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54 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Three utilitarian theories of punishment
Punishment is justified by moral culpability of D b/c and only b/c he deserves it
Material Elements of a crime (MPC)
prima facie case for criminal offenses
Actus Reus
Mens Rea
(Causation) if result part of offense
Definition - voluntary act
A voluntary act is a movement of the body that is willed or directed by the actor.
Things that are not voluntary acts.
1. reflex or convulsion
2. unconsciousness or sleep
3. hypnosis (MPC)

HURS (Hypnosis, Unconscionsness, Reflex, Sleep)
3 problems with punishing omissions
1. Line drawing difficulties
2. Multiple Ds
3. people should be able to let their Guard down.
3 ways to limit reach of punishing omissions
1. limiting the penalty
2. Not put self at risk
3. Emergencies only

LEN (limit, emergency, no risk to self)
Possession as an act rule.
Mere possession of an object may constitute an act if it was 1) knowingly procured or received or

2) was aware of his control thereof for a sufficient amount of time to terminate possession
When do we punish omissions?
1) When statute says OR
2) When there is a legal duty
When is there a legal duty to act?
1) Special Reltionship
2) Contract
3) Danger caused by D
4) Undertaken to give assistance

SCUD (Special rel., contract, danger, undertaken)
Rationale for mens rea
We want to punish those that are morally culpable.
4 types of mens rea under MPC
1) Purposely - aware and conscious object to engage and cause conduct
2) Knowingly - awareness
3) Recklessly - consciously disregards a susbtantial and unjustifiable risk
4) Negligently - fails to recognize a substantial and unjustifiable risk
Default mens rea under MPC
Jurisdiction and Venue
Not material elements; no mens rea required as to them.
Conditional purpose
Sufficent in MPC unless negatives the intent required.
Positive knowledge required for knowingly?
No, under MPC can also act knowingly when act with awareness of a high probability the situation exists.

Subjective standard - if you are unreasonably guillible or stupid, you could be exculpated.
Justifications for Sl
Punishing the least cost avoider

It puts the burden of acting on hazard upon a person otherwise innocent but standing in responsible relation to public danger , in the interest of larger public good
Criticisms of SL
Somebody will be sent to jail and told they are a criminal - there is a stigma involed in this.q
How to identify SL crimes (6 guidelines)
1. Who is in the best position to minimize the crime?
2.The underlying conduct is malam in se
3. Nature of the penalty - if it is serious, not SL, if it jus invines fines and no social opprobrium, then SL
4. Violation is in the nature of neglect or inaction, rather than positive aggression
5. There is no direct injury to person or property, just a danger of such.
6. If its a traditional CL crime, then it is NOT SL, and you must read-in mens rea.

*Note: MPC - anything that is a felony is per se not SL.
2 SL crimes
statutory rape
Mistake of Fact (4 Approaches)
1. CL (Lesser-Wrong)
2. CL (Lesser-Crime)
3. PA (honest and reasonable mistake can excuplate if negates)
4. MPC - mistake exculpates if negates mens rea
Difference between PA MOF appraoch and MPC MOF
MPC does not require mistake to be reasonable.
Mistake of LAw criticisms
Discourages investments in legal knowledge by making it hazardous for a citizen to rely on private understanding of the law
Mistake of Law - MPC
Mistake of law is a defense if it negatives the purpose, belief, recklessness, or negligence required to establish a material element of the offense.

This works when it is a law OUTSIDE criminal law.


if the law provides MOL as an affirmative defense

OR (criminal law)

Not promulgated
Acted in reasonable reliance on official statement
Mistake of Law - CL
Not a defense.
Murder - CL
A person is guilty of murder if he kills another human being with Malice Aforethought
Historical definition of Malice Aforethought
An intention to cause death or GBH OR knowledge that the act will probably cause death or GBH to some person (even though you do not wish it to happen)
Majority test for premeditation
Must require some degree of preexisting reflection.
Ways to infer premeditation
1) Planning activity
2) Motive
3) Manner of killing
Minority test for premeditation
No time is too short - premeditation and delieberation may be formed in the instant the D pulls the trigger
inherently dangerous felony - 2 approaches
1) in the abstract (CA)
2) specific circumstances
MPC's version of felony murder
The fact that one is committing a crime can be indicative of extreme indifference to human life (reckless murder)
Co-felons shot. Felony murder?
No, if shot by victim or police.
Victim shot by police. Felony murder?
Yes, if they were using victim as a shield.
2 Elements of Common Law Manslaughter
1) Legally adequate provocation
2) Heat of passion (no time to cool off)
Usual provocation circumstances
1) Extreme assault or battery on D
2) Mutual combat
3) D's illegal arrest
4) Injury or serious abuse of a close relative of the Ds
5) Sudden discoery of a spouse's adultery (must SEE)
Words as provocation
Words alone, traditionally, are not enough... but Reasonable Person standard arising
Modern provocation test
Adequate legal provocation is anything that could cause the reasonabe man to act in passion
Cooling time requirement
Must not have had enough time that D could have again controlled their actions
Exceptions to provocation
D's victim must be provoker

Mistake of Fact - can get vol. manslaughter instruction

D cannot have created the provocative situation
unlawful act doctrine
If a death occurs in the commission of a misdeameanor, you can be convicted of manslaughter
Involuntary Manslaughter (risky killing)
An unintentional kiling committed recklessly, grossly neglgiently, or during commission of an unlawful act.
When can an unintended killing be murder?
Reckless with a depraved heart (CL)

Reckless with extreme indifference to the value of human life.

Manslaughter MPC
Reckless or under EED
someone negligently kills someone. What crime?
If grossly negligent, involuntary manslaughter under CL

If regular negligence, nothing under CL

Negligent homicide under MPC
2 elements of causation
CL - sufficiently direct cause-in-fact + proximate cause

MPC - cause-in-fact + legal cause
MPC's proximate cause
"not so remote or accidental as to fairly hold the D responsible"
Unintended victims - transferred intent
CL - the fact that the actual victim of the D's act was not the intended victim will not prevent the D's act from being the proximate cause of the harm

MPC - 2.03(2)(a) the D's act is not prevented from being the proximate cause of the result if the reuslt diffes only in respect that a different person or property was injured.
4 tests for "Act" in attempt
1. Last step
2. Dangerous proximity
3. Equivocality
4. Substantial Step (MPC)
Mens rea for attempt (MPC)
Intent to do the steps committed +

Act - Purpose
Result - Purpose
Circumstance - same as underlying offense
Defense if 1) complete and 2) voluntary
Punishment of attempt
MPC - same except for capital crimes and serious felonies

CL - bump down a notch or cut sentence in half
Mens rea for accomplice (CL)
1. Intent to act +
2. Intent to encourage, aid +
3. Mens rea of the underlying crime