The Mens rea for Attempt
State v. Lyerla
[pp. 664-666] Facts: Δ driving on highway, and some girls in a truck won't let him pass - they were "trying to play games". Δsays they were harassing him to such an extent that he feared for his life, and fired shots to disable their truck.One of the bullets kills a girl. Δ convicted of second degree murder and 2 counts of attempted second degreemurder. Holding: The jury only found him guilty of second degree murder, so impliedly they believed that he didn’thave the specific intent to kill them (or else it would have been first degree). To attempt second degree murder one must have a criminally reckless state of mind. So, attempted reckless homicide is a logical impossibility - itrequires that the Δ intended to perpetrate an unintended killing. You cannot attempt to be negligent or reckless.Dissent: the conduct of risking death was intentional even though there was no intent to cause death
Mens rea – recklessness
In this state, murder 1 was intent to kill; murder 2 was recklessness
For the actual death, convicted of murder 2 - so we can assume jury did not find theintent, just recklessness
So can he be convicted of attempted murder for the other 2 who didn’t die?
Not in this state - an attempt
requires purpose. Logicallyimpossible to have purpose if it was an unintentional homicide(recklessness)
Even though some forms of murder don’t need intent, attempt ALWAYS requires intent.
So no such thing as attempted second degree murder (in this state only)
Purpose is required for attempt (no such thing as an attempted accidental homicide)
Attempted Recklessness - held that a charge of attempted reckless murder was a logical impossibility
State v. Norman
- Δ got into a fight with a player in a card game. He left the game, and came back with a pistol, and secretly placed it on his lap and cocked it. Δ accidently brushed thetrigger, and it shot the other player.
Attempt and circumstance elements
MPC § 5.01. Criminal Attempt
(1) Definition of Attempt. A person is guilty of an attempt to commit a crime if, actingwith the kind of culpability otherwise required for commission of the crime, he:
(a) purposely engages in conduct that would constitute the crime if the attendantcircumstances were as he believes them to be; or
(b) when causing a particular result is an element of the crime, does or omits to doanything with the purpose of causing or with the belief that it will cause suchresult, without further conduct on his part; or
(c) purposely does or omits to do anything that, under the circumstances as he believes them to be, is an act or omission constituting a substantial step in acourse of conduct planned to culminate in his commission of the crime.