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Nutshell Summary MPC1. “Act” or “action” - a bodily movement whether voluntary or involuntary 2. “Voluntary” (see later) 3.

“Omission”- a failure to act (Statutory, Contractual, Relationship, Assumption (of care), (created) Peril) SCRAP. Requirement of a voluntary act: 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. • To be convicted of a crime, a person’s conduct must include a voluntary act or omission to act that the person is capable of performing (also in MPC) MPC does not define a voluntary act; instead, it shows what acts are involuntary acts: Requirement of a Voluntary Act: must be voluntary for liability • Reflex or convulsion; (reflex has a very narrow definition) • A bodily movement during unconsciousness or sleep; • Conduct during hypnosis or resulting from hypnotic suggestion; • A bodily movement that otherwise is not a product of the effort or determination of the actor, either conscious or habitual…. Possession as Voluntary Act: • If the possessor knowingly procured or received the thing possessed or was aware of his control thereof for a sufficient period to have been able to terminate his possession MPC: 1. Purposely SUBJECTIVE a. A person acts purposely with respect to a material element of an offense when: i. If the element involves the nature of his conduct or result thereof, it is his conscious objective to engage in conduct of that nature or to cause such a result; (whatever the likelihood of that result following from his conduct), and ii. If the element involves the attendant circumstances, he is aware of the existence of such circumstances or he believes or hopes that they exist SUBJECTIVE 2. Knowingly o A person acts knowingly with respect to a material element of an offense when: i. If the element involves the nature of his conduct or attendant circumstances, he is aware that his conduct is of that nature or that such circumstances exist. ii. If the element involves the results of his conduct, he is aware that it is practically certain that his conduct will cause such a result,

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Common Law Intentionally = Purpose + Knowledge (look at Adkins case) • A person who engaged in conduct that caused a particular result intentionally. involves a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would observe in the actor’s situation. • MORE FAULT than NEGLIGENCE MPC: 1. The risk must be of such a nature and degree that. its disregard involves a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a law-abiding person would observe in the actor’s situation. The risk must be of such a nature and degree that the actor’s failure to perceive it. such element is established if a person acts purposely. ( subjective) Requirement of Knowledge Satisfied by Knowledge of High Probability When knowledge of the existence of a particular fact is an element of an offense. Negligently (criminal negligence) OBJECTIVE a. such knowledge is established if a person is aware of a high probability of its existence. Recklessly SUBJECTIVE and OBJECTIVE a. unless he actually believes that it does not exist. whatever the likelihood of that result following from his conduct. MPC: 1. caused that result if either his conscious object when engaging in that conduct was for that result to follow. A person acts negligently with respect to a material element of an offense when he should be aware (objective) of a substantial and unjustifiable risk (objective) that the material element exists or will result from his conduct. Model Penal Code: § 2. OR he was aware that it was practically certain that that result would follow his conduct. A person acts recklessly with respect to a material element of an offense when he conscious disregards (subjective) of a substantial and unjustifiable risk (objective) that the material element exists or will result from his conduct. considering the nature and purpose of his conduct and the circumstances known to him. knowingly OR recklessly with respect thereto. considering the nature and purpose of the actor’s conduct and the circumstances known to him.Nutshell Summary (whatever his desire may have been as to that result).02(3) Culpability Required Unless Otherwise Provided When the culpability sufficient to establish a material element of an offense is not prescribed by law. Page 2 of 15 .

