Dressler Criminal Law Exam Methodology: 1. Was there an act or omission? 2. Was there a social harm? 3.

Was there mens rea? 4. Was there an actual cause? 5. Was there a proximate cause? 6. Was there a justification defense? 7. Was there an excuse defense? Exam Flow: Solicitation to Conspiracy to Parties to a Crime to the Actual Crime. Remember to always talk about all the elements of the crime. But only talk about applicable defenses. Whenever there is a criminal homicide always discuss murder and manslaughter. Try to think of crimes in pairs. Sources of Criminal Law Today legislatures, not courts, enact statutes for criminal conduct. All judges do now is interpret the statutes. But it is still important to know the CL b/c the statutes derive from the CL. Keeler v. Superior Ct: He confronted her on the hwy. and struck her on the abdomen to kill her fetus. He was charged under the CA statute: the killing of a human being. He argued that he did not kill a human being, only a fetus. Was the fetus a human being? The statute was derived from the CL, the statute did not define human being. The statute had been taken verbatim from the CL. The CL defined a human being as a fetus that is born alive, therefore the fetus was not yet a human being when it was killed. Another source of criminal law is the MPC. Drafted by the ALI. Twelve years of work. Drafted in the 1950’s, adopted by the ALI in 1962. Some states have enacted all or portions of it. Some states that have not adopted it, have courts that cite the MPC nevertheless. Criminal v. Civil Law The criminal conviction means that the guilty person is a moral wrongdoer – one who is condemned by the community. A criminal trial is a morality play. Theories of Punishment


The criminal law intentionally inflicts pain on people. It punishes, stigmatizes, condemns. Therefore we have to ask if it is justifiable to punish a particular person. When is punishment appropriate? Retribution: Retributivism is backward-looking. People should get what they deserve. When you commit harm you deserve to be punished. Humans possess free will. Therefore when they choose to do wrong it is appropriate to punish them. They have taken something from society and they need to repay their debt. The punishment should be proportional to their act and moral blameworthiness. People who do not break the rules do so under the understanding that others will share our burden and therefore we all benefit. The criminal shares in our benefit but not our burden. By paying his debt to society he is brought back into moral equilibrium. Utilitarianism: Looks forward -- only punishes people if it will do future good. All forms of pain are bad. Punishment is not good. But crime is also not good. Society should only punish Jones if imposition of that punishment will reduce future crime. Utilitarians look upon people as being rational. They deter crime with fear of punishment. General Deterence: Jones punishment is an object lesson to the rest of society. Specific Deterence: Jones is deterred from future crime by: Incapacitation: He is in jail. Intimidation: Jones will remember the pain he has suffered and therefore not commit crimes in the future. Rehabilitation: Find out why people commit crime and change the person. A utilitarian would punish an innocent person to prevent a future greater harm. A retributivist never would. Rules of criminal punishment should follow one or both rules. Principle of Legality We only punish people b/c they have committed a crime. We do not punish people b/c they are bad or immoral. “No crime w/o law. No punishment w/o law.” The crime must be on the books in advance. Criminal statutes should not be vague. It must be sufficiently clear that a reasonable person can figure out what the prohibited conduct is. Burdens of Proof Must prove every material element of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. In Re Winship: The due process clause requires that the prosecution prove beyond a reasonable doubt every fact necessary to constitute the commission of the crime.


eg. You refuse to save a drowning child. You are only punished for making things worse. Failure to provide food and shelter to your children. Voluntary Act or Omission We punish for acts. 3 . 4. If no one else had been on the beach. is the key. Someone is drowning. eg. Baby sitter. If you cross the street in response to having your life threatened. Contractual Duty to Aid: Express or Implied. eg. The actor creates a risk of harm and then fails to diminish the risk. A voluntary act is a willed muscular contraction. you would not be liable. epileptic seizure. Oral or Written. Save child from drowning. . that is still a voluntary act. You begin to swim out to help them. Duty to Act: Parent has duty to protect his children. The defendant begins to act when there is no duty to act. People are not ordinarily responsible for their omissions. Defendant must have committed a voluntary act. You made matters worse for the drowning person.” “The killing of another human being . The crime must INCLUDE a voluntary act. it is not necessary that every act be voluntary. The mind. eg. Actus Reus: I. eg.” Mens Rea: What was the defendant’s state of mind when he committed the actus reus. 2. Exceptions to Omission Theory: 1. 5. Husband and Wife Employer and Employee 3. and then drive off instead of stopping to help the child. Involuntary: eg. not the brain. but then stops acting. not thoughts. Statutory: Failure not to file taxes. You hit a child accidentally with your car. You are not punished for NOT making things better. sleep-walking.General Elements of a Crime Actus Reus: The external part of the crime. He was found guilty b/c getting in the car and driving was a voluntary act. but then stop and turn around. “The breaking and entering. . An epileptic drives his car and causes a death as a result of a seizure. eg. Your act led others reasonably not to act.

