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justification defense

Defendants admit they were responsible for their acts, but claim what they did was right (justified) under the circumstances

excuse defense

Defendants admit what they did was wrong, but claim that, under the circumstances, they weren't responsible for what they did

affirmative defense

Defense must start by putting out some proof of their justification or excuse, the burden of production

perfect defense

Defendant's are acquitted in this defense, except sanity

imperfect defense

Evidence that doesn't amount to a perfect defense, guilty of lesser offenses

elements of self-defense

Contains these four elements: Unprovoked attack; Necessity; Proportionality; Reasonable belief

defense of consent

If legally competent adults want to be victims of crime it is not the government's right to stop them

justification defenses

Self-defense; Defense of others; Defense of home and property; Choice of evils defense; Defense of consent

four tests of insanity

Right-Wrong Test (McNaughten Rule); Substantial Capacity Test (MPC); Irresistible Impulse Test; Product of Mental Illness Test (Durham Rule)

new hampshire

Only state where the Product of Mental Illness test is used, or the Durham Rule

mcnaughten rule

2 Criteria: Defendant had mental disease or illness at the time of the crime; Disease/Ilness caused the defendant know to know either: nature and quality of actions, or what doing was wrong

diminished capacity

Attempt to prove defendant guilty of a lesser crime; Failure of Proof defense, not affirmative; rejected by most states

diminished responsibility

Defense of Excuse; Variation on defendant's argument, what I did was wrong, but under circumstances not responsible

defense of duress

Defense when you were forced to do something

elements of duress

Contains 4 Elements: The threats leading to it; Immediacy of the threats; Crime the defense applies to; Have a reasonable degree of belief regarding threat

voluntary intoxication

Defense of Intoxication, but this is not a defense, can be used as mitigating circumstances

involuntary intoxication

Defense of Intoxication, and is an excuse in every state; Has two conflicting principles: Accountability and Culpability


Affirmative defense; more in federal cases; When an official gets someone to commit a crime

subjective entrapment

Person would not have committed crime without pressure; Where did the criminal intent originate; Prior history; 4 ways to prove; Focuses on the defendant

4 ways prove subjective

Prior convictions of similar offenses; Willingness to commit similar offenses; Criminal expertise in carrying out offense; Readiness to commit the crim

objective entrapment

Actions of government induce a normally law abiding citizen to commit crime, the case should be dismissed even if predisposed to commit crime; Focuses on the government's role in the crime

excuse defenses

Insanity, Age, Duress, Intoxication, Entrapment, Syndromes (PMS, PTSD, etc)


Established when you can be criminally liable for someone else's conduct; Applies to accomplices and accessories; You're complicit, help commit the crime; Need only take some positive act in the offense

vicarious liability

Establishes when a party can be criminally liable because of a relationship; Translates the responsibility from one to another because of the relationship


Participants before and during the commission of the crime


Participants after the crime is committed


Agreement to commit some other crime

pinkerton rule

Rule that crime of conspiracy and the crime the conspirators agree to commit are separate offenses

complicity elements

1) Need to solicit or procure another commit crime
2) Aid or abet another
3) Conspire with another to commit crime
4) Cause an innocent or irresponsible person to commit crime

criminal attempt

Attempt to commit a crime; Try do something and failing

inchoate offense

Attempting to do a crime, attempting getting someone else to do a crime, attempt to agree to do a crime

elements of attempt

1) Intent or purpose is to commit a certain crime
2) An act, or acts, to carry out the intent

dangerous act rationale

Looks at how close defendant's came to completing their crime

dangerous person rationale

Concentrates on how fully defendants have developed their criminal purpose

general attempt statute

A person is guilty of an attempt to commit a crime if, with the intent to commit a specific offense, he does any overt act towards the commission of such offense; Ohio has this stature; Attach it to the specified crime

specific attempt statute

Define attempts in terms of specific crimes

proximity tests

Test focuses on dangerous conduct; Three: physical proximity, dangerous proximity, indispensable element proximity; Asks the question is defendants acts close enough to the intended crime to count as the criminal act in the attempt

indispensable element test

Asks whether defendant has reached the point where they have gained control of everything needed to commit the crime

unequivocality test

Dangerous Persons Test: Act speaks for itself; An ordinary person looking at the act without knowing intent would believe the person is determined to commit crime

probable desistance

Dangerous Persons Test: Focuses on how far defendant has gone, not what is left to complete

legal impossibility

Can't commit a crime that doesn't exist; Try to carry out criminal intent but can't commit crime; Is a defense

factual impossibility

Actor intends to commit a crime and tries, but some fact interrupts completion of the crime; A "sort of" attempt

voluntary abandonment

Affirmative defense; Was going to commit the crime, had all intentions to do so, got here and got everything together, then backed out


Type of conspiracy where each person holds a step in the process of the crime; Large scale conspiracy


Type of conspiracy where each person participates in each step of the crime; Large scale conspiracy

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