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A specific intent to maim is not a necessary ingredient in the crime of mayhem.
Defendant was charged with mayhem for using a brick to put out a prosecutor's eye. During the trial, the defendant’s counsel requested the court to instruct the jury, in addition, that unless the defendant did, of his malice afterthought, inflict the blow, with purpose or intent to put out the eye or inflict some other mayhem on the prosecutor, then the defendant would not be guilty of mayhem. The request was refused by the court, and the defendant was subsequently convicted. Defendant appealed.
Was a specific intent to maim a necessary element of the crime of mayhem?
The court affirmed the judgment against defendant. The court ruled that the trial court did not err by refusing defendant's instruction that specific intent was a necessary element of the crime of mayhem. The court noted that the phrases indicating that intent was required were omitted from the current version of the mayhem statute. No words of the same or similar import were substituted for them. The court ruled that the use of the word "maliciously" in the statute provided no justification for the contention that the crime of mayhem could be committed only when the blow was stricken for the purpose of inflicting that particular injury upon the victim. The court held that a specific intent to maim was not a necessary ingredient in the crime of mayhem.