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Terms in this set (124)
A person is not guilty of an offense unless his liability is based on conduct which includes a voluntary act or the omission to perform an act of which he is physically capable.
MPC § 2.01(1)
Except as provided by § 2.05, a person is not guilty of an offense unless he acted purposely, knowingly, recklessly, or negligently, as the law may require, with respect to each material element of the offense.
MPC § 2.02(1)
Minimum Requirements of Culpability
Conduct is the cause of a result when:
(a) it is an antecedent but for which the result in question would not have occurred; and
(b) the relationship between the conduct and result satisfies any additional causal requirements imposed by the Code or by the law defining the offense
MPC § 2.03(1)
A person is guilty of an attempt to commit a crime if, acting with the kind of culpability otherwise required for commission of the crime, they:
(a) purposely engage in conduct which would constitute the crime if the attendant circumstances were as he believes them to be; or
(b) When causing a particular result is an element of the crime, does or omits to do anything with the purpose of causing or with the belief that it will cause such result without further conduct on his part; or
(c) purposely does or omits to do anything which, under the circumstances as he believes them to be, is an act or omission constituting a substantial step in a course of conduct planned to culminate in his commission of the crime.
MPC § 5.01(1) Attempt
(1) A person is guilty of criminal homicide if he purposely, knowingly, recklessly, or negligently causes the death of another human being
(2) Criminal homicide is murder, manslaughter, or negligent homicide
MPC § 210.1 Criminal homicide
(1) Except as provided in § 210.3(1)(b), criminal homicide constitutes murder when:
(a) it is committed purposely or knowingly; or
(b) it is committed recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life. Such recklessness and indifference are presumed if the actor is engaged or is an accomplice in the commission of, or an attempt to commit, or flight after committing at attempting to commit robbery, rape or deviate sexual intercourse by force or threat of force, arson, burglary, kidnapping or felonious escape.
(2) Murder is a felony of the first degree [but a person convicted of murder may be sentenced to death, as provided in § 210.6]
MPC § 210.2 Murder
(1) Criminal homicide constitutes manslaughter when:
(a) it is committed recklessly, or
(b) a homicide which would otherwise be murder is committed under the influence of extreme mental or emotional disturbance for which there is reasonable explanation or excuse. The reasonableness of such explanation or excuse shall be determined from the viewpoint of a person in the actor's situation under the circumstances as he believes them to be.
(2) Manslaughter is a felony of the second-degree
MPC § 210.3 Manslaughter
(1) Criminal homicide constitutes negligent homicide when it is committed negligently
(2) Negligent homicide is a felony of the third degree
MPC § 210.4 Negligent Homicide
The following are not voluntary acts within the meaning of this section
(a) a reflex or convulsion;
(b) a bodily movement during unconsciousness or sleep;
(c) conduct during hypnosis or resulting from hypnotic suggestion;
(d) a bodily movement that otherwise is not a product of the effort or determination of the actor, either consciously or habitual.
MPC § 2.01(2)
When a person acts with a conscious objective to engage in conduct that will produce their desired outcome
An action is committed ______ when the defendant is practically certain that a result will occur.
An action is committed _____ if the defendant is aware of a strong possibility that the result will occur, yet consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk.
An action is committed _____ when the defendant is completely unaware of the substantial and unjustifiable harm, but should have been known about it. This lack of awareness creates a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would observe in a similar situation.
Killing with "malice aforethought" or
- Willful, deliberate, and premeditated, or
- Express malice
All other murders
-Intentional killings without deliberation and premeditation, or
- Implied malice
Intentional killing "mitigated" by provocation
1. Adequate ________ would inflame the passions of a reasonable person.
2. Defendant actually _______ the passion.
3. Insufficient time between _______ and fatal blow for reasonable person to "cool off"
4. Defendant did not actually "cool off"
Elements that mitigate voluntary manslaughter
- Committed with no intent to kill
- Defendant consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk of death
- In some jurisdictions this includes misdemeanor manslaughter or drunk driving
How to read a penal code
Statutory crimes that the government doesn't want someone to do.
evil in and of itself
Malum n se
Punishment is meant to prevent the defendant from being able to commit further wrong doings
Punishment is meant to rehabilitate the defendant
Punishment is permitted because wrongdoers deserve to suffer from their wrongdoings
The handing down of a punishment allows society to express their disproval of the defendant's conduct.
