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What is Criminal Law? Based on punishment Criminal conviction carries a moral stigma which reduces an individual’s chances in life employment opportunities
Theories of Punishment Deterrence The utilitarian theory is essentially one of deterrence – punishment is justifiable if, but only if, it is expected to result in a reduction of crime. Punishment must be proportional to the crime, i.e., that punishment be inflicted in the amount required (but no more than is required) to satisfy utilitarian crime prevention goals. Utilitarians consider the effect of a form of punishment in terms of both general deterrence and specific (or individual) deterrence. o When the goal is general deterrence, punishment is imposed in order to dissuade the community at large to forego criminal conduct in the future. o When the goal is specific deterrence, punishment is meant to deter future misconduct by an individual defendant by both preventing him from committing crimes against society during the period of his incarceration (incapacitation), and reinforcing to him the consequences of future crimes (intimidation). Rehabilitation Another form of utilitarianism is rehabilitation (or reform). Examples of rehabilitative ―punishment‖ include: psychiatric care, therapy for drug addiction, or academic or vocational training. Under a retributive theory of penal law, a convicted defendant is punished simply because he deserves it. There is no exterior motive such as deterring others from crime or protecting society – here the goal is to make the defendant suffer in order to pay for his crime. Retributive theory assigns punishment on a proportional basis so that crimes that cause greater harm or are committed with a higher degree of culpability (e.g.,intentional versus negligent) receive more severe punishment than lesser criminal activity.
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(Expressive Theory) – The denunciation theory – which holds that punishment is justified as a means of expressing society’s condemnation of a crime – has both utilitarian and retributive components. Under a utilitarian theory, denunciation is desirable because it educates individuals that the community considers specific conduct improper, channels community anger away from personal vengeance, and serves to maintain social cohesion. Under a retributive theory, denunciation serves to punish the defendant by stigmatizing him. While imprisoned a criminal has fewer opportunities to commit acts causing harm to society
Case Study in Punishment Regina v. Dudley and Stephens Essential Elements of Crime Elements of a Crime *Culpability under Anglo-American criminal law is founded upon certain basic premices that are more or less strictly observed by legislatures and courts when formulation the substantive law of crimes *Prosecution is generally required to prove the following elements of a criminal offense: Actus Reus (guilty act) – physical act (or unlawful omission) by the defendant; Mens Rea (guilty mind) – state of mind or intent of the defendant at the time of his act; Concurrence: the physical act and the mental state existed at the same time; and Harmful result and causation: a harmful result cause d both factually and proximately by the defendant’s act
Requirement of “Voluntary” Act General Rule Subject to limited exceptions, a person is not guilty of a crime unless his conduct includes a voluntary act. Few statutes defining criminal offenses expressly provide for this requirement but courts usually treat it as an implicit element of criminal statutes. “Act” – An act involves physical behavior. It does not include the mental processes of planning or thinking about the physical act that gives rise to the criminal activity (such is the domain of mens rea).
seizures.g. which the Court analogized to other illnesses.Downloaded From OutlineDepot.S. ―voluntary‖ may be defined simply as any volitional movement. Omission as Basis of Liability. o Powell argued that he was a chronic alcoholic and was thus unable to prevent appearing drunk in public and sought relief under the reasoning of Robinson. o The Court upheld his conviction. it could not criminalize the status of being an addict. Texas [392 U. that every act was voluntary in order to establish culpability. Burden of Proof – Although a defendant may raise as a defense that his conduct was not voluntary. 514 (1968)] – Powell was charged with violating a Texas statute that prohibited drunkenness in a public place. distinguishing the case from Robinson on the ground that Powell was being punished for the act of public drunkenness and not for his status as a chronic alcoholic. California [370 U. although a legislature may use criminal sanctions against specific acts associated with narcotics addiction.
§ 2. and bodily movements while unconscious or asleep.
