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Criminal Law Huigens Spring 2007

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Criminal Law Huigens Spring 2007


§2.01 – Voluntariness

§2.01(3) – Omission plus duty

§2.02(1) – PKRN required

§2.02(2) – PKRN defined

§2.02(3) – PKR for undefined elements

§2.02(4) – Same level as defined element for entire offense

§2.02(6) – Conditional Threat

§2.02(7) – Willful blindness

§2.04(1) – Ignorance or Mistake

§2.04(2) – Lesser Crime

§2.04(3) – Mistake of Law

§2.06 - Accomplice

§2.08 – Intoxication

§2.09 - Duress

§3.04 – Self Defense

§3.09(2) – Reasonableness of self-defense belief

§4.01 - Insanity

§4.02(1) – Mental Disease or Defect

§5.01 - Attempt

§210.2 – Murder

§210.3 – Manslaughter

§210.4 – Negligent Homicide

§210.6 – Death Penalty

  1. Principles of Legality

    1. You can’t make up crimes. They have to have been law before. (Keeler).

    2. You can’t make retroactive (ex post facto) laws.

    3. Notice and opportunity

    4. Specificity avoids tailoring, generality avoids loopholes

    5. “unreasonable” is allowed vagueness, because there is notice of possible interpretation. Keeler (is fetus in the category of “baby?”) is not, because there’s no notice.

    6. Acts not People

  1. Burdens

    1. Burden

      1. Patterson – common law says that P doesn’t have to prove a lack of extreme emotional disturbance (provocation), because it’s not the flip side of intent. (KH thinks Wrong)

      2. Mullaney – common law says that P has to prove lack of heat of passion (flip side of malice), D just has to raise a reasonable doubt.

      3. Generally, P has to prove all elements beyond a reasonable doubt.

    2. Presumptions

      1. Conclusive – must infer B from A

      2. Mandatory – must infer B from A unless D proves otherwise.

      3. Permissive – jury can infer whatever they want, general rule

  2. Voluntariness

    1. There must be a voluntary act to have a crime. (§2.01)

    2. You need a lack of justification or excuse, criminal fault, causation, and concurrence.

    3. A duty plus an omission is an act. (§2.01(3)).

  3. Duty and Omission

    1. No duty to rescue – personal liberties, too vague, how many people have to try to rescue at once, might make things worse.

    2. Assumption and seclusion – If you start helping and stop others, you’re responsible (Regina v. Stone and Dobinson)

    3. Relationship or status – Family, Physician (although no duty to continue ineffective treatment)

    4. Contract – lifeguard, caretaker

    5. Statutory

    6. Created the risk

    7. Sometimes it’s a cost-benefit analysis, even if courts don’t want to admit it.

    8. Duty changes over time (Beardsley had no duty to mistress in home, Oliver had duty to drugdoer in home)

  4. Fault (§2.02)

    1. Purpose – With an objective in mind

    2. Knowingly – With awareness of the outcome

    3. Recklessly – With disregard of a substantial risk

    4. Negligence – Should have known of a risk, with less than normal care

    5. Negligence is objective

    6. Default is that you need PKR for each element unless defined (§2.02(3)) (Regina v. Cunningham)

    7. (4) wants the same level for all elements as any defined element (he disagrees, it’s too strict, assumes too much, and makes it very hard to convict.

    8. Willful blindness is the same as knowledge, if a jury thinks he willfully ignored a high chance of the fact in question. (§2.02(7))

    9. A conditional threat is enough for intent. (§2.02(6) and Holloway) (KH disagrees, there’s no actual intent to do it)

    10. Strict Liability

      1. The only real defense is involuntariness

      2. P will usually try to prove negligence anyways, because it makes it easier for the jury to convict. D will object, but lose anyways.

      3. Baker (p. 247)– turning on cruise control is voluntary, so speeding was voluntary even though it was malfunctioning cruise control. However, this becomes a negligence argument in the case.

  5. Causation

    1. But-for causation is too broad, allows legality problems.

    2. Proximate cause is used in RN crimes (§2.03(3)(b)) – must be same type and not too remote.

    3. “Highly extraordinary result” – Acosta, p. 518, it’s not foreseeable enough for malice, and there is an intervening factor. This just puts everything on the jury.

    4. Foreseeability produces vague results, but it’s better than the other tests. Part of the problem is what was foreseeable, the ignition or the explosion (Warner Lamberg Co.)