- This could be an educational punishment or condemnation
-The mentally ill
-Minors who were under 18 at the time of the commission of their crime
- Those who rape adults and children
Who cannot be executed?
1. The law must be written;
2. Laws must be made public (and comprehensible by the average person);
3. Laws cannot be applied retroactively;
4. Laws cannot be vague; and
5. The Rule of Lenity
Principle of Legality
1. Actus rea
2. Mens rea
The basic requirements of Criminal Law
The failure to act or the absence of an act
Suggest a willed bodily action
- A statute
- A relationship between the defendant and the victim
- A contract
- A voluntary assumption of care
- A creation of risk
What can establish a duty to act
Acting with a 'wicked' motive or an evil intent
A defendant acts _______ towards the victim only if he foresaw that the commitment of an action might harm someone, yet chooses to commit that action anyway.
Killing performed 'with malice aforethought'
Common law definition of murder
The commission of a crime with the deliberate intention to bring about the victim's death.
The defendant's indifference to a particular result brought about by a level of carelessness or inattention so severe that it demonstrated the defendant's malice.
The difference between ______ is the likelihood that a prohibited result will occur
Purposely and knowingly
The difference between _____ is the defendant's awareness of risk
Recklessly and negligently
Consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk
Lacks awareness that creates a gross deviation from the standard care that a reasonable person would observe in the actor's situation
A crime with only one level of intent
Intending to shoot a gun
Example of a specific intent crime
A crime with two levels of intent
Intending to shoot a gun with the intent to kill someone
Example of a general intent crime
A defendant is not allowed to plead a mistake of fact defense if they subjectively believed that what they were doing amounted to a lesser crime
Legal Wrong Doctrine
The court asks whether the result would have occurred "but-for" the actions of the defendant?
"But-for" causation test
The court asks whether the defendant's actions were a substantial fact in the proceeding result, regardless of whether the result was going to occur anyway?
"Substantial factor" test
The court asks whether the defendant's action accelerated or hastened the plaintiff's injuries or death?
"Acceleration theory" test
This test is necessary when two or more causes, individually could have caused the death of the victim, yet these factors operate together to cause the harm
When is the acceleration test necessary?
Contribution or aggravation without causation is insufficient to prove manslaughter
If the result of the defendant's actions are foreseeable, they are
the proximate cause
An unforeseeable event that breaks the chain of causation between the actions of the defendant and the harmful result is an example of a
occurs when someone plans out a murder before they commit the offense
Occurs when someone considers if they are willing to commit the crime (and then eventually go on through with it).
Bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death which causes serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ
Serious bodily injury
1. Adequate _______
2. Killing in the heat of passion
3. Performed suddenly before reasonable opportunity for passion to cool; and
4. Causal connection between ______, passion, and killing
Requirements to qualify for provocation
1. Extreme assault on the defendant;
2. Mutual combat;
3. Illegal arrest of the defendant;
4. Injury or serious abuse to close relatives (or friends); and
5. Sudden discovery of spousal adultery
Heat of passion standards have generally required that provocation must fall into one of these recognized categories
Extreme Emotional Disturbance Doctrine
The more flexible approach to the provocation doctrine
- Involuntary Manslaughter
A reckless killing can be either
A court can convict a defendant who commits a felony that results in someone else's death
Felony murder rule
Committed when a killing occurs intentionally during the commission of the felonious crime.
First-degree felony murder
Committed when an unintentional killing occurs during the commission of a felonious crime
Second-degree felony murder
First-degree anything murder-wise seems to be intentional.