.01 Requirement of Voluntary Act. o Fulcher v. purchase. Robinson v. or possession of narcotics. e. 660 (1962)] – Robinson was convicted under a California statute that made it an offense for a person to ―be addicted to the use of narcotics. 1981) o Powell v. Possession as an Act (1) 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. the unauthorized manufacture. Habitual conduct – even if the defendant is unaware of what he is doing at the time – may still be deemed voluntary. It is sufficient that the defendant’s conduct – which is the actual and proximate cause of the social harm – included a voluntary act.. the voluntariness of an act proscribed by criminal law is in fact an element of the crime. State (Wyo. Acts deemed involuntary may include: spasms. and as such. The prosecution does not need to show. however. o Essentially. (2) The following are not voluntary acts within the meaning of this Section: o (a) a reflex or convulsion.S.com
“Voluntary” – In the context of actus reus. the prosecution bears the burden of proving such fact. sale. the Court held that.‖ The Supreme Court struck down the statute on Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment grounds. o Ie.
(3) Liability for the commission of an offense may not be based on an omission unaccompanied by action unless: o (a) the omission is expressly made sufficient by the law defining the offense.Downloaded From OutlineDepot.05]. o (d) a bodily movement that otherwise is not a product of the effort or determination of the actor. conduct during unconsciousness.‖ but Comments list bodily movements that are involuntary: reflexes. o (c) conduct during hypnosis or resulting from hypnotic suggestion.
Ie.. a person has no legal duty to act in order to prevent harm to another. either conscious or habitual.
(4) Possession is an act. MPC in connection to common law Model Penal Code – Similar to the common law.g. as well as any conduct that ―is not a product of the effort or determination of the defendant.g. Jones v. a parent to his minor child – or on their interdependence – e. and the failure of a bystander to take measures to prevent harm. defined as an offense for which the maximum penalty is a fine or civil penalty. 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. convulsions. either conscious or habitual.. ‖ Excluded from the requirement that the act be voluntary are offenses that constitute a “violation” [§2. or due to hypnosis. o Such a relationship is usually founded on the dependence of one party to the other – e. within the meaning of this Section. The criminal law distinguishes between an act that affirmatively causes harm. MPC § 2. or o (b) a duty to perform the omitted act is otherwise imposed by law.01 requires that criminal conduct include a voluntary act.com
o (b) a bodily movement during unconsciousness or sleep. It does not define the term ―voluntary. spouses
Omission Common Law Subject to a few exceptions. sleep. United States Common Law Exceptions to the “No Duty to Act” Rule (Five Situations legal duty imposed) Duty Based on Status Relationship o One may have a common law duty to act to prevent harm to another if he stands in a special status relationship to the person in peril.
o E.01(3)(b)] The latter category incorporates duties arising under civil law. o As another example. Liability based on an omission may be found in two circumstances: (1) if the law defining the offense provides for it.g. a driver involved in an accident must stop his car at the scene. o E. even if unintentionally. e. there is a split of authority regarding whether one who justifiably shoots an aggressor in self-defense has a subsequent duty to obtain medical attention for the wounded aggressor..com
Duty Based on Contractual Obligation o A duty to act may be created by implied or express contract.g. has a common law duty to render assistance. or who damages property. Statutory Duty to Act – o Some duties are statutorily imposed. Duty Based on Creation of a Risk o A person who harms another or places a person in jeopardy of harm. such as torts or contract law.
Model Penal Code o The Model Penal Code is consistent with the common law regarding omissions. parents must provide food and shelter to their minor children. or (2) if the duty to act is ―otherwise imposedby law. o A few states have enacted so-called “Bad Samaritan” laws. one who accidentally starts a house fire may be convicted of arson if he fails to extinguish the fire or take other steps to prevent or mitigate the damage.
Duty Based on Voluntary Assistance o One who voluntarily renders assistance to another already in danger has a duty to continue to provide aid.. a person who undertakes the care of a mentally or physically disabled person and fails to do so may be found criminally liable based on omission for his ward’s injury or death.‖ [MPC § 2. which make it an offense (usually a misdemeanor) for a person to fail to come to the aid of a person in needunder specified circumstances. When is a duty one that can lead to criminal liability if the one breaches the duty by failing to act?
.g.Downloaded From OutlineDepot.. at least if the subsequent omission would put the victim in a worse position than if the defendant had not commenced the assistance at all.