Criminal negligence is like recklessness is b/c both involve substantial and unjustifiable risk. even though he should have been aware. The mental state of the actor when committing the actus reus. Under common law purposely or knowingly meant “intentionally. Non-specific. larceny: to take from someone else and “permanently deprive” the person of their property. This is criminal negligence. But the negligent person was not aware of the substantial and unjustifiable risk. There is significant ambiguity: 1.” Recklessly: Consciously takes a substantial and unjustifiable risk of causing a particular harm. burglary “The INTENT to commit a felony therein. This is the elemental meaning of mens rea. Specific Intent v. The intent is the mens rea. General Intent v. Elemental: A specific morally blameworthy state of mind. Motive: eg.II. **** Mens Rea: Guilty mind. eg. The social harm of a crime are the external elements of the crime. The threat of crime impairs everyone’s liberty. The social harm of a burglary is the breaking and entering of a dwelling at night. Knowledge: eg. We punish people when voluntary acts or omissions result in social harm. Strict Liability Specific Intent: A crime which requires a mens rea beyond just causing the social harm. Unjustifiable: A reasonable person would not have taken the risk. Knowingly: Was aware that the result in question is nearly certain to occur. 2. eg. Intent: eg. **** Voluntary Act (or omission) + Social Harm = Actus Reus. MPC: Mens Rea Terms: Purposely. Negligently: Not the same as tort law negligence. knowingly. This is the culpability meaning of mens rea. Purposely: Consciously intended the result. burglary: after breaking and entering there must be an “intent” to commit a felony inside. Culpable: A morally blameworthy state of mind.: Receiving stolen property with “knowledge” that it was stolen. 4 . negligently. The CL and MPC definitions of “recklessly” are the same. recklessly.

Public welfare crimes do not usually stigmatize a person. He will be found guilty if his mistake of fact was unreasonable. Specific intent B. finds a gold watch on the ground. Is it general intent. Strict Liability: speedometer: mistakes of fact are irrelevant. Strict liability Mistake of Fact: eg. Specific Intent: gold watch: did not intend to deprive owner b/c the mistake of fact disproved the specific intent element of the crime. This “moral wrong” doctrine is exception to the legality principle. Actus reus 2. She mistakenly believed it has been abandoned. the court will allow the mens rea exception. Prince: taking the girl away from her father was a morally culpable act. Malum prohibitum: it is bad b/c we have prohibited it. He did not know he was committing rape. Jack has intercourse with Jill. specific intent. speedometer broke. Strict Liability: Public welfare crimes. She is Russian and repeats Nyet.General Intent: Not specific. The general rule is that a court will infer mens rea into all crimes. Rape: Have sexual intercourse with a woman. nyet. Public welfare crimes usually have small penalties. so even though he though she was over 16. w/o her consent. if it is clear that the legislature meant to do away with the mens rea requirement. nyet. eg. eg. A mistake of fact gets the Defendant off when: CL: Correctly characterize the crime for which D has been charged. It general intent crimes. he was guilty. and is an is only used w/ 5 . The alternative in Malum in se: wrong in an of themselves. These public welfare crimes usually do not require any mens rea. Exception: Regina v. If you commit a morally wrongful act you assume the risk that you made a mistake of fact and therefore committed a wrong. He did not know he was speeding. eg. or strict liability. Mens rea A. have criminal unusual. so he did not know he was speeding. However. General Intent: rape: Did he commit the actus reus with a morally culpable state of mind? A person will be acquitted of a crime if his mistake of fact was reasonable. General intent C. not his wife. Note: When you read a statute. thought it was lost. look for 1.