common law=culpability • seriousness of potential harm to public (if the potential harm is great=strict liability) • ability of actor to ascertain true facts (imposing liability without fault is less unfair if actor has the opportunity to find out the truth) • difficulty of proof of knowledge (harder to prove=strict liability) • Severity of punishment (the stricter the punishment. • • • • • • • • Strict Liability Generally. only knowledge of intercourse) Factors used in determining strict liability or requirement of culpability • Nature of purpose of offense (regulatory or public welfare v. statutory creation): statutory=strict liability. it cannot be inferred** D. Mistake of Fact Actor was unaware of or mistaken about a fact pertaining to an element of an offense for which he may be prosecuted. not SL • origin of offense (common law v. through wording o Common law history requires intent o Potential harm to public o Potential punishment Types of SL offenses: 1. Public welfare (usually “malum prohibitum”. Page 3 of 15 .Nutshell Summary **Negligence is not sufficient unless it is expressly included in the statute. it’s probably not SL (look at factors) Does not require awareness of the factors constituting the crime Certain defenses (such as mistake of fact) are not available Generally. have minor penalties.wrong because prohibited). Traditional offenses (“malum in se” – morally wrong) and carry severe penalties o Felony murder o Statutory rape (knowledge of age not required. the act is sufficient to convict (speeding) 2. if the crime is from common law. “regulatory” offenses involve low penalty and not regarded as involving significant moral impropriety The mere fact that a statute is silent with the question of mental state doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a strict liability offense SL = ACT + RESULT (no culpability requirement) Any defense which negates intent can’t be a defense to SL because no intent is required Usually look to legislative intent: o Purpose of statute. “crime” + “punishment) if the purpose is to punish. the more likely a culpability requirement is present) E.

Nutshell Summary • • • Must show that Δ did not have the state of mind required for the crime For specific intent crimes: an honest (actual) mistake can be a defense For malice and general intent crimes. no liability) For strict liability crimes. knowledge. if the mens rea for a crime requires a certain belief concerning a collateral aspect of law. Ignorance of mistake as to a matter of fact is a defense if: a. The ignorance or mistake negatives the purpose. belief. however. it isn’t a defense to a crime that the Δ was unaware that her acts were prohibited by the criminal law or that she mistakenly believed that her acts were not prohibited (even if ignorance/mistake was reasonable) However. honest and reasonable mistake can be a defense o Possible exceptions: “lesser legal wrong theory” (Silva). Ignorance and Mistake of Law Ignorance of the law is no excuse (common law maxim) • • Generally. The law provides that the state of mind established by such ignorance or mistake constitutes a defense subjective c. if he would be guilty of a different albeit less serious crime if the situation were as he supposed (NOTE: under the MPC the actor is guilty of the less serious crime) • This encompasses the idea of transferred intent your intent will be transferred to a lesser crime o Rudstein doesn’t agree with this and thinks Cunningham is better Moral wrong doctrine: one can make a reasonable mistake regarding an attendant circumstance. the defense is not available if the Δ would be guilty of another offense had the situation been as he supposed (offender can only be punished for a lesser crime) F. this defense is not applicable because there’s no intent MPC Ignorance or Mistake 1.Δ is guilty of the greater criminal offense despite a reasonable mistake of fact. recklessness or negligence required to establish a material element of the offense OR b. ignorance or mistake as to that aspect of law will negate the requisite state of mind (mechanic’s lien) Page 4 of 15 . if the act is highly immoral. the defense will not be accepted and the actor will be guilty of the greater offense (NOTE: under MPC.

Intoxication of the actor is not a defense unless it negates an element of the offense (only purpose or knowledge) (SPECIFIC INTENT) 2. due to selfinduced intoxication. if the actor. although Δ would not have been able to rely on). it is a disturbance of mental/physical capacities resulting from the introduction of substances into the body • Intoxication which is not self-induced is an affirmative defense if by reason of such intoxication the actor at the time of his conduct lacks substantial capacity to appreciate its wrongfulness (criminality) MPC Intoxication 1. administration. defense is not applicable (GENERAL INTENT) • Intoxication is not a mental disease. such unawareness is immaterial (the statute excludes negligence as there is not mental state to negate) (GENERAL INTENT) Page 5 of 15 . OR o He acts in reasonable reliance upon an official statement of the law. or enforcement of the law”) • No defense if relied on counsel’s advice G.Nutshell Summary MPC Ignorance or Mistake • A belief that conduct does not legally constitute an offense is a defense when: o The statute or other enactment defining the offense is not known to the actor and has not been published or otherwise reasonably made available prior to the conduct alleged (applies to King. afterward determined to be invalid or erroneous contained in: Statute (Marrero) Judicial decision Administrative order Official interpretation (Hopkins) Exceptions: • Statute not reasonably available • Reasonable reliance upon statute or Ct decision • Reasonable reliance upon official interpretation/advice (MPC advocated the rule which states that when the statement is obtained from one “charged by law with responsibility for the interpretation. When recklessness establishes an element of the offense. is unaware of the risk of which he would have been aware had be been sober. Intoxication Know the trend from Common Law • MPC: Intoxication is no defense unless it negatives an element of the offense (SPECIFIC INTENT) • If reckless due to self-intoxication and unaware of a risk he should have been aware of.