State v.02 General Requirements of Culpability. as the law may require. Williquette Elements Legal duty Capacity to perform the duty Willful neglect or refusal to perform duty Death as direct and immediate consequence of failure to act MPC Section 2.
1)Statute requires action 2)Status of relationship 3)Contractually assumed the duty 4)Voluntary assumed care preventing other aid 5)Creation of Peril MPC § 2. (1) Minimum Requirements of Culpability. (2) Kinds of Culpability Defined. o Purposely Result or conduct = conscious object Attendant Circumstances = aware of circumstance or believes or hopes it exists A person acts purposely when: a. It is his conscious object to engage in the particular conduct in question or To cause the particular result in question Wants the end result to happen
o Knowingly Conduct or Attendant Circumstance = aware of nature or that circumstance exists. Except as provided in Section 2.Downloaded From OutlineDepot. knowingly.05. with respect to each material element of the offense. recklessly or negligently.01(3) (3) Liability for the commission of an offense may not be based on an omission unaccompanied by action unless: o (a) the omission is expressly made sufficient by the law defining the offense. or o (b) a duty to perform the omitted act is otherwise imposed by law. a person is not guilty of an offense unless he acted purposely.
Downloaded From OutlineDepot. but engaged in conduct overwhelmingly likely to produce that result
o Recklessly Consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that Element exists OR Element will be a result of conduct Consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk Engaging in a conduct there is a great risk of harm There was a great risk of harm. knew what they were doing and or the required circumstances existed and or that the result would occur o Didn’t need to want the result. Jackowski State v. but defendant disregarded it o Negligently Should be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that Element exists OR Element will be a result of conduct Negligent when should have been aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk If no mens rea stated assume recklessness Crime Conduct: (the act) Circumstances: (the facts surrounding the event) Result: (what has to happen) State v.com
Result = practically certain that conduct will cause result A person acts knowingly when He is aware that his conduct is of a certain kind or That certain circumstances exist or That he is practically certain that his conduct will cause the result Prosecution must prove that the def. Ducker
.g. unless a contrary purpose plainly appears.g. or (2) provides that the defendant must be aware of a statutory attendant circumstance. most criminal statutes expressly include a mens rea term. (4) Prescribed Culpability Requirement Applies to All Material Elements. beyond the conduct or result that constitutes the actus reus of the offense. or a particular state of mind is judicially implied. ―breaking and entering of the dwelling of another in the nighttime with intent to commit a felony‖..g.02 (3) Culpability Required Unless Otherwise Provided.Downloaded From OutlineDepot.e.‖
General Intent –
. Richardson (2009) It is unlawful for an individual who knows oneself to be infected with a life threatening communicable disease knowingly to engage in sexual intercourse or sodomy with another individual with the intent to expose that individual to that life threatening communicable disease
Specific/General Intent Crimes The common law distinguished between general intent and specific intent crimes.. a ―specific intent‖ offense is one in which the definition of the crime: (1) includes an intent or purpose to do some future act. a special motive for the conduct). When the law defining an offense prescribes the kind of culpability that is sufficient for the commission of an offense. Today. or to achieve some further consequence (i. e. Legislative Patterns of Criminal Intention State v. such provision shall apply to all the material elements of the offense.‖ An offense that does not contain one of the above features is termed ―general intent.. battery.
Specific Intent – Generally speaking.com
APPLYING MENTAL STATES TO STATUTORY LANGUAGE MPC § 2. often defined statutorily as ―intentional application of unlawful force upon another. When the culpability sufficient to establish a material element of an offense is not prescribed by law. e. without distinguishing among the material elements thereof. such element is established if a person acts purposely.‖ e. ―receiving stolen property with knowledge that it is stolen. knowingly or recklessly with respect thereto.
or welfare of a significant portion of the public. possesses. as well as traffic and motor-vehicle regulations. .com
This is a general-intent crime. without lawful authority. such as the offense of statutory rape which is aimed at protecting underage females who may be too immature to make knowing decisions about sexual activity.
Strict liability offenses are those that lack a mens rea requirement regarding one or more elements of the actus reus.
