOG entry<a href="/profile/15327">transatgees's</a> old entry - "Mordmerkmal" » "murder criteria"


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