he fails to do so Page 6 of 15 . Aids OR agrees OR attempts to aid such person iii. relieving. must try to retrieve the material or notify the authorities) MPC Liability for Conduct of Another 1.3 are accessories) • • • • Most modern jurisdictions have abandoned the requirement that the principal must be convicted before the accessory is tried (Standefer) Mens rea requirement: intent to aid or encourage the principal in the commission of the crime charged. conviction) (1. the withdrawal required that he repudiate this encouragement. Principal in the 1st degree (actually engaging in acts. comforting. Solicits such other person to commit it OR ii. Accessory before the fact (aid. mental state) ACT + INTENT 2. A person is guilty of an offense if it is committed by his own conduct or by the conduct of another person for which he is legally accountable ACT 2. abet. Acting with the kind of culpability that is sufficient for the commission of the offense. he: i. assisting another knowing he has committed the felony. A. as long as the other crimes were probably or foreseeable Withdrawal: may avoid liability as accomplice if withdraw from crime before it is actually committed by the principal (if the person merely encouraged. knowledge is usually sufficient Scope of liability: responsible for crimes he did or counseled and for any other crimes committed in the course of committing the crime contemplated. he causes an innocent or irresponsible person to engage in such conduct b. A person is an accomplice of another person in the commission of the offense if: a. but not present at the crime) 4. if gave material assist to principal. commanding. trial. in order to help the felon escape arrest. He is made accountable for the conduct of another by the Code c. ACCOMPLICE LIABILITY General- Under Common Law: Parties to a Felony: 1.Nutshell Summary V.2. encouraging actively present at the scene of a crime) 3. encourage. A person is legally accountable for the conduct of another person when: a. Accessory after the fact (receiving. With the purpose of promoting or facilitating the commission of the offense. He is an accomplice of such other person 3. Having a legal duty to prevent. Principal in the 2nd degree (aiding.

that is sufficient for the commission of the offense 5. Intent to kill (express malice) 2. even though the person claimed to have committed the offense has not been prosecuted or convicted (applies to Standefer) **there is never any strict liability with accomplice liability** Look at MPC 3(a) the purpose to aid or abet is still required. A person who is legally accountable of committing a particular offense himself may be guilty thereof if it is committed by the conduct of another person for which he is legally accountable 6. if he acts with the kind of culpability. MPC Scope of Accomplice Liability (p. if any. When causing a particular result is an element of an offense. Reckless indifference to an unjustifiably high risk to human life (depraved heart) (implied malice) 4. with respect to that result.Nutshell Summary 4. Intent to inflict great bodily injury (implied malice) 3. if someone could be liable. either express or implied Malice Aforethought Common Law Murder: 1. their testimony may be lost b) the offense is so defined that his conduct is inevitably incident to its commission Ex) Prostitution cases: it obviously takes two people’s acts to complete the “act” c) he terminates his complicity prior to the commission of the offense (like a change of heart) Ex) take back your help or report the crime to the law enforcers Common Law: Common Design: Accomplice is liable for any natural or probably consequence of their intended plan foreseeable result • UNLESS the act is independent and not foreseeable to the accomplice Common law “murder” = the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought. 203) A person is not an accomplice in an offense committed by another person if: a) the person is a victim of that offense Ex) Silva case: the underage woman could be liable for aiding and abetting statutory rape In a lot of these cases. An accomplice may be convicted of proof of the commission of the offense and of his complicity. Felony-murder (implied malice) Page 7 of 15 .

