Crim Law

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phonepro
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Crim Law

Postby phonepro » Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:58 pm

What are the differences of accomplice liability in most modern jurisdictions (not the common law distinctions) and the MPC.

The distinctions I note are:
- MPC the crime doesn't have to happen. As long as you attempt to aid it is enough.
- MPC no natural and probable consequence doctrine.

Is there anything else significant?

Also is there an easy way to distinguish between accomplice liability and conspiracy? I constantly get it confused when I answer a fact pattern.

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kalvano
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Re: Crim Law

Postby kalvano » Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:17 pm

Conspiracy is a doctrine of accomplice liability, like complicity.

Conspiracy has an agreement and an overt act.
Complicity isn't an agreement, it's just someone helping out in the crime. They must share the criminal purpose of the actor.

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clintonius
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Re: Crim Law

Postby clintonius » Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:40 pm

Additionally, conspiracy is a crime in and of itself, whereas accomplice liability makes you liable for the crime of the principal. E.g., you make an agreement with X to kill B. You give X a gun, and X kills B. You can be charged with both conspiracy to commit murder and the murder itself.

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Lonagan
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Re: Crim Law

Postby Lonagan » Thu Dec 09, 2010 3:19 am

phonepro wrote:What are the differences of accomplice liability in most modern jurisdictions (not the common law distinctions) and the MPC.

The distinctions I note are:
- MPC the crime doesn't have to happen. As long as you attempt to aid it is enough.
- MPC no natural and probable consequence doctrine.

Is there anything else significant?

Also is there an easy way to distinguish between accomplice liability and conspiracy? I constantly get it confused when I answer a fact pattern.


Under the MPC there is no accomplice liability for a crime that does not occur. If X aids D, but D does not even accomplish an attempt, X is guilty of nothing. Accomplice liability is completely derivative, so if the principal does not commit a crime, there is no liability. 2.06(7) might make it look like the principal does not have to actually commit the crime for which accomplice liability is imposed, however, that provision exists to allow for things like plea bargaining. The offense still has to have been committed, per 2.06(1). I don't believe that is different from the common law or majority statutory rule. Unless I am mistaken, complicity is not a stand-alone offense under common law, majority rule, or MPC.

Conspiracy, on the other hand, does not require the target offense to be committed or attempted. Once the agreement is made (and in some jurisdictions an overt act is carried out), the crime of conspiracy to ____ has been committed.

Conspiracy requires an agreement (manifested in words or otherwise.) Complicity does not. It is possible for one to be complicit without the principal even knowing.

A good example is a case (I forget the name) where two men met a woman, they went walking, she fell down, and one of them men immediately started trying to rape her. The other man held his belt and encouraged him. The other man was as guilty of the (attempted?) rape as the actual rapist under complicity, but there was no conspiracy.

Change the facts a little bit such that the two men agreed beforehand to go out prowling and rape a vulnerable victim if they had a chance, and there would have been both a conspiracy and complicity (both from the aiding and abetting and the conspiracy.) MPC would merge the conspiracy into the rape, resulting in a prosecution only as an accomplice. Majority rule and common law would charge the conspiracy to rape and the rape as separate offenses.

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clintonius
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Re: Crim Law

Postby clintonius » Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:34 am

Lonagan wrote:
phonepro wrote:What are the differences of accomplice liability in most modern jurisdictions (not the common law distinctions) and the MPC.

The distinctions I note are:
- MPC the crime doesn't have to happen. As long as you attempt to aid it is enough.
- MPC no natural and probable consequence doctrine.

Is there anything else significant?

Also is there an easy way to distinguish between accomplice liability and conspiracy? I constantly get it confused when I answer a fact pattern.


Under the MPC there is no accomplice liability for a crime that does not occur. If X aids D, but D does not even accomplish an attempt, X is guilty of nothing. Accomplice liability is completely derivative, so if the principal does not commit a crime, there is no liability. 2.06(7) might make it look like the principal does not have to actually commit the crime for which accomplice liability is imposed, however, that provision exists to allow for things like plea bargaining. The offense still has to have been committed, per 2.06(1). I don't believe that is different from the common law or majority statutory rule. Unless I am mistaken, complicity is not a stand-alone offense under common law, majority rule, or MPC.