Ignorance of the law is no excuse is a very utilitarian doctrine. People v. would the social harm have occurred when it did? If no. Did the D have the mens rea found in the definition of the crime? Every MPC crime has a required specific intent.---------------------------------------The Social Harm Was there an intervening “But For” cause between them? If nothing.the link between the act and the social harm.” He was a federal penal officer. only state. Merrero: The concealed weapons statute allowed an exemption for any “penal officer. To be guilty must be the actual cause and the proximate cause. To do otherwise would put a premium on ignorance.S. Merrero was interpreting the law on his own. A statute might require a known duty. Proximate Causation: a policy concept.” Cheek claimed he did not know that he had to pay income taxes on his wages. If you have based your actions on an official interpretation of the law which later turns out to be erroneous. U. Cheek: “a voluntary and intentional violation of a known duty to pay taxes. 6 . Holmes: Public policy sacrifices the individual for the public good. v. Look at all the causal candidates and decide which ones should be held responsible for the social harm. he is guilty. Actual Causation: BUT FOR -. Exception: 1. There are no bright line rules: Factors to look for: 1. Intended Consequences Rule: look backwards from the death and continue until an intent to cause the harm is found. If yes he is not guilty. By 3-2 the appellate court said that the statute exemption did not apply to federal penal officers. II. 2.MPC: Mistakes of Fact: No distinction between specific and general intent. D’s Voluntary Act -----------------------. Use the “but for” test (CL and MPC): But for the D’s voluntary act or omission. I. Who or what caused the death of the person. Mistake of Law: Ignorance of the law is no excuse. then there is a direct causal link. If there is an intervening cause then we have to decide whether to shift responsibility to the intervening cause. This constitutes the reasonable reliance exception. Therefore he did not violate a known duty.

kills them. you are not responsible. If the intervening cause is a free-willed. and the intended victim is now in apparent safety. Eg: I threaten to kill someone.Eg: Alice puts gun on table____________child shoots Bob_____________Bob’s death by gunshot. so I am not responsible for her death. Apparent Safety Doctrine: If you try to kill someone. intending to kill Bob. 2. Excuse: Does not look at the act. Eg: Doctor works on a harmed person. “But for” test. Eg: Wife made a free-willed decision to wait outside parents’ house. 7 . doctor strangles patient at the hospital). human act. therefore the original D is still responsible. The lightening is an unforeseeable coincidental cause. Was the actual result too remote or accidental in its occurrence to have a [just] bearing on the actor’s liabilityor on the gravityof the offense. (eg. She leaves to walk to her parents house. 2. 3. DEFENSES Justification (Seven Defenses): D did nothing wrong. but fail. 4. Distinguish between responsive intervening causes and coincidental intervening causes. ([just] is optional in the statute). The act was wrong but actor is excused. D only gets off if the doctor’s response is totally bizarre. but due to malpractice. we won’t blame him. voluntary. Alice is responsible. then the legal responsibility of the prior actor ends. The doctor is a responsive cause. Eg: Husband beats wife. but then due to some circumstance gets killed or dies an unnatural death. A justified or tolerable act.03: 1. Stops and falls asleep outside her parents’ house and freezes to death. He is not responsible for her death. but the actor. She runs away and gets hit by lightening. MPC 2.

Not that a cop is about to shoot at you while you’re robbing a bank. MPC: The force does not have to be instantly necessary. eg. The response must be proportional. Under Common Law you can’t stab him until he gets the gun. MPC 3. You cannot kill someone you believe is about to slap you.JUSTIFICATION DEFENSES: 1. Unlawful: The threat must be unlawful. Duty to retreat: if it can be reasonably done to a completely safe place. If I quit the fight. DEADLY FORCE. Exception: Even if I started the fight. and then kill him in self-defense when he pulls a gun. The belief only needs to be reasonable. can’t use the defense if you are the aggressor. For murder the most common is self-defense. Must show: Necessary: Killing him must be the only reasonable way out for me. Does not apply if I will be in jeopardy later. UNLAWFUL. Imminent: I must act now or I’m toast. but only allows a partial defense (eg. mitigate murder down to manslaughter) if the belief is unreasonable (negligent or reckless). Self-Defense: Begin with justification defenses. MPC: Must retreat if can be done with completer safety. MPC: Like CL. Exception: Not required to retreat from home. to combat IMMINENT. At CL killing in self-defense is justified if at the time of the killing the actor reasonably believed that such force was NECESSARY.09 only subjective belief. You can shoot someone who says he’s going to the bedroom to get a gun to kill me. Reasonable belief: does not matter if the imminent unlawful deadly force was actual. His threat to you was lawful – he was acting in self-defense. not necessarily correct. but have Castle exception. 8 . I am then able to use self-defense justification.04 1: What does the actor reasonably believe? CL is all or nothing. only that the belief was reasonable. Not be the aggressor: Who started the fight? You cannot pull a knife on someone. and then he comes after me. MPC 3.