fatal act (actual killing must be done by one the Δs. Proximate cause theory: a felon is liable for any death proximately resulting from the felony. An act may involve such a wanton and willful disregard of an unreasonable human risk as to constitute malice aforethought even if there is not actual intent to kill or injure (reckless behavior.e.merger doctrine: where the felony and the killing are not independent. is implied from the intentional commission of the underlying felony even though the actual killing might be accidental 1. armed robbery. but the intent to kill any person (transferred intent) you must look at the culpable state of mind 1. rape). Look to object and how used (broom stick could be deadly) a. depraved heart) (implied malice aforethought) 3. A killing is malicious where the perpetrator acts with the specific intent to kill (express malice aforethought) purposely or knowingly killing.if he has a defense to the felony. either Δ or his accomplice) (Old Rule Majority Rule) 2.Nutshell Summary Four types of murder under malice aforethought at common law. Provides a permissible inference of intent to kill Intent to kill is not just the intent to kill the specific victim. Δ must be guilty of the underlying felony.(i.e.One who uses a deadly weapon upon a vital part of another will be deemed to have intended the probable result of that act. the two crimes merge into murder/manslaughter. whether the shooter is a felon or a third party (New Rule Minority Rule) TREND toward proximate cause • Defenses to felony-murder: 1. “felony-murder” rule: malice. implied as a matter of law the law treated you as though you had the express malice aforethought) 2. only require that a felony be malum in se) Page 8 of 15 .death must have been a foreseeable result of the commission of the felony (a minority of courts don’t apply foreseeability requirement. and from such a circumstance a proper inference may be drawn in some cases that there was an intent to kill. Malice exists when a killing occurred in the course of the intentional commission of a felony mental state is the intent to create a felony (implied malice aforethought) a. assault. Agency theory: Δ are liable only if they committed the final. great) bodily harm (implied malice aforethought. Foreseeability of death. Felony must be independent of killing. manslaughter) 3. but can’t be FM (i. has a defense to the FM 2. Deadly Weapon Doctrine. an essential element of murder. each accompanied by mental states: 1. A killing is malicious where the perpetrator has the specific intent to inflict serious (grievous.

Once felon has reached a place of “temporary safety. During the commission of a felony (termination). such recklessness and indifference are presumed if the actor is engaged in a (felony) this isn’t the felony murder rule. knowingly. criminal homicide constitutes murder when: a. permanent disfigurement 4. but a presumption **there is no FM rule and no intent to cause grievous bodily harm rule** MPC Definitions: 1. “bodily injury” means physical pain. “serious bodily injury” means bodily injury which creates a substantial risk or death or which causes serious. manner) or short period (to form specific intent to kill) . depends on the jurisdiction 3-Prong Test from Anderson: Page 9 of 15 . manslaughter or negligent homicide MPC Murder 1. “deadly weapon” means any (weapon) which in the manner it is used or is intended to be used is known to be capable of producing death or serious bodily injury Degrees of Murder: “Premeditation and Deliberation” = 1st degree murder • • • Willful (conscious object to kill/intentional) Deliberate (voluntary/intentional act – decision made in cool and dispassionate manner) Premeditated (equated with intent to kill. recklessly or negligently causes the death or another human being 2. It is committed purposely or knowingly (intent to kill). illness or any impairment of physical condition 3. relationship.Nutshell Summary 4. Killing of co-felon or third party by victim of felonies or pursuing police officersmajority view: Δ not liable (agency theory) MPC Criminal Homicide 1.Δ actually reflected on the idea of killing) long (planning.. OR b. “human being” means a person who has been born and is alive 2.death must be caused during the commission or attempted commission of the felony or while fleeing from the crime in order to be a FM. A person is guilty of criminal homicide if he purposely.” FM rule ceases. It is committed recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life (depraved heart). Criminal homicide is murder. 5. Except as provided….

