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dft

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Crim Law Questions
« on: December 19, 2005, 05:42:56 PM »
If someone is charged with attempted murder, can the defense try to mitigate the charge to attempted manslaughter?


When someone has a duty to act, for example, based on the creation of danger to another, what are they charged with? Failure to act?

lipper

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Re: Crim Law Questions
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2005, 05:46:36 PM »
creation of danger that creates a duty to act can be anything. murder, manslaughter.

As to the attempt question, a defense to attempted murder requires the specific intent to kill. A defense that says, "hey, he might have almost killed her, but he did not intend to kill her", can mitigate it to attempted manslaughter.

this is a bit of a simplistic view on it, but thats the gist.
check the footnotes ya'll

BigPimpinBU

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Re: Crim Law Questions
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2005, 05:57:17 PM »
lipper, that's not quite accurate. an attempted murder does not necessarily need specific intent to kill. It can just be specific intent to carry out all of the elements of the attempted crime, (depending on the statute). So for instance, if you have a murder statute requiring only knowledge, as most of them do, D acting with the knowledge that his would-be victims will die, but not the specific intent to kill them, may be charged with attempted murder if the victims survive. If a guy fires a rocket at an airplane, etc. - that old hypo - and misses... there is an attempted murder count for every passenger and crew - not just with respect to the person that D intended specifically to kill.


dft

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Re: Crim Law Questions
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2005, 06:00:59 PM »
I don't understand what you're saying about the mitigation of attempted murder to manslaughter. You said, "a defense to attempted murder requires the specific intent to kill." Did you mean to say "attempted murder requires the specific intent to kill" rather than "a defense to..."?

In this hypothetical, the defendant has the intent to kill, but he may have been provoked (or at least under the influence of an extreme mental or emotional disturbance under the MPC), but he missed when he fired the gun. Can the defense reduce the charge to attempted manslaughter?

With regard to the omission/duty to act: So say someone is an accomplice to an attempted murder, which scares the potential victim into driving away. The victim then gets in a car accident. The accomplice walks by the accident. He sees the car (and he knows whose car it was) and a figure slumped over the wheel. He doesn't help and the victim dies the next day. What is the accomplice guilty of (for the duty to act issue)? Is there a causation issue?


Can a defendant be an accomplice to the crime of attempt (e.g. attempt to commit murder)?


creation of danger that creates a duty to act can be anything. murder, manslaughter.

As to the attempt question, a defense to attempted murder requires the specific intent to kill. A defense that says, "hey, he might have almost killed her, but he did not intend to kill her", can mitigate it to attempted manslaughter.

this is a bit of a simplistic view on it, but thats the gist.

lipper

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Re: Crim Law Questions
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2005, 07:26:48 PM »
bigpimpin is correct. i was thinkin you were in a common law jurisdiction. in any case, I assumed the common law murder definition. Attempt is all the elements like bigpimpin said.

mp - yeah, i didn't mean "a defense to" (brain is mush after finals). yea sure, adequate provocation mitigates to manslaughter. why cant it mitigate to attempted manslaughter?

the accomplice issue can be argued any way you please. on an exam, i would argue yes, no, maybe, and everything in between. I think you are correct on the causation being a problem. of course, like always there is no answer. Im gonna take a shot and say the accomplice is guilty of murder (by either omission or commission).
check the footnotes ya'll

dft

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Re: Crim Law Questions
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2005, 07:41:02 PM »
so say you think the accomplice is guilty of either murder or involuntary manslaughter --  why even bring up duty to act if youre charging him with involuntary manslaughter, which doesn't require an act anyway (it just requires recklessness)?

bigpimpin is correct. i was thinkin you were in a common law jurisdiction. in any case, I assumed the common law murder definition. Attempt is all the elements like bigpimpin said.

mp - yeah, i didn't mean "a defense to" (brain is mush after finals). yea sure, adequate provocation mitigates to manslaughter. why cant it mitigate to attempted manslaughter?

the accomplice issue can be argued any way you please. on an exam, i would argue yes, no, maybe, and everything in between. I think you are correct on the causation being a problem. of course, like always there is no answer. Im gonna take a shot and say the accomplice is guilty of murder (by either omission or commission).

shao2007

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Re: Crim Law Questions
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2005, 08:13:44 PM »
so say you think the accomplice is guilty of either murder or involuntary manslaughter --  why even bring up duty to act if youre charging him with involuntary manslaughter, which doesn't require an act anyway (it just requires recklessness)?

bigpimpin is correct. i was thinkin you were in a common law jurisdiction. in any case, I assumed the common law murder definition. Attempt is all the elements like bigpimpin said.

mp - yeah, i didn't mean "a defense to" (brain is mush after finals). yea sure, adequate provocation mitigates to manslaughter. why cant it mitigate to attempted manslaughter?

the accomplice issue can be argued any way you please. on an exam, i would argue yes, no, maybe, and everything in between. I think you are correct on the causation being a problem. of course, like always there is no answer. Im gonna take a shot and say the accomplice is guilty of murder (by either omission or commission).



A defendant can be an accomplice to an attempt, Being convicted for conspiracy to commit robbery, and attempted robbery. You conspired and attempted robbery.

There is no attempted involuntary manslaughter. Only attempted voluntary manslaughter, which would not deal with a duty to act.

My prof said that omission liability only comes up when you can't make a prima facie case on anything else

dft

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Re: Crim Law Questions
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2005, 08:32:41 PM »
This isn't conspiracy though (well not the particular issue I'm talking about). This is accomplice liability.

Also, I'm not asking whether a defendant can be guilty of accomplice liability AND attempt (although this is a good question too). I'm asking whether a defendant can be guilty OF accomplice liability FOR someone else's attempt to commit a crime (e.g. murder).

A defendant can be an accomplice to an attempt, Being convicted for conspiracy to commit robbery, and attempted robbery. You conspired and attempted robbery.

i think there is an issue of involuntary manslaughter (reckless manslaughter) here though, and i think our prof wants us to talk about an omission here (i get the feeling).

There is no attempted involuntary manslaughter. Only attempted voluntary manslaughter, which would not deal with a duty to act.

My prof said that omission liability only comes up when you can't make a prima facie case on anything else

Another question for anyone: If two people agree to commit multiple crimes together, will they be prosecuted for multiple conspiracy charges? (I think I know the answer to this -- I would say "yes." However, our prof has taught us basically nothing.)

eloisa

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Re: Crim Law Questions
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2005, 09:28:26 PM »
This isn't conspiracy though (well not the particular issue I'm talking about). This is accomplice liability.

Also, I'm not asking whether a defendant can be guilty of accomplice liability AND attempt (although this is a good question too). I'm asking whether a defendant can be guilty OF accomplice liability FOR someone else's attempt to commit a crime (e.g. murder).


Under the MPC, I think a defendant can be guilty of accomplice liability for an attempt (under MPC 2.06). The important thing for the MPC drafters was mens rea -- in accomplice liability, the intent to facilitate/promote the crime -- so it seems like they'd want to prosecute a defendant for complicity even if the principal was only guilty of attempt.

Our crim law class focused almost entirely on the MPC ... so I don't know all the ins and outs of common law on this.

lipper

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Re: Crim Law Questions
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2005, 09:45:47 PM »
ur making this a lot more complicated than it has to be.
check the footnotes ya'll