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940.02 First-degree reckless homicide.

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940.02940.02First-degree reckless homicide.940.02(1)(1)Whoever recklessly causes the death of another human being under circumstances which show utter disregard for human life is guilty of a Class B felony. 940.02(1m)(1m)Whoever recklessly causes the death of an unborn child under circumstances that show utter disregard for the life of that unborn child, the woman who is pregnant with that unborn child or another is guilty of a Class B felony. 940.02(2)(2)Whoever causes the death of another human being under any of the following circumstances is guilty of a Class C felony: 940.02(2)(a)(a) By manufacture, distribution or delivery, in violation of s. 961.41, of a controlled substance included in schedule I or II under ch. 961, of a controlled substance analog of a controlled substance included in schedule I or II under ch. 961 or of ketamine or flunitrazepam, if another human being uses the controlled substance or controlled substance analog and dies as a result of that use. This paragraph applies: 940.02(2)(a)1.1. Whether the human being dies as a result of using the controlled substance or controlled substance analog by itself or with any compound, mixture, diluent or other substance mixed or combined with the controlled substance or controlled substance analog. 940.02(2)(a)2.2. Whether or not the controlled substance or controlled substance analog is mixed or combined with any compound, mixture, diluent or other substance after the violation of s. 961.41 occurs. 940.02(2)(a)3.3. To any distribution or delivery described in this paragraph, regardless of whether the distribution or delivery is made directly to the human being who dies. If possession of the controlled substance included in schedule I or II under ch. 961, of the controlled substance analog of the controlled substance included in schedule I or II under ch. 961 or of the ketamine or flunitrazepam is transferred more than once prior to the death as described in this paragraph, each person who distributes or delivers the controlled substance or controlled substance analog in violation of s. 961.41 is guilty under this paragraph. 940.02(2)(b)(b) By administering or assisting in administering a controlled substance included in schedule I or II under ch. 961, a controlled substance analog of a controlled substance included in schedule I or II of ch. 961 or ketamine or flunitrazepam, without lawful authority to do so, to another human being and that human being dies as a result of the use of the substance. This paragraph applies whether the human being dies as a result of using the controlled substance or controlled substance analog by itself or with any compound, mixture, diluent or other substance mixed or combined with the controlled substance or controlled substance analog. 940.02 - ANNOT.History: 1987 a. 339, 399; 1995 a. 448; 1997 a. 295; 1999 a. 57; 2001 a. 109. 940.02 - ANNOT.Judicial Council Note, 1988: [As to sub. (1)] First-degree reckless homicide is analogous to the prior offense of 2nd-degree murder. The concept of "conduct evincing a depraved mind, regardless of human life" has been a difficult one for modern juries to comprehend. To avoid the mistaken connotation that a clinical mental disorder is involved, the offense has been recodified as aggravated reckless homicide. The revision clarifies that a subjective mental state, i.e., criminal recklessness, is required for liability. See s. 939.24. The aggravating element, i.e., circumstances which show utter disregard for human life, is intended to codify judicial interpretations of "conduct evincing a depraved mind, regardless of life". State v. Dolan, 44 Wis. 2d 68 (1969); State v. Weso, 60 Wis. 2d 404 (1973). 940.02 - ANNOT.Under prior law, adequate provocation mitigated 2nd-degree murder to manslaughter. State v. Hoyt, 21 Wis. 2d 284 (1964). Under this revision, the analogs of those crimes, i.e., first-degree reckless and 2nd-degree intentional homicide, carry the same penalty; thus mitigation is impossible. Evidence of provocation will usually be admissible in prosecutions for crimes requiring criminal recklessness, however, as relevant to the reasonableness of the risk (and, in prosecutions under this section, whether the circumstances show utter disregard for human life). Since provocation is integrated into the calculus of recklessness, it is not an affirmative defense thereto and the burdens of production and persuasion stated in s. 940.01 (3) are inapplicable. [Bill 191-S] 940.02 - ANNOT.Possession of a controlled substance is not a lesser included offense of sub. (2) (a). State v. Clemons, 164 Wis. 2d 506, 476 N.W.2d 283 (Ct. App. 1991). 940.02 - ANNOT.Generally expert evidence of personality dysfunction is irrelevant to the issue of intent, although it might be admissible in very limited circumstances. State v. Morgan, 195 Wis. 2d 388, 536 N.W.2d 425 (Ct. App. 1995), 93-2611. 940.02 - ANNOT.Utter disregard for human life is an objective standard of what a reasonable person in the defendant's position is presumed to have known and is proved through an examination of the acts that caused death and the totality of the circumstances surrounding the conduct. State v. Edmunds, 229 Wis. 2d 67, 598 N.W.2d 290 (Ct. App. 1999), 98-2171. 940.02 - ANNOT.The common law "year-and-a-day rule" that no homicide is committed unless the victim dies within a year and a day after the injury is inflicted is abrogated, with prospective application only. State v. Picotte, 2003 WI 42, 261 Wis. 2d 249, 661 N.W.2d 381, 01-3063. 940.02 - ANNOT.Sections 940.02 (2) (a) and 948.40 (4) (a) address 2 different categories of proscribed conduct that differ markedly in their essential nature. That the defendant's particular conduct happens to fall within a relatively limited area covered by both statutes does not show that the legislature intended only one punishment. State v. Patterson, 2009 WI App 161, ___ Wis. 2d ___, 776 N.W.2d 602, 08-1968. 940.02 - ANNOT.Importance of clarity in law of homicide: The Wisconsin revision. Dickey, Schultz & Fullin. 1989 WLR 1323 (1989).
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  • 940.02

    940.02 First-degree reckless homicide.

    940.02(1)

    (1) Whoever recklessly causes the death of another human being under circumstances which show utter disregard for human life is guilty of a Class B felony.