This is wrong, as I was taught it -- the MPC does not require the crime to have been committed for you to be convicted as an accomplice:

2.06(3) A person is an accomplice of another person in the commission of an offense if:

(a) with the purpose of promoting or facilitating the commission of the offense, he

(ii) aids or agrees or attempts to aid such other person in planning or committing it

(Emphasis added)

Per that, you'd be able to charge somebody as an accomplice to a crime just for trying to help in the planning of it. It's much farther-reaching that common law accomplice doctrine.
Last edited by clintonius on Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

lawschoolftw
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Re: Crim Law

Postby lawschoolftw » Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:36 am

clintonius wrote:
Lonagan wrote:
phonepro wrote:What are the differences of accomplice liability in most modern jurisdictions (not the common law distinctions) and the MPC.

The distinctions I note are:
- MPC the crime doesn't have to happen. As long as you attempt to aid it is enough.
- MPC no natural and probable consequence doctrine.

Is there anything else significant?

Also is there an easy way to distinguish between accomplice liability and conspiracy? I constantly get it confused when I answer a fact pattern.


Under the MPC there is no accomplice liability for a crime that does not occur. If X aids D, but D does not even accomplish an attempt, X is guilty of nothing. Accomplice liability is completely derivative, so if the principal does not commit a crime, there is no liability. 2.06(7) might make it look like the principal does not have to actually commit the crime for which accomplice liability is imposed, however, that provision exists to allow for things like plea bargaining. The offense still has to have been committed, per 2.06(1). I don't believe that is different from the common law or majority statutory rule. Unless I am mistaken, complicity is not a stand-alone offense under common law, majority rule, or MPC.

This is wrong, as I was taught it -- the MPC does not require the crime to have been committed for you to be convicted as an accomplice:

2.06(3) A person is an accomplice of another person in the commission of an offense if:

(a) with the purpose of promoting or facilitating the commission of the offense, he

(ii) aids or agrees or attempts to aid such other person in planning or committing it

(Emphasis added)


This is correct. MPC is all about culpability. If you aided, you can be convicted.

ogurty
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Re: Crim Law

Postby ogurty » Thu Dec 09, 2010 5:13 pm

No. There is no accomplice liability if the principal does not commit the crime. Cannot be an accomplice to a crime that doesn't occur.

HOWEVER! If you aid or attempt to aid a principal who does NOT complete the crime, you can be guilty of the ATTEMPTED crime AS THE PRINCIPAL. That may be where the mistake is coming from.

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clintonius
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Re: Crim Law

Postby clintonius » Thu Dec 09, 2010 5:16 pm

ogurty wrote:No. There is no accomplice liability if the principal does not commit the crime. Cannot be an accomplice to a crime that doesn't occur.

HOWEVER! If you aid or attempt to aid a principal who does NOT complete the crime, you can be guilty of the ATTEMPTED crime AS THE PRINCIPAL. That may be where the mistake is coming from.

You're wrong with respect to the MPC, at least (like I said above) as I was taught it. While I doubt many people actually get charged for this sort of thing, it is possible in a MPC jurisdiction to be charged as an accomplice even if the principal did not make it to the attempt stage.

I'm perfectly willing to concede that it's pretty silly, and if you were explicitly taught otherwise, definitely go with how you were taught if it comes up on the final.

ogurty
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Re: Crim Law

Postby ogurty » Thu Dec 09, 2010 5:28 pm

clintonius wrote:
ogurty wrote:No. There is no accomplice liability if the principal does not commit the crime. Cannot be an accomplice to a crime that doesn't occur.

HOWEVER! If you aid or attempt to aid a principal who does NOT complete the crime, you can be guilty of the ATTEMPTED crime AS THE PRINCIPAL. That may be where the mistake is coming from.

You're wrong with respect to the MPC, at least (like I said above) as I was taught it. While I doubt many people actually get charged for this sort of thing, it is possible in a MPC jurisdiction to be charged as an accomplice even if the principal did not make it to the attempt stage.

I'm perfectly willing to concede that it's pretty silly, and if you were explicitly taught otherwise, definitely go with how you were taught if it comes up on the final.


We can disagree, but the MPC is not unclear on this. You can't be an accomplice to a crime that didn't happen. Maybe e-mail your professor and clarify.