Strict Liability Staples v. Strict liability statutes also regulate other types of conduct against individuals. The only mental state required in its definition is the intent to ―apply unlawful force upon another. regardless of the defendant’s state of mind at the time of commission. for the simple reason that the definition does not contain any specific intent beyond that which relates to the actus reus itself. . Examples include statutes that prohibit the manufacture or sale of impure food or drugs to the public. could gravely affect the health.‖ the actus reus of the crime.Downloaded From OutlineDepot. the mere proof of the actus reus is sufficient for a conviction. For such statutorily enumerated offenses. or uses. United States It shall be unlawful for any person . Strict liability statutes often address so-called “public welfare” offenses. it applies to all elements in the statute unless another meaning plainly appears. to receive or possess a firearm which is not registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. Villanueva-Sotella (2008) knowingly transfers. safety. Common Law Strict Liability: Statutory Interpretation Presumption against strict liability o Public welfare offense (malum prohibitum) o Very limited punishment o Statutory crime not derived from common law
. § 2.
United States v. Such statutes are aimed at conduct that. although not morally wrongful. anti-pollution environmental laws. a means of identification of another person.02(4): when a mental state is listed.
.02 requires the prosecution to prove some form of culpability regarding each material element. except with respect to offenses graded as ―violations. . o (2) When recklessness establishes an element of the offense.  Mens Rea Defense –
. with respect to each material element of the offense.05. and (3) involuntary (―non-self-induced‖) intoxication. o (1) Except as provided in Subsection (4) of this Section.com
o Legislative intent evident o We expect people to adhere to this standard (one violation can affect many) o No great moral condemnation for conviction.08. Mens Rea Required Traditional common law crime (malum in se (inherently wrongful)) Severe punishment Conviction is stigmatizing
MPC: Strict Liability § 2. knowingly.08(4)–(5) distinguishes three types of intoxication: (1) voluntary (―self-induced‖) intoxication.05 The requirements of culpability prescribed by Sections 2. .Downloaded From OutlineDepot. if the actor. section 2. due to self induced intoxication.02 Except as provided in Section 2. recklessly or negligently.01 and 2.08 o § 2.02 do not apply to: (a) offenses which constitute violations . is unaware of a risk of which he would have been aware had he been sober. MPC 2. (2) pathological intoxication. [A] General Rule – Model Penal Code § 2. § 2. The Model Penal Code does not recognize strict liability. such unawareness is immaterial. a person is not guilty of an offense unless he acted purposely. Intoxication and Drugged Conditions General Common Law Rule o Can negate the mens rea for a specific intent element only. intoxication of the actor is not a defense unless it negatives an element of the offense. Intoxication. as the law may require.‖ For all other offenses.
It is an affirmative defense to prosecution for theft that the actor: (a) was unaware that the property or service was that of another. Mistake of Fact: New Jersey v. he was not conscious of a risk of which he would have been aware had he not been intoxicated. or
Common Law Mistake of Fact. .04 Ignorance or Mistake. Part 1.2 (1) A person is guilty of theft if he unlawfully takes. For a mistake of fact to negate the existence of a general intent crime.com
Any form of intoxication is a defense to criminal conduct if it negates an element of the offense. .08(2)]
Mistake of Fact One who acts on the basis of incorrect factual or legal information sometimes lacks the mens rea for the crime because of the mistake of fact or law. it must be a reasonable mistake (one that a reasonable person would have made under the circumstances). belief. (3) Claim of Right. In the case of crimes defined in terms of recklessness. MPC § 223. with one exception.
. ..Downloaded From OutlineDepot.1. the mens rea defense is broadly applied. Sexton MPC § 2. . or exercises unlawful control over. [MPC § 2. knowledge.08(1)] Since the Code does not distinguish between ―general intent‖ and ―specific intent‖ offenses. as the result of the self-induced intoxication. a person acts ―recklessly‖ as to an element of the crime if.
MPC § 223. [MPC § 2. (1) Ignorance or mistake as to a matter of fact or law is a defense if o (a) the ignorance or mistake negatives the purpose. Part 2. recklessness or negligence required to establish a material element of the
offense . movable property of another with purpose to deprive him thereof. Common Law Mistake of Fact..
it need not be reasonable. (pdf) Common Law Rules [A] General Approach – Many states follow the Model Penal Code in requiring proof of mens rea for every element of the offense. under which one can make a reasonable mistake regarding an attendant circumstance and yet manifest a bad character or otherwise demonstrate worthiness of punishment.‖ ―negligently. Under this doctrine.