and deadly force is necessary to prevent that entry. Other justification defenses: 2. Then you can kill him. robbery. c. 4. Imminent and unlawful 2. Defense of Property: CL: A person may never use deadly force to protect personal property. then intervenor must attempt to get to the 3rd party to retreat. You try to apprehend the guy who is stealing your car. burglary. Defense of Others: CL: Can use force upon an aggressor when the person who is being aided would have a right of self-defense. MPC: a. Force would be justified for the 3rd party c. (2) A intends arson.05: Can use for if: a. unlawful entry. or felonious theft in dwelling. Your home is your castle. b. 9 . eg. A reasonable person in the woman’s shoes is the appropriate test. Deadly force necessary to prevent the entry 3. (4) Use of non-deadly force would expose D to serious bodily harm. But sometimes protection of property merges into a defense which does allow it. In most jurisdictions today you must reasonably believe that the intruder will commit a forceable felony once he is inside. On a test you must articulate why the response was reasonable or not. However. authorizes the use of non-deadly force to retake property. The belief in most jurisdictions must be only reasonable. But some jurisdictions do allow the BWS defense – even if the husband was asleep. Who is the reasonable person? reasonable woman? reasonable battered woman? But would we allow the perspective of a reasonable racist who kills b/c he so fears members of another race. force is necessary for the 3rd parties protection d. This is the minority rule today. (3) A has employed or threatened deadly force against D. but not when he is asleep. But if the 3rd party would be required to retreat. If would-be assailant is really a policeman making a lawful arrest. Deadly force: (1) A intends to dispossess D of his dwelling other than under claim of rt. 3. MPC 3. MPC: Does not recognize a separate interest in habitation as distinguished fro the defense of property. Force would be justified for himself b. The person will commit a forceable felony Spring guns: CL were allowed if person would have used had he been present. Modern Rule: 1. Defense of Habitation: CL: You can use deadly force to protect your home from imminent. She can kill him if he’s threatening her with a beer bottle. eg. He pulls a gun. then you’re in trouble. subjective belief. in a minority of jurisdictions the belief must be correct.Battered Women: Reasonable belief can incorporate experience with the party at issue.

’s unreasonable search and seizures. The lesser of two evils. so this made sense. Elements: 1. Dudley and Stevens. MPC: Can only use deadly force if it is necessary to prevent a crime what will cause death or serious bodily harm to another unless the crime is prevented and the use of such force presents no substantial risk of injury to innocent persons. ruled that using deadly force to prevent a felon from escaping violated the 4th Amend. When can deadly force be used to prevent a crime? Never for a misdemeanor. 3. such as breaking into someone elses’s home to prevent freezing to death.C. Deadly force was reasonably necessary to prevent the escape and have probable cause to believe that this person poses serious threat of death or serious bodily harm if the felon gets away. The only way to save your life is by committing a crime. and the threat does not have to be imminent. Prevent Escape: CL: Cops could use deadly force in the arrest or prevent escape of any felony. MPC: No spring guns. 6. Garner: The S. Today it is only allowed to prevent a forceable felony (eg. Can only prevent the harm by breaking the law. But the old common law rule was that it could be used to prevent any felony if deadly force was the only way. 2. 7. Modern Rule and MPC: Can use deadly force only if: 1. At common law all felonies were punishable by death. (the lesser of two evils) A balancing test. robbery). if it does prevent a GREATER harm. Prison guards and cops can use deadly force if it is reasonably believed to be prevent prison escape. 4. Necessity Defense (natural threats – though some jurisdictions now allow for human threats): eg. MPC: 3. 2. TN v. CL: The necessity defense is not available for murder: Queen v.Modern Rule: No spring guns.02: Does allow murder. Law Enforcement Defense: Crime Prevention. The person cannot be at fault for having created the problem. The harm caused must be lesser than the harm prevented. 5. The harm must be imminent. EXCUSE DEFENSES: 10 .