fatal act (Giourard case) A. 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 RP standard 2. 3. the rule in Carroll (as long as you make up your mind prior) or the rule in Anderson (must make up your mind coolly and rationally)? • Under Carroll. • MANSLAUGHTER Under common law principles. the Anderson rule is better The Anderson court is saying look at legislative intent there is a distinction between first and second degree murder (Carroll court seems to violate legislative intent then) B. 1+2. Heat of passion (subjective standard of Δ) Adequate provocation (objective) (insulting words no. 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. MPC Manslaughter 1. 2. an intentional homicide committed in “sudden heat of passion” as the result of “adequate provocation” mitigates the offense to voluntary manslaughter “Heat of Passion” Voluntary Manslaughter1. or 2+3 for premeditation intent must be formed upon pre-existing reflection Which rule is better. Criminal homicide constitutes manslaughter when a. every intentional killing would be first degree murder • As far as deterrence. informative words yes) No reasonable cooling period (objective) Causal connection between provocation. Facts about the Δ’s prior relationship and/or conduct with the victim (motive) 3. passion.Nutshell Summary The type of evidence which this court found sufficient to sustain a finding of premeditation and deliberation falls into three categories: 1. Facts about the nature of the killing from which the jury could infer that the manner of the killing was so particular and exacting that the Δ must have intentionally killed need strong 1. 4. Manslaughter is a felony in the second-degree Page 10 of 15 . Facts about how and what Δ did prior to the actual killing (may be characterized as “planning” the killing 2.

we’re applying an objective standard a person would have been aware of the substantial risk • For depraved heart. Criminal Negligence or Recklessness: greater deviation from the RP standard than is required for civil liability.e. Manslaughter is a felony of the second degree Negligent Homicide • Criminal homicide constitutes negligent homicide when it is committed negligently • Negligent homicide is a felony of the third degree VII. It is committed recklessly b. murder: someone has to die first) o Most crimes that deal with causation deal with homicide Page 11 of 15 . Causation General principles of criminal culpability• Act • Culpability • Causation o Certain crimes require a certain result and others do not Ex) Burglary: crime is completed as soon as person with intent unlawfully enters Other crimes do not require result (i. we’re applying a subjective standard the actor was aware of the very substantial or grave risk (did THIS person know?) • Difference between a substantial risk or a VERY substantial risk • The act must be one which has “knowable and apparent potentialities for resulting in death.Nutshell Summary C. a lesser offense than “voluntary” (sudden heat of passion) manslaughter. • INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER In states that distinguish between forms of manslaughter. How does this differ from depraved heart murder? • For criminal negligence.” • The fundamental requirement for criminal responsibility is “knowledge” either actual or implied (through foreseeability) that the act of the accused tended to endanger life MPC Manslaughter 1. Criminal homicide constitutes manslaughter when: a. a criminally negligent homicide is “involuntary” manslaughter.

Hastening an Inevitable Result: still a legal cause of that result (ex.a dependant. resulting in B’s death. intervening cause does not break the chain of causation EXCEPT when it’s highly unusual or bizarre Independent.independent. but in a manner not intended or anticipated by Δ. Simultaneous Acts: may be considered independently sufficient causes of a single result 3. Preexisting Condition: V’s pre-existing condition makes him more susceptible to death.Nutshell Summary General Requirement for Causation: must be cause-in-fact and proximate cause 1. B only had 24 hours to live. A terminates B’s life support system. Cause-in-fact. intervening cause breaks the chain of causation UNLESS it was foreseeable Rules of Causation: 1. if B shoots V in the leg and V is a hemophiliac. B is liable to him for death even though a usual person wouldn’t die) Page 12 of 15 . A’s act caused B’s death 2.” (ex. Proximate cause – victim’s death occurs because of the Δ’s acts. that does not break the chain of causation Δ “takes the V as he finds him. this chain of proximate causation is broken only by the intervention of a “superseding factor.” • • • Look at end result to decide whether dependent or independent act Dependent. Can A be liable for B’s death? Yes because for the purposes of causation analysis. general rule is that Δ is responsible for all results that occur as a “natural and probable” consequence of his conduct.the result would not have occurred “but for” the Δ’s conduct or a substantial factor 2.

