*SPOILER ALERT* CRIMINAL LAW
A state statute defines murder in the first degree as "knowingly causing the death of another person after deliberation upon the matter." Second-degree murder is defined as "knowingly causing the death of another person." Manslaughter is defined as at common law. Deliberation is defined as "cool reflection for any length of time, no matter how brief." The defendant, despondent and angry over losing his job, was contemplating suicide. He took his revolver, went to a bar, and drank until he was very intoxicated. A customer on the next stool was telling the bartender how it was necessary for companies to downsize and become more efficient in order to keep the economy strong. The defendant turned to him and said, "Why don't you shut the hell up." The customer responded, "This is a free country and I can say what I want," all the while shaking his finger at the defendant. The finger-shaking, combined with his already bad disposition and the alcohol, enraged the defendant. Trembling with fury, he snatched his revolver from his pocket and shot and killed the customer. What crime did the defendant commit?
Manslaughter, because there was a reasonable explanation for his becoming enraged.
Murder in the first degree, because deliberation can take place in an instant.
Murder in the first degree, because he contemplated taking a human life before becoming intoxicated.
Murder in the second degree, because he knowingly caused the customer's death without deliberation.
Answer choice D is correct. The defendant's intoxication did not preclude the mental state required for second-degree murder. Answer choice A is incorrect because there was no reasonable explanation for the defendant becoming enraged. Although his intoxication prevented the kind of "cool reflection" required for first-degree murder, it did not preclude the mental state required for second-degree murder. Answer choice B is incorrect because, even assuming the correctness of the statement, the defendant's intoxicated anger prevented the kind of "cool reflection" required for deliberation. Answer choice C is incorrect because the defendant did not deliberate upon taking the life "of another person" (as required by the statute) prior to becoming intoxicated.
I have no analysis to provide here. I just lol'd when I read this question, thinking that I probably would have been tempted to do the same thing that the murderer did here.