Elements of Premeditation and Deliberation In Michigan

In Michigan, premeditation and deliberation are essential elements of the crime of first-degree murder. MCL 750.316; MSA 28.548; People v. Anderson, 209 Mich App 527, 537; 531 NW2d 780 (1995). "To premeditate is to think about beforehand; to deliberate is to measure and evaluate the major facets of a choice . . . ." People v. Morrin, 31 Mich App 301, 329; 187 NW2d 434 (1971). Premeditation and deliberation requires both sufficient time for a defendant to reflect on his choice, Anderson, supra at 537, as well as the capacity to reflect, People v. Plummer, 229 Mich App 293, 301; 581 NW2d 753 (1998). Stated another way, deliberation "requires a cool mind that is capable of reflection," while premeditation "requires that one with the cool mind did in fact reflect, at least for a short period of time before his act of killing." LaFave & Scott, Criminal Law (Abridged ed, 1986), 7.7(a), p 643. It is not often that direct evidence of premeditation and deliberation presents itself. Rather, these mental processes are usually established by circumstantial evidence and the reasonable inferences that arise therefrom. People v. Marsack, 231 Mich App 364, 371; 586 NW2d 234 (1998).