Second-degree anything murder-wise seems to be unintentional but the courts could imply that the defendant's actions were intentional .
1. Merger limitation;
2. Inherently dangerous felony limitation;
3. "In furtherance" of the felony limitation
Limitations on felony murder rule
The triggering felony must have a life of its own, apart from the resulting killing. If the triggering felony disappears into the killing, then the two requirements for the doctrine no longer persist
Independent felony or merger limitation
The triggered felony must be "inherently dangerous" to human life
Inherently dangerous felony limitation
The killing must be performed "in furtherance of" or "in the perpetration of" the felony
In furtherance of the felony limitation
If you commit
- Residential burglary
- and any other enumerated crime
And someone dies....
YOU ARE F****D (up)
and can be found guilty of first-degree felony murder
This type of care represents a reasonable want of care
MPC murder ONLY
This is a heightened standard of _________ because the defendant's behavior represents a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonably prudent person would observe under the circumstances
MPC murder ONLY
1. Defendant must engage in an unlawful application of force;
2. Which resulted in either a physical (bodily) injury or offensive touching; and
3. Acting purposely, knowingly, recklessly, or negligently to cause such prohibited results.
Elements of criminal battery
1. The defendant must engage in the unlawful application of physical force;
2. The defendant acted purposely, knowingly, recklessly, (or negligently in some jurisdictions)
3. But there is no requirement of physical injury because this type of attempt is based on an attempt to commit a battery against the victim.
Elements of assault
1. Attempted battery, or
2. Reasonable apprehension of "imminent serious bodily injury"
The two ways to get assault
1. Offenses that cause a reasonable apprehension of bodily harm
2. The mental element for this form of assault offense is the intent to cause the required apprehension of the victim
Reasonable apprehension of bodily harm
1. Confining or carrying away the victim (asportation);
2. Forcibly or by threats of fear or deception;
3. For nefarious purposes
Elements of kidnapping
Trespassory taking and carrying away of another's property with the intent to permanently deprive the possessor of their property
Fraud is used to obtain the possession of someone else's property
Larceny by trick
Theft by false pretenses
Requires that the actor receive actual title to the property (as opposed to mere possession) through fraud
Involves an actor's lawful possession of another's property, which is then converted or appropriated by the actor with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of said property
Statutes prohibit obtaining possession of something by fear or threat
The use of physical force to accomplish a theft
1. An active taking of property
2. A carrying away of said property
1. Defendant had a specific intent or purpose to bring about the crime; and
2. They took sufficient steps towards committing the crime to satisfy the jurisdiction's actus reus test
Elements of attempt
Allows liability if the design of a person to commit the crime is clearly shown and the actor commits even "slight acts" in furtherance of that design
The Slight-acts test
The defendant must be close enough in time and space to the final act that completes the crime.
The physical proximity test
This test asks whether the defendant was dangerously close to consummating the offense - proximity here being a causal concept (mental concept) and not a distance concept
Dangerous proximity test
Asks whether the defendant's conduct unequivocally demonstrates the defendant's intent to commit the crime - an actus reus requirement that loops back and refers to the mental element
The unequivocally test
Requires that the defendant's conduct would result in the completed crime in the ordinary and natural course of events if an actor was not interrupted
The probable distance test
Requires that the defendant engage in a "substantial step in a course of conduct planned to culminate in his commission of the crime"
MPC Substantial step test
Applicable if the perpetrator "voluntarily and completely" renounces his criminal purpose
1. There was an agreement to commit an unlawful act (between at least 2 people)
2. Specific intent or purpose to achieve the goal or object of the conspiracy, and
3. Overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy
Elements of conspiracy
The defendant must fully _______ the conspiracy by thwarting the conspiracy under circumstances manifesting a complete and voluntary renunciation of his criminal purpose.
Do conspiracies merge into the completed crime?