Incentive to get involved. Force used must be reasonable under the circumstances and apparently necessary to prevent an imminent assault (from Golson) a. Exception: if the aggressor withdraws in good-faith. You can only use deadly force if it was used against you or if you actually and reasonably believe that you are being threatened by serious bodily harm b. Other jurisdictions apply the alter-ego rule: you stand in the shoes of the party you’re defending. The force used must be such as the actor could use in defending himself from the harm that he believes to be threatened to the third person 2. beneficial from society’s viewpoint 2. Exception: the person who is the aggressor does not normally have the right to self-defense a. this is also beneficial from society’s viewpoint (you may throw a police officer off a criminal and help the criminal get away) Page 13 of 15 . Beeley1. The third person must be justified in using such protective force in the circumstances as the actor believes them to be 3. You could say that she reasonably believed that he was in need of aid (Minority Rule) a. if you aid the aggressor who would have no right to defend himself. The Ct in Leidholm said you can take physical and mental characteristics into account 3. the intervenor would therefore have to right to defend a.Nutshell Summary A. Δ must have an actual belief that she’s threatened with imminent and unlawful force or harm 2. Definition of deadly force: force where the person intends to cause death or grievous bodily harm OR he knows creates a substantial risk of causing death or serious bodily injury (very similar to the common law definition of intent to kill) 4. Δ must have and actual and reasonable (from Leidholm) belief that force is necessary to defend herself both subjective and objective a. he is entitled to self-defense even if he was the original aggressor (Mayberry) B. Incentive NOT to get involved. Self-Defense Requirements of Self-Defense: 1. Defense of Another State v. The actor must believe that his intervention is necessary for the protection of a third party What if Δ accidentally helped the aggressor? Two viewpoints: 1.

the law values both lives the same Traditional View: duress was only available if threats of imminent harm or serious bodily injury were made ONLY to that person Modern View: duress may be allowed to Δ who’s threats or harm were made to his family (Duang case) MPC: What kind of harm is threatened under the MPC? • Unlawful force is the type of harm necessary to constitute duress • Which a person of reasonable firmness in his situation would have been unable to resist o MPC makes the defense generally more available.Nutshell Summary MPC: as long as the Δ-intervenor reasonably believes that the other is being unlawfully attacked. Imminent: can be carried out at some point in the near future 2. there’s a balance of violating the criminal law v. No reasonable opportunity to escape the threatened harm except by committing the criminal act Reason for a defense of duress: there’s no deterrent effect on the person in a situation of duress **Lesser of two evils killed** it’s better to violate the law than to have an innocent person However. Duress Common Law: To constitute a defense of duress. three elements must be shown: 1. killing someone else so that you’re not killed is not duress. A well grounded or reasonable fear that the threat will be carried out 3. Necessity In necessity. there must be no alternative look at the lesser of two harms Page 14 of 15 . An imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury (to self or loved ones) a. there’s still the limiting factor of the person of reasonable firmness E. another harm from natural causes (unlike duress where there’s only one alternative) • In duress. but still requires “ a person of reasonable firmness” • This seems even broader than the Duang case because it doesn’t even limit it to a family member • BUT. he or she is justified in using reasonable force to protect the third party D.

Neither the Code nor other law defining the offense provides exceptions or defenses dealing with the specific situation involved. provided that: a. A legislative purpose to exclude the justification claimed does not otherwise plainly appear Page 15 of 15 .Nutshell Summary • In Duang. the defense will not apply MPC: Choice of Evils 1. The harm or evil sought to be avoided by such conduct is greater than that sought to be prevented by the law defining the offense charged. and b. there was a third alternative either than having his family killed or committing armed robbery o If there is another alternative. there was evidence that he could have called the police therefore. Conduct which the actor believes to be necessary to avoid a harm or evil to himself or another is justifiable. and c.