MAIMING - ELEMENTS
No person may be convicted of maiming unless the State has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each element of the crime. These elements are:
Second, upon another;
Third, of a physical injury that disables/disfigures/(seriously diminishes physical vigor);
Fourth, performed with the intent to cause any injury.
Statutory Authority: 21 O.S. 1991, § 751.
Although neither the cases nor the statutes expressly state that the injury must be a physical injury, it is the Commission's impression that mental injuries, even if incapacitating, are not sufficient to support a conviction for maiming. Moreover, in the opinion of the Commission, the injury need not be permanent. Section 758 states that an injury from which the person has recovered prior to trial is not sufficient to sustain a conviction. Section 758 therefore requires some degree of permanency. The cases also refer to the injuries as permanent injuries. Boulding v. State, 83 Okl. Cr. 352, 177 P.2d 152 (1947); De Arman v. State, 33 Okl. Cr. 79, 242 P. 783 (1926). But the Commission does not believe that the injury must be an injury beyond healing by medical techniques. Thus, the third element reads "physical injury."
The third element also indicates that the person injured must be disabled, disfigured, or have physical vigor seriously diminished. A disabling injury encompasses an injury to the members or organs of the person. A disfiguring injury is an observable injury to the appearance of the person.
The fourth element presents the mens rea requirement. The defendant must deliberately injure another, but the defendant need not intend specifically to maim, nor specifically to cause the particular injury that occurs. DeArman, supra; White v. State, 22 Okl. Cr. 131, 210 P. 313 (1922); Payne v. State, 21 Okl. Cr. 416, 209 P. 334 (1922). Thus, a defendant would be guilty of maiming if he strikes another with the intention of blackening another's eye, and unintentionally knocks the other's eye out of the socket. If the eye had been simply blackened, the defendant would have committed a battery. Since the eye is destroyed, however, the defendant has committed the crime of maiming. Maiming is, therefore, under Oklahoma law, a battery aggravated due to the seriousness of the injury inflicted. See Savage v. State, 525 P.2d 1219 (Okl. Cr. 1974). Moreover, even though the statutory language indicates that the design to injure must be premeditated, section 757 states that premeditated design can be formed instantly before the defendant inflicts the injury. As a consequence of section 757, the Commission has decided that a premeditated design to injure is synonymous with an intent to cause any injury. Moreover, the Commission has decided that the language adopted in the fourth element is less confusing and more understandable to a jury than is the statutory language. Hence, the Commission has used the language "performed with intent to cause any injury," rather than the exact statutory language.
| Service provided by the IS department of the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals
Email our webmaster with any of your comments or suggestions.