Crim Law Question

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Whitters
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Crim Law Question

Postby Whitters » Tue Dec 07, 2010 1:47 pm

Thanks in advance! Something like this was on my Prof's practice exam with no sample answer:

A wants B dead. A calls C, who is a jealous husband and has several prior convictions of assault on men who he thinks made advances on his wife. A fabricates a detailed story and tells C over the phone that C's wife and B have been having an affair. C gets angry, says "B must die" and goes over to B's house to kill him. A smiles but doesn't say anything. C breaks in, shoots who he thinks is B, but it happens to be D, B's wife.

What is A's criminal liability?

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Borhas
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Re: Crim Law Question

Postby Borhas » Tue Dec 07, 2010 1:56 pm

Whitters wrote:Thanks in advance! Something like this was on my Prof's practice exam with no sample answer:

A wants B dead. A calls C, who is a jealous husband and has several prior convictions of assault on men who he thinks made advances on his wife. A fabricates a detailed story and tells C over the phone that C's wife and B have been having an affair. C gets angry, says "B must die" and goes over to B's house to kill him. A smiles but doesn't say anything. C breaks in, shoots who he thinks is B, but it happens to be D, B's wife.

What is A's criminal liability?


in common law? probably nothing cause it seems like B was actually fucking D

MPC? probably grossly reckless to knowing murder

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kalvano
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Re: Crim Law Question

Postby kalvano » Tue Dec 07, 2010 1:57 pm

That's a tough one. There is mens rea and actus reus, but A didn't actually commit the crime.

You're best bet is probably a proximate cause argument.

Whitters
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Re: Crim Law Question

Postby Whitters » Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:06 pm

We have to do both MPC and CL on our exam.

I was thinking that A was the main actor "puppeteer" and that C was his innocent instrumentality. Although he's not "innocent" C was still used by A to meet A's end. Therefore, A is guilty of murder 1.

I'm stuck on whether this could be a solicitation? Could A's egging C on to commit an unlawful act be "encouragement" although he never explicitly suggested that C kill B? I'm guessing no, but I'm not sure.

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LAWYER2
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Re: Crim Law Question

Postby LAWYER2 » Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:10 pm

A is guilty of murder plain and simple. it would be solicitation but it merges with the target offense. D's ultimate demise and not B's has no bearing, due to transferred intent

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dailygrind
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Re: Crim Law Question

Postby dailygrind » Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:29 pm

Whitters wrote:We have to do both MPC and CL on our exam.

I was thinking that A was the main actor "puppeteer" and that C was his innocent instrumentality. Although he's not "innocent" C was still used by A to meet A's end. Therefore, A is guilty of murder 1.

I'm stuck on whether this could be a solicitation? Could A's egging C on to commit an unlawful act be "encouragement" although he never explicitly suggested that C kill B? I'm guessing no, but I'm not sure.


i have no idea what transferred intent is. that said:

under CL, probably attempted murder/reckless manslaughter/homicide. A is an accomplice due to solicitation. it doesn't matter that A didn't tell C to kill B, she told him things designed to get him to go do it. sounds like inducement to me. under CL A is therefore guilty of all reasonable and probable events that occur afterwards (either durham or pinkerton, one of them applies to conspiracy and one to complicity, but i forget which). some jurisdictions will "match" the AR of the principal and the MR of the principal, some will give the accomplice the same punishment to the principal as the accomplice, but it doesn't matter because both are the same in this case. both had purpose to kill B, and recklessly killed D. attempted murder + reckless manslaughter. further, felony murder rule applies as well, which gives you homicide.

MPC is largely the same, except complicity only extends to those acts which the accomplice has agreed to. the accomplice never agreed to kill D, so no liability. however, she gets hit with attempted murder. also, attempt is punished the same as the main crime in MPC.

