The Washingtonian Penal Code, which codifies all recognized crimes in the Kingdom is the principal authoritative source of criminal law in the Kingdom. It codifies crimes as well as the Kingdom's law of criminal procedure. Statutes and case law which criminalize certain activities or omissions are equally authoritative however the Crimes Act of 1933 which establishes the Code states that any such crimes must be codified in the Code at the next session of the Grand Assembly.
There are no degrees as in other jurisdictions in Washingtonia. Rather, killing (homicide) is divided into murder, justifiable homicide and negligent homicide. Because of Washingtonia's relatively small population and low crime rates, there is no minimum sentence for any of the three types and the sentence duration depends entirely upon the decision of the presiding officer or the jury.
Murder, as defined by the Code, is the "unlawful killing of a victim by a perpetrator of sane mind with malice aforethought, either express or implied." Malice aforethought in Washingtonia means, as interpreted in The Throne vs. Marlow, 11-1966 SC, intending to kill. This intent can be formulated much earlier or in the mere seconds preceding the act. Crimes of passion, as well as provocation, are not recognized as separate from murder (as in the case of degrees), and usually merely lead to a shorter sentence under the mitigating circumstances doctrine.
The King's Loyal Prosecuting Service must thus prove the following elements to succeeding in a murder charge:
- The killing must be unlawful.
- The killing must have a 'human victim.
- The accused must be the human perpetrator.
- The accused must have been sane.
- The killing must have been with malice aforethought.
The onus is on the state to prove the crime took place, however, it is up to the accused to decide whether or not to plead temporary insanity. If they choose to do so, they must prove on a balance of probability (not beyond a reasonable doubt) that the accused was insane at the time of the act. If the court decides there was temporary insanity, the accused is not guilty of murder but rather of negligent homicide. Both sentences can be of equal length.
Justifiable homicide has no express definition and in most cases depends on the discretion of the presiding officer or the jury. The jury however has strict guidelines to follow in this case or risk being overruled by the presiding officer. Extensive case precedent has established which acts constitute justifiable homicide:
- CASE - killing a person to protect another from being killed.
- CASE - self defense.
- CASE - a law enforcer or another authority recognized by law.
- CASE - protecting one's living property (home or apartment) and work space property.
Deliberate misrepresentation of facts
Crimes against the Kingdom
- High Treason:
- Attempted/murder of the Monarch/President/Cabinet Minister/Assemblyman
- Attacks against government institutions
- Attempted/murder of a medium-ranked government official
- Actively inciting or attempting to incite an act of treason.
- Gross, repeated acts of defamation directed at the Monarch/President/Cabinet Minister/Assemblyman
Disorderly conduct in a state setting
- Contempt of court
- Gross obstruction of justice
Burden of proof
- Treason: beyond the shadow of a doubt (specific definition)
- All else: beyond a reasonable doubt
For a person to be liable for a crime, the Prosecuting Service must prove that the following elements (also the elements of a crime in Washingtonia) are present:
- The accused conducted themselves unlawfully by means of an act or omission;
- The accused did not act or omit with diminished capacity; and
- The accused must be at fault for his unlawful act or omission.