    940.02(1m)

    (1m) Whoever recklessly causes the death of an unborn child under circumstances that show utter disregard for the life of that unborn child, the woman who is pregnant with that unborn child or another is guilty of a Class B felony.

    940.02(2)

    (2) Whoever causes the death of another human being under any of the following circumstances is guilty of a Class C felony:

    940.02(2)(a)

    (a) By manufacture, distribution or delivery, in violation of s. 961.41, of a controlled substance included in schedule I or II under ch. 961, of a controlled substance analog of a controlled substance included in schedule I or II under ch. 961 or of ketamine or flunitrazepam, if another human being uses the controlled substance or controlled substance analog and dies as a result of that use. This paragraph applies:

    940.02(2)(a)1.

    1. Whether the human being dies as a result of using the controlled substance or controlled substance analog by itself or with any compound, mixture, diluent or other substance mixed or combined with the controlled substance or controlled substance analog.

    940.02(2)(a)2.

    2. Whether or not the controlled substance or controlled substance analog is mixed or combined with any compound, mixture, diluent or other substance after the violation of s. 961.41 occurs.

    940.02(2)(a)3.

    3. To any distribution or delivery described in this paragraph, regardless of whether the distribution or delivery is made directly to the human being who dies. If possession of the controlled substance included in schedule I or II under ch. 961, of the controlled substance analog of the controlled substance included in schedule I or II under ch. 961 or of the ketamine or flunitrazepam is transferred more than once prior to the death as described in this paragraph, each person who distributes or delivers the controlled substance or controlled substance analog in violation of s. 961.41 is guilty under this paragraph.

    940.02(2)(b)

    (b) By administering or assisting in administering a controlled substance included in schedule I or II under ch. 961, a controlled substance analog of a controlled substance included in schedule I or II of ch. 961 or ketamine or flunitrazepam, without lawful authority to do so, to another human being and that human being dies as a result of the use of the substance. This paragraph applies whether the human being dies as a result of using the controlled substance or controlled substance analog by itself or with any compound, mixture, diluent or other substance mixed or combined with the controlled substance or controlled substance analog.

    940.02 - ANNOT.

    History: 1987 a. 339, 399; 1995 a. 448; 1997 a. 295; 1999 a. 57; 2001 a. 109.

    940.02 - ANNOT.

    Judicial Council Note, 1988: [As to sub. (1)] First-degree reckless homicide is analogous to the prior offense of 2nd-degree murder. The concept of "conduct evincing a depraved mind, regardless of human life" has been a difficult one for modern juries to comprehend. To avoid the mistaken connotation that a clinical mental disorder is involved, the offense has been recodified as aggravated reckless homicide. The revision clarifies that a subjective mental state, i.e., criminal recklessness, is required for liability. See s. 939.24. The aggravating element, i.e., circumstances which show utter disregard for human life, is intended to codify judicial interpretations of "conduct evincing a depraved mind, regardless of life". State v. Dolan, 44 Wis. 2d 68 (1969); State v. Weso, 60 Wis. 2d 404 (1973).

    940.02 - ANNOT.

    Under prior law, adequate provocation mitigated 2nd-degree murder to manslaughter. State v. Hoyt, 21 Wis. 2d 284 (1964). Under this revision, the analogs of those crimes, i.e., first-degree reckless and 2nd-degree intentional homicide, carry the same penalty; thus mitigation is impossible. Evidence of provocation will usually be admissible in prosecutions for crimes requiring criminal recklessness, however, as relevant to the reasonableness of the risk (and, in prosecutions under this section, whether the circumstances show utter disregard for human life). Since provocation is integrated into the calculus of recklessness, it is not an affirmative defense thereto and the burdens of production and persuasion stated in s. 940.01 (3) are inapplicable. [Bill 191-S]

    940.02 - ANNOT.

    Possession of a controlled substance is not a lesser included offense of sub. (2) (a). State v. Clemons, 164 Wis. 2d 506, 476 N.W.2d 283 (Ct. App. 1991).

    940.02 - ANNOT.

    Generally expert evidence of personality dysfunction is irrelevant to the issue of intent, although it might be admissible in very limited circumstances. State v. Morgan, 195 Wis. 2d 388, 536 N.W.2d 425 (Ct. App. 1995), 93-2611.

    940.02 - ANNOT.

    Utter disregard for human life is an objective standard of what a reasonable person in the defendant's position is presumed to have known and is proved through an examination of the acts that caused death and the totality of the circumstances surrounding the conduct. State v. Edmunds, 229 Wis. 2d 67, 598 N.W.2d 290 (Ct. App. 1999), 98-2171.

    940.02 - ANNOT.

    The common law "year-and-a-day rule" that no homicide is committed unless the victim dies within a year and a day after the injury is inflicted is abrogated, with prospective application only. State v. Picotte, 2003 WI 42, 261 Wis. 2d 249, 661 N.W.2d 381, 01-3063.

    940.02 - ANNOT.

    Sections 940.02 (2) (a) and 948.40 (4) (a) address 2 different categories of proscribed conduct that differ markedly in their essential nature. That the defendant's particular conduct happens to fall within a relatively limited area covered by both statutes does not show that the legislature intended only one punishment. State v. Patterson, 2009 WI App 161, ___ Wis. 2d ___, 776 N.W.2d 602, 08-1968.

    940.02 - ANNOT.

    Importance of clarity in law of homicide: The Wisconsin revision. Dickey, Schultz & Fullin. 1989 WLR 1323 (1989).

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