. if the facts had been as the defendant believed them to be. a mistake of fact is irrelevant.e. i.g.  Moral-Wrong Doctrine – On occasion.Downloaded From OutlineDepot. if he lacks the intent designated in the definition of the offense.com
For a mistake of fact to negate the existence of a specific intent element of a crime. courts apply the ―moral wrong‖ doctrine.
Specific-Intent Offenses – A defendant is not guilty of an offense if his mistake of fact negates the specific-intent portion of the crime. his conduct would still be immoral. if the facts were as the defendant thought them to be. the first step in analyzing a mistake-of-fact claim in a jurisdiction that follows common law doctrine is to determine whether the nature of the crime of which the defendant has been charge is specific intent or general-intent. the common law’s two approaches to mistakes—depending on whether the offense charged is characterized as general-intent or specific-intent—has endured.‖ ―recklessly. If the crime is one of strict liability. ―knowingly. but the actus reus was associated with a higher offense. Otherwise. e. the defendant is guilty of the higher offense in such circumstances.. it must be an honest mistake if it is an unreasonable one. (However. his conduct would still be ―illegal.  Legal-Wrong Doctrine – A less extreme alternative to the moral-wrong doctrine is the ―legal-wrong doctrine. )
Mistake of fact is not a defense to strict liability crimes. Nevertheless.‖ General-Intent Offenses  Ordinary Approach: Reasonableness – The ordinary rule is that a person is not guilty of a general-intent crime if his mistake of fact was reasonable. but he is guilty if his mistake was unreasonable..‖ Often this means that a defendant possessed the mens rea for committing a lesser offense. The rule is generally that there is no exculpation for mistakes where.‖ That rule provides for no exculpation for mistakes where.
04 Ignorance or Mistake
. the ignorance or mistake of the defendant shall reduce the grade and degree of the offense of which he may be convicted to those of the offense of which he would be guilty had the situation been as he supposed. contained in (i) a statute or other enactment. opinion or judgment.Downloaded From OutlineDepot. afterward determined to be invalid or erroneous. Judy’s ignorance about this aspect of the law (that assault is actually a felony) will negate her mental state. (ii) a judicial decision. however. but Judy believes that assault is a misdemeanor.04 Ignorance or Mistake (2) Although ignorance or mistake would otherwise afford a defense to the offense charged. the Code only permits punishment at the level of the lesser offense. Selling firearm to a known felon is a crime Judy knows that Bob was convicted of assault. Exception to the Rule – The defense of mistake-of-fact is not available if the defendant would be guilty of another offense. Mistake of Law: Exception Mistake of law is a defense if mistake about the law actually negates the state of mind about an elements of a crime. (iii) an administrative order or grant of permission. In such case. is no defense.04(2)] MPC § 2. In such cases. had the circumstances been as he supposed. [MPC § 2. She will be not guilty) (3) A belief that conduct does not legally constitute an offense is a defense to a prosecution for that offense based upon such conduct when: o (a) 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. or mistake regarding the law. contrary to the common law.com
Model Penal Code [A] General Rule – Section 2. or o (b) he acts in reasonable reliance upon an official statement of the law. MISTAKE OF LAW General Rule: Ignorance of the law.04(1) provides that a mistake is a defense if it negates the mental state required to establish any element of the offense. the defense is not available if the defendant would be guilty of another offense had the situation been as he supposed. or
MPC § 2.
