Defendant Convicted of Voluntary Manslaughter but Not of Possessing Instruments of Crime As Requisite Intent Was Absent
In Commonwealth v. Correa, 437 Pa. Super. 1, 648 A.2d 1199 (Pa. Super. 1994), the defendant was convicted of voluntary manslaughter as a result of his unreasonable belief that the killing was justified. 648 A.2d at 1202.
The defendant was also convicted of possessing instruments of crime.
The Superior Court held, in a single judge opinion, that the conviction for possessing instruments of crime was improper, since where a defendant is convicted of voluntary manslaughter, imperfect self-defense, then "the requisite intent needed to convict one of possession of an instrument of crime is necessarily absent." Correa, 648 A.2d at 1203.
The court reasoned that if the defendant was acting in self-defense, then he could not have intended to employ the gun criminally, since employing the gun in self-defense would be to employ the gun in a lawful manner. Id. at 1203.