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Borhas
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Re: Crim Law Question

Postby Borhas » Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:41 pm

CL accomplice liability is a good call, but I think direct complicity through causation probably fails under CL because CL is pretty strict w/ intervening cause/ free will issues

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dailygrind
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Re: Crim Law Question

Postby dailygrind » Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:49 pm

Borhas wrote:CL accomplice liability is a good call, but I think direct complicity through causation probably fails under CL because CL is pretty strict w/ intervening cause/ free will issues


under complicity you're responsible for all reasonable and probable crimes that occurred as a result of the crime you are complicit in. it's iffy whether or not it's reasonable and probable that B would kill the wrong person, but it's not too far out.

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joobacca
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Re: Crim Law Question

Postby joobacca » Tue Dec 07, 2010 5:44 pm

this isn't accomplice liability for murder?

i assume that murderer will get manslaughter
and accomplice will get first-degree murder

this is like Othello, no?

edit:
the accomplice had the purpose to aid the target crime. it shouldn't matter that the principal did not have the mens rea of intent-to-kill or any variations of malice aforethought. for the accomplice's liability, his mens rea should dictate his crime

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dailygrind
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Re: Crim Law Question

Postby dailygrind » Tue Dec 07, 2010 5:51 pm

joobacca wrote:this isn't accomplice liability for murder?

i assume that murderer will get manslaughter
and accomplice will get first-degree murder

this is like Othello, no?

edit:
the accomplice had the purpose to aid the target crime. it shouldn't matter that the principal did not have the mens rea of intent-to-kill or any variations of malice aforethought. for the accomplice's liability, his mens rea should dictate his crime


that's the new standard. the old timey standard is one of derivative liability - the accomplice cannot be charged with a crime greater than that of the principle. i'm actually unsure of whether or not the old standard is still in effect anywhere, but i thought i'd throw it out there in case it was.

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joobacca
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Re: Crim Law Question

Postby joobacca » Tue Dec 07, 2010 5:59 pm

dailygrind wrote:
joobacca wrote:this isn't accomplice liability for murder?

i assume that murderer will get manslaughter
and accomplice will get first-degree murder

this is like Othello, no?

edit:
the accomplice had the purpose to aid the target crime. it shouldn't matter that the principal did not have the mens rea of intent-to-kill or any variations of malice aforethought. for the accomplice's liability, his mens rea should dictate his crime


that's the new standard. the old timey standard is one of derivative liability - the accomplice cannot be charged with a crime greater than that of the principle. i'm actually unsure of whether or not the old standard is still in effect anywhere, but i thought i'd throw it out there in case it was.


i thought accomplice liability was a derivative liability in every jurisdiction. the principal has to do something criminal for the prosecution to pin something on A. does "derivative" mean you can get the whole or something less or does it mean that you simply get it from someone else?

i always thoguth of it this way (and this isn't what my rpfessor said... i just thought of it this way). you get the actus reus of the principal. and then you get your own mens rea. if there's concurrence of these two on a crime, then the accomplice gets nailed. so in the situation above the actual killer is going to get vol man since he had the intent to kill but with mitigating circumstances. and a gets 1st because he premeditated. no?

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dailygrind
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Re: Crim Law Question

Postby dailygrind » Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:18 pm

joobacca wrote:i thought accomplice liability was a derivative liability in every jurisdiction. the principal has to do something criminal for the prosecution to pin something on A. does "derivative" mean you can get the whole or something less or does it mean that you simply get it from someone else?

i always thoguth of it this way (and this isn't what my rpfessor said... i just thought of it this way). you get the actus reus of the principal. and then you get your own mens rea. if there's concurrence of these two on a crime, then the accomplice gets nailed. so in the situation above the actual killer is going to get vol man since he had the intent to kill but with mitigating circumstances. and a gets 1st because he premeditated. no?


derivative liability is based upon the idea that your guilt derives from the principal's. if the principal wasn't guilty, you weren't guilty, even if you acted with malice. innocent agency moves away from this.




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