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Criminal Law - Midterm

Text is Criminal Law - Joel Samaha Ch 5 and 6; Includes Defenses; inchoate crime
affirmative defense
A defense which must be "raised"; a reason given of why a person should not be help respnsible.
rebut-table preseumption
An assumption that is taken to be true, such as innocence, freewill, sanity.
conclusive presumption
An assumption that cannot be argued against, such as age of the defendant.
Preponderance of the evidence
a standard that is less than "beyond a reasonable doubt; more than 50% of the evidence shows a justification or excuse.
a person admits that they are responsible for a crime, but gives a reason why they committed the act; the law approves.
a person admits that they committed a crime, but not responsible; the law does not approve.
perfect defense
removes all criminal liability; found "not guilty"
imperfect defense
reduces responsibility; defendant found guilty of a lesser crime. i.e. not murder but manslaughter
defense of sanity
found "guilty, but mentally ill" and will be treated for mental illness while serving time in prison
defense of duress
excuse of being forced to commit a crime against their will, a legal claim by a defendant that he or she acted involuntarily under the threat of immediate and serious harm by another
defense of public duty
law enforcement/ public officials can use reasonable force (against persons or property) under a court order; ie search and seizure
defense of domestic authority
persons responsible for dependents; ie. nurses, teachers, parents, etc
(law) an inference of the truth of a fact from other facts proved or admitted or judicially noticed
Reasonable force
Just enough force to stop an attack.
Defense of Property
The right to use reasonable force to defend lawful property; must be a specific intent to protect property.
Defense of Necessity/ Choice of Evils
Choosing a crime to avoid harm; imminent danger/ no other option; the defense is "not responsible"; does not include economic necessity.
Defense of Consent
a justification defense that says if mentally competent adults want to be crime victims, no paternalistic government should get in their way
Objective Reasonable force
a reasonable person would believe the force is "reasonable"
Subjective Reasonable force
the defendant's state of mind when applying reasonable force
Guilty but Mentally Ill
a verdict stating that defendants are guilty of committing a crime but are also suffering from a mental illness that should be treated during their imprisonment
Defense of Diminished Capacity
The D is unable to form the required (specific intent) mens rea due to mental disorder. Intoxication may also preclude the mens rea.
Defense of Entrapment
A person may not be convicted of a crime if a law enforcement officer (or an agent of an officer) solicited, induced or encouraged the person to commit the crime and if the person would not otherwise have committed it.
Defense of Age
Age 7 is the age of reason, 7-14 rebut-table incapacity, and 14+ have the same capacity as adults.
Defense of intoxication
When it comes to intoxication defenses in criminal law, even "voluntary intoxication" (the knowing and voluntary consumption of alcohol or drugs is a defense to a "specific intent" crime, whereas only "involuntary intoxication" (My drink was spiked!) is a defense to a general intent crime.
Defense of Syndrome
This defense states that a "cluster of symptoms" that have been medically recognized and documented (that the defendants suffers from) reduces capacity and eliminates mens rea; cannot be inferred
The Subjective Test of Entrapment
-majority of state and all federal courts have adopted this
-focuses on the predisposition of defendants to commit crimes
-the defense has to prove the gov't pressured the defendants to commit crimes they would not have committed without the pressure
-crucial question: "where did the criminal intent originate?" If it originated with the defendant then the gov't did not entrap them, if it originated with the gov't then the gov't did entrap them
-the government can prove disposition to commit the crimes in the following ways:
1. defendants' prior convictions for similar offenses
2. defendants' willingness to commit similar offenses
3. defendants' display of criminal expertise in carrying out the offense
4. defendants' readiness to commit the crime
-consensual crimes, especially drug offenses, are the usual target of law enforcement inducement tactics
The Objective Test of Entrapment
-minority of courts follow this
-this test does not focus on the predisposition of defendants but instead on the actions that gov't agents take to induce individuals to commit crimes
-if the intent originates with the gov't and their actions would tempt an "ordinarily law-abiding" person to commit the crime, the court should dismiss the case even if the defendant was predisposed to commit the crime
-it if aimed to deter "unsavory police methods"
The 4 tests of criminal insanity
1) right-and-wrong test (M'Naughten Rule) 2) Irresistible Impulse Test 3) Substantial Capacity Test (MPC Test) and 4) the Product Test (Durham Rule)
M'Naughten Rule (Right-and-wrong test)
standard for judging legal insanity that requires that offenders not know what they were doing, or if they did, that they not know it was wrong.