MPC 2. 1. Past use of force is a sufficient threat. not insanity. alcoholism is so severe as to have caused permanent brain damage. Threatened with death or serious bodily harm by a third party. but otherwise may be used as a def. or deadly. This even applies to murder. and the involuntary intox.08 (2): Intoxication is not a defense to recklessness. GA re: intoxication: Sometimes. intox. However. can use the defense. Relevant only to capacity to form specific intent. MPC allows the duress defense to be allowed for ALL crimes. 11 . 2. even though he was only negligent. The threat does not need to be present. but not general intent crimes. Duress (human threats): CL: 1. 3. D had to reasonably believe that succumbing to the threat was the only way out. If forced to take the drug. 4. in order to negate mens rea GA: Georgia does not recognize voluntary intoxication as a defense.09: A threat that a person of reasonable firmness of a person in her position would have been unable to resist. Intoxication: drugs or alcohol. A reasonable person would have been coerced. micki finn). 2. 3. 3. Involuntary: A defense to general and specific intent crimes. Voluntary: 1. D must not have been at fault in getting into the situation. murder. (MPC 2. A prescribed medication and has an unforeseeable response. GA: Did not know right from wrong.1. This will help with specific intent crimes. 5. it can be a mens rea defense. 2. due to: 1.08: self-induced): this is not an excuse. Cannot be used as a defense to murder. Insanity: Four states have done away w/ the insanity defense. even though he will be acquitted by invol. The person ingested the intoxicant unknowingly. CL and MPC: If D can satisfy the state’s insanity definition as a result. MPC 2. Excusable ignorance 2. Relevant only to reduce 1st. imminent. 2.. Or the fault of someone else (duress. which may create an insanity defense. deg.

GA: if your client is incompetent at time of trial. we want to give medical care to the MAD. If found guilty by reason of insanity. 3. II. Guilty 4. however insanity does not equal mental illness. Some jurisdictions have added a third prong (not conjunctive): 3. M’Naghten Rule is the most common. Did not know what he was doing was wrong. except that the jury will automatically get the charge for Guilty But Mentally Ill).very few people qualify for the legal standard of insanity . 2. . Not guilty by reason of insanity: D was insane at the time of the crime. some require morally wrong. MPC: Insanity: Lacks the substantial capacity to: 1. Jury Verdicts: in most states. the fact finder may return 1 of 4 verdicts: 1. (requires guilt beyond a reasonable doubt). Irresistible Impulse: Volition. but says this person is not competent to be tried Competency: sufficient present ability to consult with a lawyer “with reasonable degree of rational understanding” and “a rational as well as factual understanding of the proceedings” We want to distinguish between the MAD and the BAD. Conform her conduct to the requirements of the law. Insanity: I. (volition) jurisdictions 12 . (requires only preponderance of the evidence – same rule in GA. We want to punish the BAD. Did not know the nature and quality of the act OR 2. Not guilty 2.can get life sentence / death on GBMI Insanity is an affirmative defense – preponderance of the evidence. Must have a disease of the mind AND 1. (cognition) The legislature has to choose criminality or wrongfulness for its statute. GA has . will be committed to a civil mental institution. – these are statutory. not cognition. Legally wrong or morally wrong (did he know that society thought it was morally wrong for him to do it?) There is a split here. Appreciate the criminality (legal) or wrongfulness (moral)of her conduct. Some require legally wrong. Guilty but mentally retarded/ill: was sane at the time of the crime but not now. Insanity is a legal concept. file motion called special plea of insanity – does not raise insanity defense. not medical.mental evaluation after verdict to determine where D goes.

A product test. Incapacity: 1. D is lacking in mental capacity. hence manslaughter instead of murder. Murder: The actus reus is the same as manslaughter – therefore the difference is the mens rea. MPC: 210. except possibly in N.0: A person who has been born. 2. Georgia Test: 1.III. Delusional compulsion overpowered his will to resist committing the crime.H. Wrongfulness of her conduct 4. D is under the statutory age. 5. and is alive. Homicide does not necessarily imply a crime. Could not distinguish between right and wrong. IV. But some jurisdictions don’t allow this. “But for” the mental illness would they have committed the crime. 1. GA: You cannot commit a crime unless you are at least 13 years old. If D lacks the specific intent to commit the crime then he should be acquitted of that specific intent crime. 2. Partial Responsibility version: Used to reduce murder to manslaughter. A person who gets off on diminished capacity walks. V. Not guilty if D’s conduct is the product of a mental illness. 2. Nature and quality of her conduct OR 2. Diminished Capacity: watered down insanity defense. Durham Test: Not used anywhere anymore. Suicide is no longer a homicide. CL: An entity is not a human being until it is born alive. Some jurisdictions don’t allow this. Federal Test: Clear and convincing evidence that unable to appreciate: 1. This person should be convicted. MPC allows this defense. 13 . HOMICIDE: CL The killing of human being by a human being. Mens Rea version: just like voluntary intoxication. but only accorded to your culpability.

