Crimlaw quesion on the "eggshell victim"

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fish tacos
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Crimlaw quesion on the "eggshell victim"

Postby fish tacos » Fri Dec 09, 2011 6:07 pm

Reading from Emanuel's outline (yes I know this is not the way to go; this was a weird class taught in a not-so-straightforward manner and as a result I've taken garbage notes) under "Concurrence," I see this:

4. Same kind of harm but different degree: Related to the different-kind-of-harm-than-intended problem just discussed, is the situation where the harm which results is of the same general type as that intended by the defendant, but of either more or less serious degree. Such a problem would arise if the defendant merely intends to make a simple battery on the victim, and the victim turns out to be a hemophiliac who bleeds to death or, conversely, the defendant intends to kill his victim, but the victim suffers only a superficial wound.
a. Actual result more serious than intended one: If the actual harm is greater, and related to, the intended result, the general principle is that there is no liability for the greater harm.

I thought the "eggshell victim" rule made a defendant liable for greater harms as long as they are of the same nature as that intended? Example: I punch you in the head only intending to batter you, you've got a weak skull and it shatters, I am now liable for the shattered skull and death if it results. Or do I have it completely backwards?

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Hippononymous
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Re: Crimlaw quesion on the "eggshell victim"

Postby Hippononymous » Fri Dec 09, 2011 6:16 pm

fish tacos wrote:a. Actual result more serious than intended one: If the actual harm is greater, and related to, the intended result, the general principle is that there is no liability for the greater harm.

I think the bolded is wrong. However, the actor would not be liable for having the intent of the greater harm; i.e. if I punch you with the intent to commit battery, and you die, that doesn't provide intent for the purposes of an intentional homicide statute.

Sandro
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Re: Crimlaw quesion on the "eggshell victim"

Postby Sandro » Fri Dec 09, 2011 7:27 pm

TAKE THE DEFENDANT AS THEY ARE !!!!

truevines
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Re: Crimlaw quesion on the "eggshell victim"

Postby truevines » Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:23 pm

fish tacos wrote:Reading from Emanuel's outline (yes I know this is not the way to go; this was a weird class taught in a not-so-straightforward manner and as a result I've taken garbage notes) under "Concurrence," I see this:

4. Same kind of harm but different degree: Related to the different-kind-of-harm-than-intended problem just discussed, is the situation where the harm which results is of the same general type as that intended by the defendant, but of either more or less serious degree. Such a problem would arise if the defendant merely intends to make a simple battery on the victim, and the victim turns out to be a hemophiliac who bleeds to death or, conversely, the defendant intends to kill his victim, but the victim suffers only a superficial wound.
a. Actual result more serious than intended one: If the actual harm is greater, and related to, the intended result, the general principle is that there is no liability for the greater harm.

I thought the "eggshell victim" rule made a defendant liable for greater harms as long as they are of the same nature as that intended? Example: I punch you in the head only intending to batter you, you've got a weak skull and it shatters, I am now liable for the shattered skull and death if it results. Or do I have it completely backwards?



I think the rules are different for torts and for criminal law.

In torts, you are liable for an eggshell victim's harm, however serious it is.

But for crim, you have to meet all the elements of a crime. I think the intent element won't be satisfied in the eggshell-victim situation. It would be, of course, different if the crime is strict liability that requires no intent.
Last edited by truevines on Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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jackattack17
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Re: Crimlaw quesion on the "eggshell victim"

Postby jackattack17 » Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:24 pm

fish tacos wrote:
I thought the "eggshell victim" rule made a defendant liable for greater harms as long as they are of the same nature as that intended? Example: I punch you in the head only intending to batter you, you've got a weak skull and it shatters, I am now liable for the shattered skull and death if it results. Or do I have it completely backwards?


Looking at my Emmanuel's Crunch Time, he says that "If V has a pre-exisiting condition, unknown to D, that makes him much more susceptible to injury or death than a normal person would be, D "takes the victim as he finds him.""

Haha BUT then it says this right below: "don't forget to also apply the rules of concurrence and to insist on the correct mental state. E.g. suppose D in the above example had only been trying to commit a minor battery on V, instead of trying to kill him. If V died as a result of his hemophilia, D would not be liable for common law intent-to-kill murder, because he did not have the req mental state, the intent to kill." But if there's a misdemeanor-manslaughter rule, D could get manslaughter.

So, I think D, intending only a battery, but on an eggshell-skull V unbeknownst to him, would only be liable for battery (unless misdemeanor-manslaughter).

smittytron3k
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Re: Crimlaw quesion on the "eggshell victim"

Postby smittytron3k » Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:40 pm

This is very simple: some crimes which share a common result or harm element (the death of another person) are differentiated by varying mens rea requirements. If the crime requires that the defendant intended the result (intentional homicide), then a defendant who did not intend that result might nonetheless be liable for a crime that has a different mens rea requirement (in this case, some form of manslaughter).

Use your brain. If someone intentionally hits someone and causes their death, that person is probably liable for some form of manslaughter. When you reach the conclusion that it's merely a battery, alarm bells should be going off and you should be backtracking through your analysis to see where you went wrong.




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