Mistake of Law: Exception o Hawaii v. This is MPC § 2. or enforcement of the law defining the offense. administration. of the United States. a number of doctrines apply when a defendant is ignorant or mistaken about the law.04(3)(b)(iv) o Kipp v. later determined to be erroneous. or (3) an official. This is not traditional common law. later determined to be erroneous. a person is excused for committing a criminal offense if he reasonably relies on an official statement of the law. in the case of federal law. interpretation of the law. ignorance of the law excuses no one. This is not traditional common law. obtained from a person or public body with responsibility for the interpretation. (2) a judicial decision of the highest court in the jurisdiction.Downloaded From OutlineDepot.04(3)(b)(iii) & (iv) Justification: Fundamental fairness
(pdf) General Principle Under both the common law and Model Penal Code. DeCastro A jurisdiction can codify exceptions to the general rule. but erroneous. In Hawaii. or enforcement. Reasonable-Reliance Doctrine Under both the common law and Model Penal Code.com
(iv) an official interpretation of the public officer or body charged by law with responsibility for the interpretation. such as the Attorney General of the state or. his mistake about the law will provide a defense. administration or enforcement of the law defining the offense. [A] “Official Statement” – For a statement of the law to be ―official. an exception was codified that mistake of law is a defense if Defendant is relying on an official statement of law. administration.
. secured from a public officer in charge of its interpretation.‖ it must be contained in: (1) a statute later declared to be invalid. This is MPC § 2. Delaware When a Defendant relies on information from a court that a statute will not apply. Nevertheless.
that interpretation must come in an ―official‖ manner. the Court reversed on ―lack of fair notice‖ due process grounds.  Advice of Private Counsel – Reliance on erroneous advice provided by a private attorney is not a defense to a crime. (2) the duty to act was imposed on the basis of a status (presence in Los Angeles).com
Even if a person obtains an interpretation of the law from a proper source.S. 225 (1957)]. the Court overturned the petitioner’s conviction for failing to register with the city of Los Angeles as a prior convicted felon. as required pursuant to a strict liability ordinance of which he was unaware. Namely. Key to the court’s decision in Lambert was the passive nature of the offense. (1) it punished an omission (failure to register).Downloaded From OutlineDepot.
. there was nothing to alert a reasonable person to the need to inquire into the law. even if a reasonable person – even a reasonable law–trained person – would have similarly misunderstood the law. [B] Exemptions to the Reasonable Reliance Doctrine  Reliance on One’s Own Interpretation of the Law – A person is not excused for committing a crime if he relies on his own erroneous reading of the law. For example. As a result of these factors.  Advice of Prosecutor – Although there is very little case law on the matter. formally interpreting the statute in question. in Lambert v. every one is presumed to know the law. a person who is unaware of a duly enacted and published criminal statute may successfully assert a constitutional defense in a prosecution of that offense. However. and (3) the offense was malum prohibitum. California [355 U. The Supreme Court held in Lambert that. Fair Notice and the Lambert Principle [A] Common Law – At common law. not an offhand or informal manner. under very limited circumstances. there is some support for the proposition that a person may not reasonably rely on an interpretation of a law provided by a local prosecuting attorney. a person may rely on an official ―opinion letter‖ from the state Attorney General. rather than on the basis of an activity.
and (2) the statute defining the offense is not known to him. it will be a nonpenal law – will negate the mens rea element in the definition of the criminal offense. whether reasonable or unreasonable. and was “not published or otherwise reasonably made available‖ to him before he violated the law. a different law mistake. CAUSATION Stephenson v.  Strict-Liability Offenses – A different-law mistake is never a defense to a strict liability offense.04(3)(a)] applies where: (1) a defendant does not believe that his conduct is illegal. the first matter for determination is whether the offense charged is one of specific-intent. whether reasonable or unreasonable. on the ground that the different-law mistake negates his mens rea. State
.  General-Intent Offenses – Although there is very little case law on point. generalintent. Application of this defense generally surfaces in cases of a different-law mistake. if the mistake negates the specific intent in the prosecuted offense. is a defense in the prosecution of a specific-intent offense.
Ignorance or Mistake that Negates Mens Rea [A] Common Law  “Different Law” Approach – A defendant’s lack of knowledge of.Downloaded From OutlineDepot. another law – usually. [B] Model Penal Code – MPC § 2.  Specific-Intent Offenses – A different-law mistake. When a defendant seeks to avoid conviction for a criminal offense by asserting a different tlaw mistake. apparently is not a defense to a general intent crime. or strictliability.com
[B] Model Code – The Model Penal Code’s fair notice exception [MPC § 2.04(1) provides that mistake or ignorance of the law is a defense if it negates a material element of the offense. or misunderstanding regarding the meaning or application of.
