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conduct that unjustifiably and inexcusably inflicts or threatens substantial harm to individual or public interests. OR
1. conduct that is
2. without justification
3. without excuse.
criminal conduct that qualifies for criminal punishment. it has to fit the following:
1. Is there criminal conduct?
2. Is the conduct justified?
3. is the conduct excused?
Elements of a crime (5)
What the prosecution has to prove beyond reasonable doubt to convict the defendant:
1. criminal act (actus reus)
2. Criminal intent (mens rea)
4. Attendant circumstances
5. Bad results (causing a criminal harm)
the mental causing of the crime, you have to have the bad thought to have the bad action. You know what you did and have liability for it.
Attendant circumstances element
what you need if there's no mens tea, it's a circumstance connected to an act, intent, or result of the crime.
voluntary bodily movement of the criminal. Different from criminal conduct because it's the criminal act triggered by a mens rea.
Bad result crimes (or result crimes)
crimes that include a voluntary act, menial element, circumstantial elements, causation and criminal harm. An example would be criminal homicide.
attitudes have to turn into deeds. This leaves no doubt about the criminal nature of the act. The phrase "caught red handed" is this basically. You see people intend and do the criminal act, criminality manifests itself.
the one thing that the criminal chooses to do is enough to convict them guilty. Actions that are involuntary cannot be found built in court.
who we are as a person, like a crack addict. you can't call someone out on their status, only their actions.
Failure to report
a type of criminal omissions where it's the simple failure to act as something required by law, such as reporting an accident.
Failure to intervene
a type of criminal omissions where you see death or damage or injury and do nothing to prevent it.
any omission is criminal if the defendant has a legal duty (enforced by law) to act. Legal duties are created by:
*Statutes: jury duty, a duty to serve the country.
*Contracts: as a cop you're required to protect and serve under your contract.
*Special relationships: parent child would be an example.
"Good Samaritan" Doctrine
few follow this rule, believing that you have a legal duty to help or call for help for strangers in distress.
American Bystander Rule
more common than the good samaritan doctrine, there's no legal duty to rescue or summon help for someone in danger.
Pretending something is a fact when it's not, if there's a "good" reason for pretending.
Possessors are aware of what they possess (know what it is and knowing that I have it)
you have no idea what you possess (what's in the briefcase?). 48 States require knowing possession, more than mere possession.
you are worthy of blame for the crime you did, it was your fault and is now your responsibility.
the requirement that a criminal intent has to trigger a criminal act in criminal conduct crimes and that criminal conduct has to cause a bad result in bad result crimes.
Cause in fact
the objective determination that the defendant's act triggered a chain of events that ended as the harmful result, such as death in homicide.
the subjective judgment that it's fair and just to blame the defendant for the bad result.
criminal intent or criminal element, an act doesn't make the actor guilty unless his mind is guilty.
the reason behind the intent behind the act. The husbands intent to kill his wife but his motive was for the money.
fault that requires a bad mind in the actor: knowingly doing a crime makes you a criminal.
requires no purposeful or conscious bad mind in the actors. You didn't know the thing was wrong, but a reasonable person would have known that it was wrong to do that.
criminal liability without subjective or objective fault. Any criminal act makes you liable, regardless of intent or knowledge.
the intent to commit the criminal act as defined in a statute. It states the minimum requirement of all crimes.
The attitude represented by a subjective fault, where there's a bad mind or will that triggers the act. (planned, knowingly, willful, premeditated, etc).
General intent "plus"
where general intent refers to the intent to commit the actus reus of the crime, and the plus refers to some special mental element in addition to the intent to commit the criminal act. An example would be household burglary (breaking and entering + robbery)
where a person acts with respect to the offense when he knows the nature of his conduct will cause the crime.
knowing what you're doing, that it is practically certain that my conduct will result in a bad result.
not knowing that your acts will result in criminal activity, but knowing your acts can and will result in harm. To determine is something is reckless:
1. Was the defendant aware of how unjustifiable the risks that they are disregarded are?
2. does the defendant's disregard of risk amount to so "gross a deviation from the standard" that a law abiding person would observe in that situation?
unconsciously and/or/ unreasonable creating risks. You didn't but should have known how high the risk was of doing that action would result in that crime.
having the conscious object to commit the crimes. Example: Murder the murder's purpose has to be the cause of the victims death.
Principle of Concurrence
some mental fault has to trigger the criminal act in conduct crimes, and the cause in bad result crimes. The mental attitude was formed with purpose, knowledge, recklessness or negligence. The act and the mental state must go together to use them in court.
Holding an actor accountable for the results of her conduct. Prosecutors have to prove this beyond reasonable doubt:
1. factual cause of death, other bodily harm, and damage/destruction of property.
2. Legal/proximate cause.
an empirical question of fact that asks whether an actor's conduct triggered a series of events that ended in causing death or other bodily harm, damage/destruction of property.
Legal ("Proximate") cause
a subjective question of fairness that a peals to the jury's sense of justice. Is it fair to blame the defendant for the harm triggered by a chain of events her actions set?
something else that causes the crime (like an earthquake). It's not entirely my fault sort of thing, something else has contributed to the act.
Proximate cause of death
a cause which, in natural and continuous sequence, produced death and without which the death would have not occurred.
the cause of the crime is still at fault of the criminal even if there was another contributing cause. they are the original cause of the crime and are the most guilty for the actions that resulted from their crime.
Defense of excuse
those who say what the defendant did was wrong, but her mistake excused her of committing the crime. This can only justify or excuse the criminal liability.
Failure of proof defense
a mistake that a defendant can present some evidence that the mistake raises a reasonable doubt about the formation of a mental element required for criminal liability.
Billingslea vs. Texas
Facts: Mom breaks her jaw and arm, and then is bedridden and held hostage by her son, lack of care causes the physical and mental deterioration of her body. Neice calls mom and she calls social services who force entry and discover her.
Prosecution: omission to act, caretaker responsibility, requirement of voluntary omission, murder.
Defense: never said her arm or jaw was broken, never stated he is caretaker or is responsible for care, and so charges should be dropped
Sentencing: prison between 2-10 years for felony of the third degree.
Ruschioni vs. Massatuchetts
Facts: daughter finds unscratched lotto tickets (2, worth $2 each) in an empty parking lot and win 6,000.
Prosecution: stuff was worth over $3 so it should have turned in, and the mom is guilty of her daughters actions of stealing.
Defense: daughter picked them up and scratches them (not the mom), they let the public know about the tickets, the lottery people knew she found them and did nothing to get them to the rightful owner, she followed the laws to a tee.
Sentence: not guilty, the mom and daughter followed the law.
Wood Vs. Vermont
Facts: Alma married smith but then abandoned the family, in which lumen (husband) gets her back as long as alma's dad can live with them and own half of the estate. Lumnen goes to get supplies and the dad follows him, mad he took alma's horse (or so he thought) and the dad shot lumen smith dead.
Prosecution: murder of the 2nd degree, he should be held responsible for his actions of killing another man
Defense: it was done for protection of alma, no prior history of crime, and you can t be sure that the shot killed him. Alma's shot is what killed him after when he was shot by her.
Sentencing: 10 years in prison.
Marrero vs. New York
Facts: a federal corrections officer for Connecticut gets a gun without a license from New york.
Prosecution: federal corrections officers are not allowed to carry guns without a license, guilty of criminal possession.
Defense: he's a guard and should be allowed to carry a gun for protection, deserves only a warning, he's only guilty of ignorance and he wasn't being careless.
Sentencing: not guilty because he is considered a peace officer, which is covered under the law for him to have a gun without a license.
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