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Lewis v. The Queen, [1979] 2 SCR. 821

Facts:

L and T charged with murder. They rigged kettle w/ dynamite. L said he met with T and she asked him to mail a package (kettle) and he did.

Elements of the Offence: S.229(a) – Culpable Homicide
**AR: Cause death
**MR: Knowledge

Issue(s):

How is motive relevant to mens rea? What is the distinction between motive and intention?

Ratio:

There is no obligation on the Crown to prove motive
**Motive is not necessary for conviction but is relevant for proof of intent or identity of person – to make out certain inferences

Analysis:

Legal defintion of motive - Motive is described as ulterior purpose/intention (not an emotion).
Definition of Intent - the exercise of free will to use particular means to procure a particular result

When does the trial judge have to explain to the jury about motive?
1. When only circumstantial evidence as to the identity of the culprit
**a. When defendant is shown to be the criminal, evidence of motive is immaterial – however if not clear then evidence of motive can be used to point to the identity of the accused
2. If defence has proven that there was no motive
3. There is some evidence of identity and it is up to the judge to determine if there is clear enough evidence of identity to explain to the jury and give them the option of motive = Middle ground/gray area

Holding:

Appeal dismissed – absence of establishing motive did not affect conviction at trial


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