    5. Causation isn’t the same as fault

      1. Fault is meaning to kill a human.

      2. Causation is knowing that you are killing this human.

    6. Transfer of Intent - KH thinks this is dumb.

    7. Intervening Human Agency

      1. D – person behind it didn’t do it, the shooter did.

      2. P – shooter acting under duress or involuntarily, so they don’t count.

      3. If the shooters make a choice, they break the chain and intervene.

      4. We generally use proximate cause, it’s less tort-like.

      5. We use IHA for PK, but shouldn’t, because the person is more at fault if they meant it to happen.

      6. We don’t use IHA for R, but should. Possibly because the fault is creating the risk, not the harm.

      7. MPC doesn’t use it at all.

      8. Root uses IHA to get a drag racer off, McFadden uses foreseeability to convict drag racer.

  6. Homicide

    1. MPC Classes

      1. Murder (§210.2) – PK, R with extreme indifference, plus felony murder

      2. Manslaughter (§210.3) – R, Murder under extreme mental or emotional disturbance.

      3. Negligent Homicide (§210.4) – N

    2. Common Law Classes

      1. Carroll (PA) – 1st degree premeditated, 2nd willful, deliberate, not premeditated, 3rd all others. No time is too short for premeditation, so 1 and 2 are basically the same, leaving too much jury discretion

      2. Anderson (CA) – Need planning activity, motive, or a preconceived design to have premeditation. Much better for D than Carroll.

      3. PA too accurate, not enough legality. CA too much legality, not enough accuracy.

    3. Death Penalty

      1. Separate Section in MPC (§210.6)

      2. Only comes up federally in sentencing, not trial.

      3. Gets rid of premeditation, which is good for legality. Most states use this.

    4. Fault for Murder

      1. MPC uses objective approach, judges by a reasonable person in the actor’s situation (§210.3(1)(b))

      2. Williams – It’s not the reasonable uneducated Indian, it’s the reasonable general person. Williams argues that N shouldn’t be enough, because it doesn’t deter. Hart argues that there must be some application of reasonable to the actual person.

      3. He’s not big on B < PL.

      4. Malone (PA, p. 439) – Malice, causes legality problems, because can include N and looks at things like wickedness.

        1. Under the MPC, becomes R with extreme indifference.

        2. Could have been N, because they took precations

        3. Malice covers all PKRN.

      5. Self-induced intoxication is not a defense to R. (§2.08(2)) It can also provide malice aforethought in common law.

      6. General intoxication can negate PK, but not RN.

    5. Felony Murder (§210.2(1)(b)

      1. MPC: Only robbery, rape, deviate sexual intercourse by force or threat of force, arson, burglary, kidnapping, or felonious escape: presumes R with EI

      2. You can’t make assault into FM because everything would be a murder, there’d be no manslaughter or negligent homicide (Smith says the felony must have an independent purpose)

      3. Only appropriate with an inherently dangerous felony (Phillips looked at the specific case, but we should look at the general type).

      4. “In furtherance of a felony” – Two versions

        1. Agency rule - The person doing the killing must be an agent of the felon. So a robber isn’t responsible for a cop killing a bystander. The D has no mens rea.

          1. Shield exception – if D uses someone as a shield they are liable for a cop shooting them.

          2. Court makes up some exceptions – Taylor p. 477, associates provoked the shooting, so liable even without agency.

        2. Proximate cause rule – If the felony is the proximate cause of the death, D’s liable. Was it a foreseeable risk?

          1. Co-felon exception – You aren’t liable for your co-felon getting killed during the felony.

          2. Justified homicide – If a cop kills somebody during the crime, he’s not liable because it’s justified. This also gets the felon off, since justification negates criminality of the act.

      5. All of this is historical in MPC, because they just list the actual types of felony.

    6. Provocation (MPC: Extreme Emotional Disturbance)

      1. Mitigation, not a defense. It just reduces the offense.

      2. Common law has certain traditional objective standards.

        1. Must be what would provoke a reasonable person, can’t be just words

        2. Can’t have a cooling off time

        3. Seems to be an old-school defense of honor thing. Encourages violent reactions. Could be akin to momentary insanity.

      3. MPC requires:

        1. Extreme Emotional Disturbance- subjective

        2. Reasonable excuse (objective)for that mental state from the person’s point of view- subjective, possible problem with people who always think they are reasonable

      4. Fault issue – burden of production on D, burden on P to prove that there is no excuse.

        1. KH thinks the best way is to have D have burden of production. Once they have raised manslaughter, PK is negated, so the prosecution will want to prove manslaughter to get something.