Edit: I really don't mean to sound like a prick. Obviously go with what your professor said. But since it's such a confusing area, I'm just trying to make the (very officious and probably unwanted) point that you may have misunderstood your professor.

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clintonius
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Re: Crim Law

Postby clintonius » Thu Dec 09, 2010 6:53 pm

ogurty wrote:
clintonius wrote:
ogurty wrote:No. There is no accomplice liability if the principal does not commit the crime. Cannot be an accomplice to a crime that doesn't occur.

HOWEVER! If you aid or attempt to aid a principal who does NOT complete the crime, you can be guilty of the ATTEMPTED crime AS THE PRINCIPAL. That may be where the mistake is coming from.

You're wrong with respect to the MPC, at least (like I said above) as I was taught it. While I doubt many people actually get charged for this sort of thing, it is possible in a MPC jurisdiction to be charged as an accomplice even if the principal did not make it to the attempt stage.

I'm perfectly willing to concede that it's pretty silly, and if you were explicitly taught otherwise, definitely go with how you were taught if it comes up on the final.


We can disagree, but the MPC is not unclear on this. You can't be an accomplice to a crime that didn't happen. Maybe e-mail your professor and clarify.

Edit: I really don't mean to sound like a prick. Obviously go with what your professor said. But since it's such a confusing area, I'm just trying to make the (very officious and probably unwanted) point that you may have misunderstood your professor.

I checked my notes to be sure, and I was in the wrong MPC section. This is the one that establishes my point:

5.01(3) Conduct Designed to Aid Another in Commission of a Crime. A person who engages in conduct designed to aid another to commit a crime that would establish his complicity under Section 2.06 if the crime were committed by such other person, is guilty of an attempt to commit the crime, although the crime is not committed or attempted by such other person.

For some reason it's not coupled with the rest of the Accomplice Liability stuff in the MPC, but it's clear that you can be held liable as an accomplice (to attempt, it looks like) even if the principal did not commit or attempt the crime.

ogurty
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Re: Crim Law

Postby ogurty » Thu Dec 09, 2010 7:51 pm

clintonius wrote:
ogurty wrote:
clintonius wrote:
ogurty wrote:No. There is no accomplice liability if the principal does not commit the crime. Cannot be an accomplice to a crime that doesn't occur.

HOWEVER! If you aid or attempt to aid a principal who does NOT complete the crime, you can be guilty of the ATTEMPTED crime AS THE PRINCIPAL. That may be where the mistake is coming from.

You're wrong with respect to the MPC, at least (like I said above) as I was taught it. While I doubt many people actually get charged for this sort of thing, it is possible in a MPC jurisdiction to be charged as an accomplice even if the principal did not make it to the attempt stage.

I'm perfectly willing to concede that it's pretty silly, and if you were explicitly taught otherwise, definitely go with how you were taught if it comes up on the final.


We can disagree, but the MPC is not unclear on this. You can't be an accomplice to a crime that didn't happen. Maybe e-mail your professor and clarify.

Edit: I really don't mean to sound like a prick. Obviously go with what your professor said. But since it's such a confusing area, I'm just trying to make the (very officious and probably unwanted) point that you may have misunderstood your professor.

I checked my notes to be sure, and I was in the wrong MPC section. This is the one that establishes my point:

5.01(3) Conduct Designed to Aid Another in Commission of a Crime. A person who engages in conduct designed to aid another to commit a crime that would establish his complicity under Section 2.06 if the crime were committed by such other person, is guilty of an attempt to commit the crime, although the crime is not committed or attempted by such other person.

For some reason it's not coupled with the rest of the Accomplice Liability stuff in the MPC, but it's clear that you can be held liable as an accomplice (to attempt, it looks like) even if the principal did not commit or attempt the crime.


You're close. Like I said earlier, if you aid or attempt to aid, and the crime is not completed, you're guilty of attempt - as the principal. You are still not an accomplice, because there's no crime to be an accomplice to.

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clintonius
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Re: Crim Law

Postby clintonius » Thu Dec 09, 2010 7:57 pm

aahh, I took the scenic route in getting there, but I see what you're saying and I think I must have misunderstood my prof and confused accomplice with principal in that case. Thanks for clearing it up!




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