negligent. Under CL FM rule made no difference b/c all felonies were punishable by death.” The reason we have the FM rule is to encourage felons. reckless. and even 3rd. every state. 3. CL: Murder was the killing by a human being of another human being with malice aforethought. CL: A death that occurs more than one year and one day after the assault is not a criminal homicide. Express Malice: If A intended to kill B. Began in England. A depraved heart (an abandoned and malignant heart. that they should not perpetrate it in a violent manner. 14 . All murders were punished by death.” MPC: recklessness GA: implied malice 4. At common law there were no degrees of murder. but was abolished by statute in 1957. Malice has nothing to do with its dictionary definition. You cannot be convicted of killing with murder afterthough. OR (depends on jurisdiction). accidental.) (extreme recklessness) “I don’t give a damn about human life. Implied Malice: If intends not to kill. This is a utilitarian argument. you can’t be convicted of murder. If you kill someone accidentally. Felony Murder: A person is guilty of murder if a person kills another person during the commission or attempted commission of any felony. MPC: fits under the “extreme recklessness” umbrella GA: does not recognize this. It has to do with human endangering. 1. There is no evidence to support this argument. 1st. The escape is part of the “body of the crime. 2nd. Statutory: Today brain death is included as an alternative method of determining death. Beginning with PA states began to divide murder into degrees. MPC: Purposely or Knowingly. but only to inflict grievous bodily injury. or The FM rule applies during the commission or the escape. Remains in almost Doesn’t matter if the killing was intentional.CL: A person is considered a corpse when there was permanent cessation of heart beat and breathing. seriously interfere with the victims health or comfort. but does in fact kill. Grievous: imperil life. GA: Intent to kill = murder 2. and then wished that you had killed them. CL: Aforethought is a worthless term.

Killing occurred before the actor had a reasonable opportunity to cool off. The inherently dangerous felony limitation. eg. D killed b/c of adequate provocation (provocation as it pertains to a person of ordinary temperament). deliberate and premeditated (could be the blink of an eye). Killed during heat of passion.: usually follow the PA model. 15 . FM does not apply. Certain felonies manifest an extreme indifference to the value of human life. MPC: Purposely. AND eg. Most common limitations: 1. There are no degrees. Statutory Forms of Murder: (degrees are a pure statutory form) 1st degree: Must look at the statute. However.Some jurisdictions. 2nd degree: All other kinds of murder. 2. Observe the seduction of one’s young daughter eg. Does the crime by its nature inherently create a high probability of the loss of life? 2. Knowingly. Guy catches his wife in the act with another man. they could probably be charged with malice murder. there is not felony murder rule per se in the MPC. have narrowed the FM Rule. (3): Willful. Manslaughter: CL: The killing of another human being w/o malice aforethought. by judicial opinion. Voluntary: Heat of passion manslaughter. AND 3. (1): Method: Poison. lying in wait. or Recklessly manifesting an extreme indifference to the value of human life. (2): Type of felony: Rape or robbery. (Of course. If the underlying felony is an assaultive crime.) The predicate felony must be independent of the homicide. Observe a serious battery Words alone were never sufficient. 1.

Resistance Requirement: (Older cases) Resist to the utmost. 16 . A lawful act committed in an unlawful manner (criminally neg). nonproportional self-defense. (Newer cases) Some states have abolished the resistance rule. not felony. but MPC does not have invol. Forcible Rape: Actual or threat of force likely to cause death or serious bodily injury coupled with the woman’s lack of consent. malice murder. In NJ every act of non-consensual intercourse is considered forcible rape. Misdemeanor manslaughter rule. eg. Some say that merely verbally resisting is enough.not Voluntary GA: Sudden. Sort of like involuntary manslaughter. Was D aware that he was taking an unjustifiable risk? If yes. 1. A killing that occurs as a result of criminal negligence. Manslaughter (MPC): 1. mans. Recklessly (conscious disregard – not an extreme disregard for human life. In some jurisdictions today a murder can be reduced to voluntary manslaughter based on diminished capacity. a RAPE: CL: Sexual intercourse of a male with a female. w/o her consent. 2. Involuntary: (same penalty as voluntary under CL). Most have reduced it to almost nothing. violent. General Intent Crime. Kills during extreme mental or emotional disturbance for which there is reasonable explanation or excuse. GA involuntary: misdemeanor manslaughter OR commission of a lawful act in an unlawful manner.) OR 2. not his wife. But if had a cooldown period then it is murder. if not then invol. An unintended homicide which occurs during the commission of an unlawful act. manslaughter. manslaughter. and irresistible passion resulting from serious provocation. Today many states have abolished the marital exception. MPC: Negligent homicide: Gross deviation from the standard of care.

