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inchoate crimes

actual crime has not been completed.
mens rea- require intent
actus reus- require action

types of inchoate crimes

1) attempt: trying but failing to commit a crime
2) conspiracy: agreeing to commit a crime
3) solicitation: trying to get someone else to commit a crime

inchoate comes from Latin verb..

"to begin"

elements of criminal attempt

-intent or purpose to commit a specific crime
-act(s) to carry out the intent

dangerous act v. dangerous person rationale

dangerous act- how close the defendant came to completing the crime
dangerous person- how fully the defendants have developed their criminal purpose

mens rea and actus reus in attempt

mens rea-always purpose or specific intent
actus reus-how much action is enough?
different tests to figure out line between mere preparation and actus reus

physical proximity test

requires that the defendant get very close to, but not to, the very last act before completing the crime.

tests for attempt

-physical proximity/dangerous proximity test
-indispensable element test
-unequivocality test
-probable desistance test
-substantial steps (MPC) test

indispensable element test

focus on whether defendants have control of what they need to complete the crime (possess drugs in attempted drug sale)

unequivocality test

"act speaks for itself" examine whether an ordinary person who saw the defendant's acts without knowing her intent would believe she was determined to commit the intended crime.

probable desistance test

a) focuses on how much the defendants have already done to demonstrate that they're dangerous people
b) defendant's conduct has to pass that point where most people would think better of their conduct and stop and go back to law-abiding citizens

substantial steps (MPC) test

a) focuses on what's already done, not what's left to do.
b) definition: the test looks for substantial steps that "strongly corroborate" the defendant's criminal purpose

legal impossibility

a)actors intend to commit crimes, and do everything they can to carry our their criminal intent, but the criminal law does not ban their actions
b)can't punish someone for a crime that doesn't exist

factual impossibility

a)defendants have intent to commit crime, do everything to complete crime, but some fact/extraneous factor interrupts the completion of the crime
b)people bent on committing crimes shouldn't benefit from luck.

voluntary abandonment of attempt

-affirmative defense in half the states

actus reus and mens rea for conspiracy

actus reus- an agreement to commit acrime
mens rea- crime of purpose (specific intent)
-intent to make agreement
-intent to achieve the criminal objective

parties to conspiracy

-traditional approach: two or more individuals agreeing to commit crimes
-unilateral approach: not all the conspirators had to agree to commit a crime as long as defendant believed they did

large scale conspiracies

-wheel conspiracies: hub(conspirators who participate in all transactions) or spoke(conspirators who only participate one transaction)
-chain conspiracies: participants at one end of the chain don't know anything about those at the other end, but they all handle the same illegal commodity(i.e. drug distribution)


Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act:
-intended to deal with organized crime
-racketeering activity includes any act chargeable under state or federal law (gambling, kidnapping, bribery)

actus reus and mens rea for solicitation

-actus reus: words commanding, urging, or encouraging a third person to commit a crime
-mens rea: specific intent, requires words that convey that their purpose is to get someone to commit a specif crime

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