  7. Defenses

    1. Failure of Proof (Mistake, Diminished Capacity, Intoxication)

      1. Ignorance or Mistake (§2.04(1))

        1. Mistake of fact is a defense, mistake of law isn’t.

        2. The mistake must negate culpability for one of the elements.

        3. Regina v. Prince

          1. Brett thinks that a reasonable, good faith belief makes it N, not PKR.

          2. Bramwell thinks that if you were doing something that is generally wrong, you should be at fault. Basically SL.

          3. MPC thinks Brett wins.

        4. Lesser Crime (§2.04(2)

          1. If you would be guilty of a crime if things had been as you believed, you can’t use the ignorance defense, but your crime is reduced to the one you thought you were doing.

          2. Legality problems because it’s basically making up the facts.

        5. Common law - Regina v. Morgan – you must have a reasonable belief of consent in rape. Just N is enough. This was a huge change, ex post facto law.

        6. Ignorance of the law is not a defense for morally prohibited crimes.

        7. MPC (§2.04(3)) – Ignorance of the law is a defense if the person reasonably relied on an official interpretation of the law later found to be false, or he had no way of knowing the law.

          1. NY law just requires your interpretation to be wrong, not the whole law (Marrero narrows it to the MPC rule)

        8. Ignorance of a legal fact is a defense under MPC.

        9. Cheek – A good faith ignorance doesn’t have to be reasonable.

        10. Cultural defense

          1. A mistake of fact based on culture will probably win, unless it is totally unreasonable.

      2. Diminished Capacity (§4.02)

        1. A failure of proof defense – not really about capacity.

        2. It’s about the mental state you were in, more like mistake of fact.

        3. Negates fault elements. NOT Jr. Insanity.

        4. Mental health evidence is admissible to disprove mens rea and specific intent. Basically it’s proving a mistake of fact where the reason is mental illness. (Brawner, p. 919) CORRECT

        5. Wilcox (OH, p. 921) rejects Brawner, psych evidence isn’t allowed past insanity.

          1. Really rejecting jr. insanity.

          2. Thinks it’s a partial defense, where it should be a full one.

          3. Wouldn’t be a problem if courts did Dim. Cap. right, but most don’t.

      3. Intoxication (§2.08) –

        1. Self induced negatives PK, not RN

        2. It’s only a defense if it negatives an element of the offense.

        3. Hood and Stasio – it’s a defense to specific intent crimes but not general intent crimes. MPC rejects the terms but keeps the idea.

        4. Non-self induced is a defense if it removes capacity to appreciate wrongfulness or conform behavior to the law. (§2.08(4)).

        5. Can still get a drunk driver on R with EI. (Fleming)

    2. Justification (Self Defense, Lesser Evils)

      1. Self Defense (§3.04)

        1. Traditional

          1. Reasonable belief

          2. That life is in danger

          3. Imminent threat

          4. Proportionate force

          5. Some jurisdictions require that you be unable to retreat.

          6. Reasonable is actually an issue for all of them.

        2. MPC

          1. Immediately necessary, To protect himself, Against unlawful force by another person

          2. Doesn’t matter if it is unreasonable, just good faith belief

          3. Doesn’t require an imminent threat

          4. Limits deadly force to danger of death, serious bodily harm, kidnapping, and sex compelled by force or threat (§3.04(2)(b)).

          5. You can’t have started the violence with deadly force. (§3.04(2)(b)(i)).

          6. You have a duty to retreat if there is complete safety. (§3.04(2)(b)(ii).

            1. Castle exception - Not from your home or workplace, unless you were the initial aggressor or you and the attacker share a workplace. (1)

            2. Not public officers doing their jobs.

        3. Unreasonable belief (§3.09(2))

          1. A good faith belief that isn’t reasonable knocks out PK, but not RN.

          2. You could just put reasonable into the definition of self-defense and you wouldn’t need this. (Goetz)

        4. Battered Woman Syndrome isn’t a defense, it’s evidence of state of mind and justification.

        5. The mistake approach is better than the MPC approach.

        6. §3.05 – Defense of others is the same as self defense.