you have custody. and then B never brings the car back.LARCENY: Protects the possessory right. FALSE PRETENSES: Not at common law. But if she did originally intend to bring it back. eg. When you are handling a ring in a jewelry store. I give $50 to the bank teller to put into my bank account. EMBEZZLEMENT: Not a CL crime. A person lawfully receives possession of the property but then converts it for his own use. The trespassory taking and constructive possession is not the same as custody. intent to steal. then it is not larceny. INCHOATE OFFENSES: Gives the police the chance to stop a crime before it occurs. The bank now has possession. But it she puts it into her pocket. eg. eg. ATTEMPT: Mens Rea: Must have the specific intent to commit the crime in question. She puts the money into the drawer. If she then later takes it out of the drawer she has committed larceny against the bank. The intent must be proven even if intent is not required to prove the target crime. 3. Obtaining consent by fraud is still a trepassory taking. never having intended to bring it back. But where do we draw the line. Statutory only. eg. If he wounds someone it is not attempted murder b/c he did not intend to kill anyone. Transfer ownership fraudulently. However. personal property of another with the 4. 17 . carrying away of the CL: even one inch is carrying away. Statutory only. CL: 1. Eg. They take my car and sell it. I leave my car at a parking garage. 2. She now has lawful possession of the money. Eg. Eg. A gives B his car to use for an hour. it would have been murder. she has now committed embezzlement. not the ownership right. This is why states differentiate between auto theft and joyriding. if that person had died. but not possession. steal: intent to permanently deprive of possession. not intending to kill anyone. Jack blindfolds himself and fires a gun into a crowded room.

If the circumstances had been as D believed them to be. MPC does. Holmes. Look at D’s conduct. He was not is not possible to receive stolen property if the stolen. therefore Jaffe should have been guilty. III. How close temporally. 2. Legal impossibility: CL defense. IV. 2. others would argue that it was a clear case of factual impossibility. Impossibility: Most states have abolished. He received property that he thought was stolen. That is why many courts want to throw out the distinction and abolish the defense of legal impossibility. GA: substantial step. then his crime would have been successful. convicted b/c it property was not 18 . Defenses: 1. It is legally impossible to murder a dead man. CL: How close to committing the crime? How much has D already done? CL: I. eg. if his conduct was fully carried out would not constitute the crime. MPC has thrown it out. People v. Many cases can be argued as either factual or legal impossibility. 1. Legal impossibility. Once you can figure out what he is intending. 3. How physically close. Courts say that the line is between preparation and perpetration. when D. Charlie was already dead when D fired the gun at Charlie. This test will usually result in conviction more easily than any of the common law tests. However. eg. The dangerous proximaty test. MPC: If that person takes a substantial step toward committing the target offense. 1. Not a defense CL.Actus Reus: How far must it go in order to qualify as an attempt? How far must the attempt go before we can arrest them for attempted murder? There is not brightline. This is a useless standard. II. Nothing in the pocket for the pick pocket to get. he has committed the attempt. Probable desistance test. The physical proximaty test. as has the MPC. Jaffe: Jaffe was a fence. but which was not. Has passed the point of no return. How serious is the crime. Factual impossibility: a factual circumstance unknown to D prevents the crime from being carried out. Defense of Renunciation: CL did not recognize this. The equivocality test.

Solicitation merges into the crime.(1) Abandon the attempt voluntarily. GA: Same as common law. (not b/c the cops were about to get you. Complete and voluntary renunciation is a defense. 19 . MPC: It is solicitation even if the attempted communication is unsuccessful. CRIMINAL SOLICITATION: If a person requests or encourages someone to commit a crime. the instant he utters those words he has committed the crime of solicitation.