Most jurisdictions extend liability to any other offense that was a natural and probable consequence of the crime solicited. People v. In general.
Modern Common Law: Accomplice can be convicted of crime if the principal is convictable. the accomplice may be convicted of any offense committed by the primary party with the accomplice’s intentional assistance. instead charge obstruction of justice or related offenses
. Negligent medical care is foreseeable. COMPLICITY Common law – One is an accomplice in the commission of an offense if he intentionally assists another to engage in the conduct that constitutes the crime. abetting. Commonwealth v. Root The court moved away from traditional notions of tort proximate cause. an accomplice may only be held liable under the Code for acts that he purposefully commits. requiring more direct cause. Accomplice liability is derivative in nature.‖
* modern law (CL & MPC) rejects complicity liability for accessories after the fact. the defendant’s conduct must still be the proximate cause of the harm. advising. United States Old Common Law: Convict ability of accessory was dependent on principal’s conviction. aided or abetted. There is no crime of ―aiding and abetting. Thus. Model Penal Code – The Code rejects the common law natural-and-probable consequences rule. soliciting. and procuring the commission of the offense.
Principals and Accessories Standefer v.
Foreseeable intervening causes will not break the chain of causation. Accomplice activity may include aiding.com
Even though direct cause is present. encouraging.Downloaded From OutlineDepot. McGee Negligent medical care will not supersede a defendant’s act as a causation of death.
requests. Δ is an accomplice (3) Δ is an accomplice if (a) with ―purpose of promoting or facilitating the commission ofthe offense‖: (i) Δ solicits P to commit it (ii) Δ ―aids‖ or ―agrees … to aid‖ or ―attempts to aid‖ P in ―planning or committing‖ it (iii) Δ fails to carry out legal duty to prevent P
The Intent to Promote or Facilitate a Crime Common Law The MR to be an accomplice at all Intentionally engage in act of assistance [with intent that the other crime or the conduct occurs] Whatever MR required for the crime with respect to any elements of the crime. many courts hold that a person who provides assistance to another for the purpose of promoting or facilitating the offense.
Ending Complicity § 2. He must communicate his withdrawal to the principal and attempt to neutralize the effect of his prior assistance. MPC ―with the purpose of promoting or facilitating the commission of the offense‖
.06(6)(c): A is not an accomplice to B if A terminates complicity prior to B’s crime and ―wholly deprives it of effectiveness‖ or makes proper efforts to prevent the crime (tell police or otherwise) Abandonment – As with the law of conspiracy. can avoid accountability for the subsequent criminal acts of the primary party. The accomplice must do more than spontaneously and silently withdraw from the criminal activity. . encourages. commands.Downloaded From OutlineDepot.06 (1) Δ is guilty for own conduct or conduct of another for whom Δ is legally accountable (2) legally accountable if . . or intentionally aids Or fails to carry out legal duty
MPC § 2. but who subsequently abandons the criminal endeavor.com
The Act of Aiding or Encouraging (Complicity AR: Common Law) Δ is an accomplice if Δ Solicits.
and (2) he acted with the culpability.06(3)(a) Results = unchanged § 2.06(4) The Code person resolves the common law ambiguity as to whether complicity requires purpose or mere knowledge of the consequences of their conduct. accomplice liability exists only if one assists ―with the purpose of promoting or facilitating the commission of the offense. or (c) attempts to prevent the commission of the crime.06(3)(a)] Accomplice liability may also be found in cases involving recklessness or negligence when causing a particular result is an element of a crime: (1) he was an accomplice in the conduct that caused the result.06(4)]
Model Penal Code – A person is not an accomplice in the commission of an offense if: (1) he is the victim of the offense. or (3) he terminates his participation before the crime is committed. and he: (a) neutralizes his assistance. Under the Code. regarding the result that is sufficient for commission of the offense. or (2) his conduct is ―inevitably incident‖ to the commission of the offense.com
Complicity: Conduct = Purpose § 2. [MPC § 2. ------------------------------
.Downloaded From OutlineDepot.‖ [MPC § 2. (b) gives timely warning to the police of the impending offense. if any.06(3)(a) Circumstances = Purpose § 2.
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