      2. Lesser of Two Evils (§3.02)

        1. The harm avoided has to be greater than that prevented (in reality).

        2. No other statute can say otherwise about the specific thing.

        3. If it’s an RN offense, a situation that was RN brought about is not a defense.

        4. Possible ways to decide the lesser

          1. Sheer Numbers

          2. Probability of saving

          3. Permissible mistake – good faith belief about the probability

          4. Superior duty to one party, relationships are good for society

          5. Involuntariness – negates mens rea, didn’t even reason about the decision

          6. Moral involuntariness – really a duress defense.

        5. You can’t do directly evil things for a greater good, but they can be byproducts of a good thing (double effect doctrine).

    3. Excuse (Insanity, Duress)

      1. Duress (§2.09)

        1. Traditional

          1. Not a defense to homicide

          2. Threat of death or serious bodily injury

          3. Imminent threat

          4. Reasonable person in the situation, not good faith belief

          5. Cannot have put yourself in the situation

        2. MPC

          1. Threat of unlawful force

          2. Person of reasonable firmness in their situation could not resist

          3. No imminent threat requirement

          4. No serious bodily injury requirement

          5. Cannot have placed themselves in the situation.

          6. Can be used for homicide.

          7. More of a discretionary approach.

        3. Essentially the same as a choice of lesser evils, but it is ok to choose saving yourself.

        4. Doesn’t have to be a quid pro quo (you can stab the attacker to avoid neglecting your dying child even though the stabbing isn’t the coerced action).

      2. Insanity (§4.01)

        1. M’Naughten

          1. Did not know the nature of the act or

          2. Didn’t know right from wrong

        2. MPC

          1. Lacks substantial capacity to appreciate the criminality of the act

          2. Lacks substantial capacity to conform conduct to the requirements of the law (Irresistible impulse)

          3. Some find this too lenient, after Hinckley tended to swing back to M’Naughten.

        3. “Deific decree” exception – even if you know right from wrong, if God told you to do it, you can use insanity (Crenshaw).

        4. Usually D has burden of production, affirmative defense

  8. Attempt (§5.01)

    1. §5.01(1)(a) is an offense approach (conduct), (b) is an elements approach (result), (c) is substantial step (circumstances).

    2. You must have the culpability otherwise required, and purpose for the conduct element.

    3. Substantial step works for an uncompleted act.

      1. Last act test – You must have taken the last step toward the crime.

      2. Unequivocal act test – You must have done things that declare your intent overtly.

      3. MPC uses substantial step, which isn’t about proximity, it’s about intent and culpability.

    4. You can’t have a reckless attempt, but you can be reckless about an attendant circumstance.

    5. Factual impossibility isn’t a defense, because that’s what makes it an attempt.

    6. (4) A voluntary, good faith abandonment of the attempt is a defense.

    7. Impossibility

      1. Factual – Not a good defense

      2. Legal – Good defense

      3. KH thinks neither is really a good defense.

      4. But CL, you can’t be convicted of a crime that doesn’t exist.

    8. MPC recommends the same punishment as the actual crime, but common law tends to reduce for attempt.

  9. Accomplice Liability (§2.06)

    1. Same charge as the actual actor

    2. CL – They have to have actually done something, with a P to commit the crime. (Gladstone, WA, p. 612)

    3. MPC is more total offense than elements. Requires P for the crime, aiding, and the principal’s actions.

    4. K or N about attendant circumstances is enough in common law (Xavier p. 621)

    5. MPC doesn’t really comment on attendant circumstances.

    6. MPC you can be an accomplice to an N crime (McVay p. 623), but only if you had a purpose to allow the negligence (Abbott p. 625).

    7. Presence isn’t enough, there must be an act, even if just encouragement.

    8. Your act doesn’t have to have actually helped, as long as you intended it to.

    9. The principal doesn’t have to have been convicted.

    10. You can be an accomplice to an attempt in MPC (§5.01(3)), but not in common law.

    11. Justification makes there no crime, excuse doesn’t.

Elements §5.01(1) Attempt §2.06 Accomplice

Take PKR P (Conduct) PKR (or P for attempt)

Property PKR PKR (Attendant) PKR

Another Person PKR PKR (Attendant) PKR

Keep P P (Conduct or Result) P

Act in Aid P

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