eg. If a seller and buyer of drugs make an exchange. two or more persons must have the requisite mens rea. Furtherance Rule: Each person in the chain is guilty of all the crimes. The instant there is a meeting of the minds in CL. if we have three people involved in the drug buy. GA: must withdraw before the overt act. If one of them is insane. However. that is not a conspiracy.CONSPIRACY: CL: An agreement between 2 or more persons to commit an unlawful act. Many jurisdictions require an overt act to commit the conspiracy. if renounces his criminal purpose. Sometimes purpose can be inferred from knowledge. there would be no conspiracy. 20 . eg. A conspiracy can be: Wheel Chain Hybrid: Wheel and chain. there is no conspiracy. Plurality Requirement: Under common law. Wayne Lafave wrote a Hornbook on Conspiracy. Therefore if one of the two was an undercover cop. Wharton’s Rule: CL There can be no conspiracy if the underlying crime requires two people. MPC: yes GA: yes Federal: maybe Defense of Abandonment: CL: no MPC: yes. (eg. It requires a specific intent on the part of both persons to commit the crime. GA: an overt act. Federal need an overt act unless drugs. MPC: requires an overt act. MPC rejects Wharton’s rule. and then thwarts the conspiracy by a complete and voluntary renunciation of his criminal purpose. renting rooms to prostitutes on a regular basis). Merger: CL: no. all three are now in the conspiracy. MPC does not have the Plurality Requirement. the conspiracy is complete.

The intent that the primary party commit the crime. in the 1st deg. but does not go along for the robbery. But there is a merger doctrine. LL charges a prostitute more than normal rent b/c he knows what she is doing. There does not have to be a “But For” causation. Accessory before the fact: Is not at the scene of the crime. Usually found guilty of obstruction of justice. He is there when the crime is committed. The intent to assist the primary party. 4.COMPLICITY Criminal law only holds people liable for their own actions. Mens rea: Two necessary states of mind. Accomplice law makes an accomplice liable for the acts of the perpetrator. But when A solicits B. His knowledge proves purpose. Principal in the 1st degree: the perpetrator of the crime. 2. What makes a person an accomplice? Actus reus: Solicitation makes one an accomplice. eg. not the crime itself. you are an accomplice. 2. you are an accomplice. 3. A fellow robber in the bank. The accomplice derives his liability from the perpetrator and is guilty of the same crime. The crime of conspiracy does not merge into the completed offense. The getaway driver. If you give encouragement. Principal in the 2nd degree: the accessory at the fact. eg. Accomplice Liability: There is no such crime as aiding and abetting or complicity or accessory. Sometimes purpose can be proven from knowledge. there is now a conspiracy. 1. If you give someone the gun for the crime. Most courts require Purpose. there is no vicarious liability. 1. CL Terms: Have been abolished almost everywhere. 21 . Minority or jurisdictions: if you furnish the instrumentality that you know will be used in the crime. MPC: Knowledge is not enough. 4. Is knowledge enough. Unlike tort law. 3. then you are an accomplice. 2. and they agree. A person can be an accomplice even if it can be proven that the crime would have been committed anyway. A gives B the gun to be used in the robbery. Accessory after the fact: usually treated less seriously than prin. or must there be purpose. The solicitation merges into the completed crime. You are not an accomplice if you had no mens rea. eg.

Sly breaking into his father’s store with his father’s permission. Sly. The MPC rejects the Pinkerton Doctrine. Can someone be an accomplice to a crime of recklessness? Some courts say no. The drug chain. But b/c there was no crime. gets Stupid to help him. there was no crime of burglary. Is every party in the chain a party to the entire conspiracy? Yes! Every member of the doctrine is liable for every crime committed by every other member of the conspiracy. eg. The crime was foreseeable. This majority view is also the MPC view. B/c there was no crime. What needs to be shown whether the accomplice had the same mens rea as the actual perpetrator. Stupid cannot be an accomplice. There cannot be accomplice liability w/o a crime. CL: The getaway driver is guilty of all the crimes the that occur in the bank if the other crimes were a natural and probable consequence of the primary crime. (Mens Rea issue). The crime was an object of the conspiracy OR 2. mens rea. and whether a crime was committed. If he gets in a wreck while speeding. you too are guilty. but most courts say that the person can be convicted. with his dad’s permission. 22 . Another example: If the principal in the first degree is found not guilty due to an excuse defense (eg. The jailed brother cannot be convicted under accomplice liability but he can be convicted under conspiracy liability: 1. eg. You cannot be an accomplice if there is nothing to derive. You tell a cabby to drive fast so that you don’t miss your flight.Natural and probable consequences doctrine (a forseeability doctrine). From the coca fields to the actual street sail. The Pinkerton Doctrine can get extreme: Eg. insanity) the accomplice can still be convicted of the crime. Sly. to break into his Sly’s dad’s store. Conspiracy liability: The Pinkerton Case: One of the conspiring brother’s is in jail while his brother commits the tax crime. Always look at actus reus.

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