1. Specific intent or purpose,
2. To solicit (hire, command, request, encourage, etc.)
3. A third party to perform a crime
Elements of solicitation
Solicitation focuses on the mens rea of the defendant alone. Solicitation is unilateral.
Conspiracies requires an OVERT ACT to be performed
What is the difference between solicitation and conspiracy?
1. Assistance or support to the principal perpetrator;
2. Performed with the purpose or knowledge to facilitate the crime
Elements of an accomplice
If some crime occurs as a __________________________ of the original crime an accomplice has assisted with, they are guilty of that consequence and what results from it
Natural and probable consequences doctrine
The general rule is that the perpetrator who performs the actus reus of the crime is the principal, while the criminal who remains "behind the scenes" is a mere accomplice. In this case, the principal perpetrator is the criminal who was "behind the scenes".
Innocent instrumentality rule
- If the principal perpetrator is acquitted, the accomplice still has a derivative liability.
What defenses are available to accomplices?
1. There is an agreement to commit a crime;
2. Specific intent to achieve the objective of an agreement;
3. Overt act in furtherance
Elements of conspiracy liability
1. Each co-conspirator is criminally liable for the offenses committed by their other co-conspirators
2. Liability cannot be retroactive
3. Liability is attached if the crime is committed as either a part of the conspiracy (narrow) or strays beyond the conspiratorial agreement but nonetheless reasonably foreseeable consequences of the agreement
Local: lots of small overlapping conspiracies
Distant: Single large conspiracy - liable for the whole conspiracy.
Scope of conspiratorial liability
1. Defendant acted according to a reasonable belief
2. Of imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury
3. The use of lethal force must be necessary and proportionate to the danger forced
Elements of self defense
The actor believed that deadly force was necessary but they were deemed incorrect
1. The defendant's violation of the law produces a lesser evil than if the defendant had complied with the law;
2. The danger sought to be avoided must be a present, imminent, or immediate threat;
3. The defendant cannot be responsible for the event that caused them to need this defense;
4. There must be no other choice but to violate the law;
5. There must be a causal relationship between the criminal act and the harm to be avoided;
6. The defendant must not have continued the illegal conduct after the harm has been averted
7. Most jurisdictions disallow this defense if the crime in question represents a legislative choice to disallow a claim of ________
Elements of necessity
What is a defense to murder?
Not necessity or duress
Occurs when protestors break the very law they are protesting.
Direct civil disobedience
Is the necessity defense allowed for direct civil disobedience or indirect civil disobedience?
Direct civil disobedience
Occurs when a protestor commits a crime to bring attention to a policy that they do not like.
Indirect civil disobedience
negates the wrongfulness of the act
Simply negates the culpability of the actor
1. They or a third party faced an imminent threat from another individual with no opportunity for reasonable escape;
2. The threat was sufficient to severe in nature;
3. The crime committed was not murder;
4. The defendant was not reckless or otherwise culpable in creating the circumstances that produced the ______
Elements of duress
1. Was the defendant intoxicated voluntarily or involuntarily?
2. Is there a causal connection between the intoxication and the commission of the crime?
3. Does that causal connection negate the mens rea?
Elements of the intoxication defense
Requires proof of 'intent to do a further act to achieve a further consequence'
Requires only a 'conscious wrongdoing' or 'the purposeful doing of an act that the law declares to be a crime'
Occurs when the objective of the defendant is proscribed by the criminal law but a circumstance unknown to the defendant prevents them from bringing about that objective
The defendant engages in conduct he thinks is a crime but it isn't.
Pure legal impossibility
Defendant's goal was illegal but commission of the offense was impossible due to a factual mistake assumed by the defendant
Hybrid legal impossibility
The perpetrator "voluntarily and completely" renounces his criminal purpose
The abandonment defense of attempt
Pure legal impossibility
What is a defense to an attempted crime?
Hybrid legal impossibility and factual impossibility
Are not defenses to an attempted crime
What does the intoxication defense reduce?
specific intent crimes, but general intent does not require a sophisticated mens rea
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