Durham Rule (aka product test)
an accused is not criminally responsible if his unlawful act was the product of mental disease or defect
Irresistible Impulse test
compulsion; these defendants don't know the act is wrong OR couldn't control their action due to a mental disease/defect
The Substantial Capacity Test
The Substantial Capacity Tests or Model Penal Code Test holds that a defendant is entitled to the defense of insanity if at the time of such conduct, as a result of a mental disease or defect, he lacks substantial capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of his conduct or the capacity to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law.
principle in the first degree
parties who actually take part in a criminal act; those who possess the mens rea but convince another to perfom the actual physical conduct. i.e ciercment, threat, and trickery, or that involve trained aniamls.
principle in the second degree
One who helped the perpetrator at the time of the crime in his presence.
Accessory Before the Fact
someone who encourages, orders, or helps plan a crime
Accessory After the Fact
a person who gives assistance or comfort to someone known to be a felon or known to be sought in connection with the commission of a felony
a person who knowingly helps another in a crime or wrongdoing, often as a subordinate.
vicarious liability
legal doctrine under which a party can be held liable for the wrongful actions of another party
guilt as an accomplice in a crime or offense
alter ego doctrine
Used by the courts to "pierce the corporate veil" hold a shareholde personally liable for a corporate obligation
respondeat superior
"Let the master answer" an employer is vicariously liable for the behavior of an employee working within his or her scope of employment
superior officer rule
The highest office, or management, is help criminally liable
accessory after the fact punishment
Of all parties to a crime, this party is considered the least responsible for a crime.
inchoate crime
An act, criminal in and of itself, committed with the specific intent to accomplish a second criminal purpose
The rationale behind inchoate crimes
2 notions: to give the ability to intervene before the crime is actually committed, and to stop dangerous people.
3 major inchoate crimes
attempt, conspiracy, solicitation
the INTENT that another person commit a crime and the ACT of requesting that other person to commit the crime
the INTENT to commit a crime/ bring about forbidden consequences; and the ACT of going beyond mere preparation
Agreement between two or more persons to commit a crime
Wharton Rule
for conspiracy, there must me one party more involved than necessary to commit the crime.
unilateral rule
only one person must meet the requirements for conspiracy to be convicted of conspiracy; not all accomplices must be shown.
voluntary abandonment (renunciation)
Affirmative defense; Was going to commit the crime, had all intentions to do so, got here and got everything together, then backed out
transferred intent
Situation in which the offender intends to injure one person and by mistake or accidental injures another
The Defense of Duress does not extend to homicide.
dangerous act rationale
looking at how closely a defendant came to completing a crime; aims to prevent dangerous conduct
dangerous person rationale
Looking at how fully a defendant developed a criminal purpose to commit a crime; aims to neutralize a dangerous person
last proximate act rule
your acts brought you as close as possible to completing the crime, and how close you were determines your sentences; all but the last act.
proximity test
focuses on dangerous conduct; looks at what conduct remains to complete the act
dangerous proximity test
A test that determines that an attempt has occurred when the perpetrates conduct is in dangerous proximity to success, or when an act is so near to the result that the danger of its success is very great
indispensible element test
asks whether defendants have gotten control of everything they need to complete the crime
ex: does drug dealer have extascy to sell to a waiting customer
equivocality test
A test that determines that an attempt has occurred when a person's conduct, standing alone, unambiguously manifests his or her criminal intent; a reasonable person would recognize the intent; face value
probable distance test
focuses on how the defendant has gone in preparation, not what is left to do; asks if the defendant is "past the point of now return"
legal impossibility defense
This is when the act being attempted is actually not a crime. Even if everything is actually the way the actor believes it to be, her conduct is not criminal.
This is a defense under both MPC and common law.
factual impossibility defense
This is when the actor cannot successfully complete the crime because he is wrong about some circumstance that makes the crime impossible. If everything was as the actor believes it to be, her conduct is criminal.
This is not a defense under both MPC and common law.
Florida's Castle Law accomplished what 5 things?
1) abolished the duty to retreat, 2)shifted the burden of proof to the prosecution, 3) extended the use of force outside the home, to "any place you have a right to be", 4) broadened the circumstances where deadly force applies, including threats to property that are not imminent, and 5) created blanket criminal and civil immunity to anyone using force; this immunity s broader than law enforcement immunity.
substantial steps
1) Significant activity undertaken in furtherance of some goal. 2) An act or omission that is a significant part of a series of acts or omissions, constituting a course of conduct planned to culminate in the commission of a crime. 3) An important or essential step toward the commission of a crime that is considered sufficient to constitute the crime of criminal attempt - Conduct that is strongly corroborative of the actor's criminal purpose. "Behavior of such a nature that a reasonable observer, viewing it in context, could conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that it was undertaken in accordance with a design to violate the statute."