Complex Crimlaw Hypo

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TFR
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Complex Crimlaw Hypo

Postby TFR » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:06 pm

Lets assume this is an MPC jurisdiction
A walks into the room knowing B has a gun on him, in fact, A also has a gun, but he wants to shoot B and get away with it in self-defense.
A provokes B by taunting him with vulgar words with the intent that B shoot him, miss, and then A would be able to shoot back in self-defense.
B shoots and misses. He has more bullets and B knows.

[INTERLUDE: At this point A cannot claim self-defense because he was the provoker]

A shoots back and misses. He has more bullets and B knows.
B shoots back killing A.
B claims self-defense. What result?

The Dillema: B’s initial shooting wasn’t justified, because he had no indication that A was using deadly force.
But for A’s purposes if he would have been the killer, he was the provoker, so no self-defense.
Does the fact that A was the provoker allow B to use self-defense as a defense, because A was the initial aggressor? Or looking at him, his shooting wasn’t justified, he was the initial aggressor?
Can we have 2 initial aggressors? How does this pan out?

woeisme
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Re: Complex Crimlaw Hypo

Postby woeisme » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:12 pm

Why would B be able to claim self defense? A was merely taunting him with words. I'm not sure why you're focusing on initial aggression.

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bk1
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Re: Complex Crimlaw Hypo

Postby bk1 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:18 pm

B seems like the initial deadly aggressor. He's got a gun trained on A from the moment he enters the room.

A probably can't get self defense because he should have retreated rather than walk into a room where he knew B had a gun trained him. Ignoring the retreat requirement, it seems at the interlude A can claim self-defense because, even though he's the provoker, he's not the initial deadly aggressor. A started with words and B escalated to deadly force.

TFR
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Re: Complex Crimlaw Hypo

Postby TFR » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:23 pm

woeisme wrote:Why would B be able to claim self defense? A was merely taunting him with words. I'm not sure why you're focusing on initial aggression.


Well if A shoots B, in a plain and simple hypo, and B shoots back, B can claim self defense.

But the problem here in this hypo is B shot first, so he cant claim self-defense.

But if we change my original hypo slightly and assume that A's shot killed B, A couldnt either claim self-defense because he was "the provoker with the intent to cause death or serious physical injury," knowlingly provoking B's shot. (He knew B had a gun, and his provocation was intended to cause death as he wanted to create a situation where he could use self-defense to kill).

Therefore, analytically it would seem that if either A or B were killed in this hypo, neither killer would be able to claim self-defense, either way.

I find this extremely complex, and cannot find an answer.

TFR
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Re: Complex Crimlaw Hypo

Postby TFR » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:25 pm

bk1 wrote:B seems like the initial deadly aggressor. He's got a gun trained on A from the moment he enters the room.

A probably can't get self defense because he should have retreated rather than walk into a room where he knew B had a gun trained him. Ignoring the retreat requirement, it seems at the interlude A can claim self-defense because, even though he's the provoker, he's not the initial deadly aggressor. A started with words and B escalated to deadly force.


Under the MPC though, he was the provoker - see post above. A provoker doesnt have to be the first punch, technically, under the MPC.

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bk1
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Re: Complex Crimlaw Hypo

Postby bk1 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:30 pm

TFR wrote:Under the MPC though, he was the provoker - see post above. A provoker doesnt have to be the first punch, technically, under the MPC.


Well in the OP hypo, B is the provoker (which I incorrectly stated in my post). He's got a gun trained on A from the start. I don't see how A using words makes A the provoker unless B did not intend to shoot A even though he had the gun trained on him. But even in that it would depend on the reasonable belief of A that someone with a gun drawn on him intended to shoot him.

bartleby
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Re: Complex Crimlaw Hypo

Postby bartleby » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:34 pm

can words alone provoke deadly force under MPC? i'm pretty sure not...i think this goes into the whole excuse v. justification v. defense thing...it should be noted that attempt to commit something in mpc is as bad as doing that thing - just a higher bar set for intent...i believe.

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bk1
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Re: Complex Crimlaw Hypo

Postby bk1 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:36 pm

bartleby wrote:can words alone provoke deadly force under MPC? i'm pretty sure not...i think this goes into the whole excuse v. justification v. defense thing...it should be noted that attempt to commit something in mpc is as bad as doing that thing - just a higher bar set for intent...i believe.


I just reread the MPC. You can't use deadly force in self defense if you provoked with the purpose of causing death. I'm not sure to read that as whether you provoked intending the other person to eventually die or whether to read it as provoking with deadly force.

TFR
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Re: Complex Crimlaw Hypo

Postby TFR » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:42 pm

bk1 wrote:
TFR wrote:Under the MPC though, he was the provoker - see post above. A provoker doesnt have to be the first punch, technically, under the MPC.


Well in the OP hypo, B is the provoker (which I incorrectly stated in my post). He's got a gun trained on A from the start. I don't see how A using words makes A the provoker unless B did not intend to shoot A even though he had the gun trained on him. But even in that it would depend on the reasonable belief of A that someone with a gun drawn on him intended to shoot him.


OP here, the gun wasnt trained on A from the start, it was in B's pocket, but A knew it was there, and A provoked intending to cause death or SPI, because he knew it was there.

bartleby wrote:can words alone provoke deadly force under MPC? i'm pretty sure not...i think this goes into the whole excuse v. justification v. defense thing...it should be noted that attempt to commit something in mpc is as bad as doing that thing - just a higher bar set for intent...i believe.


See, I agree with your point that B's deadly force wasnt justified, so B couldnt use self-defense as a justification. In other words, the provocation wouldnt let B use a self-defense claim.

BUT, in this hypo, it would seem the provocation WOULD PREVENT A from using self-defense as a justification, if he were alive and had shot B in defense as per his initial subjective plan when he walked into the room, because, subjectively he provoked (even though B didnt know he was a provoker with the intent to cause death).

I find it intriguing to have a scenario where neither A nor B can claim self-defense if either were the killer of the other.

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bk1
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Re: Complex Crimlaw Hypo

Postby bk1 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:48 pm

I misunderstood your "gun on him" statement (I thought it meant trained on him). But I'm pretty sure A can't claim self-defense because he has a to retreat before even entering the room.

If we ignore retreat, then it depends how you interpret the provoker clause (see my post above). I think that clause is ambiguous.

TFR
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Re: Complex Crimlaw Hypo

Postby TFR » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:53 pm

bk1 wrote:I misunderstood your "gun on him" statement (I thought it meant trained on him). But I'm pretty sure A can't claim self-defense because he has a to retreat before even entering the room.

If we ignore retreat, then it depends how you interpret the provoker clause (see my post above). I think that clause is ambiguous.


Sorry, I missed your retreat point. That seems valid.

I am pretty sure I am correct in my interpretation of provoker, correct me if I am wrong, and if I am, it was bothering me that such a hypo could exist, that provocation could bar seld-defense claim from A, and not allow B to claim self-defense either.

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bk1
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Re: Complex Crimlaw Hypo

Postby bk1 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:55 pm

TFR wrote:I am pretty sure I am correct in my interpretation of provoker, correct me if I am wrong, and if I am, it was bothering me that such a hypo could exist, that provocation could bar seld-defense claim from A, and not allow B to claim self-defense either.


I learned it that if you started a confrontation with nondeadly force and your opponent escalated to deadly force then you can use deadly force in self defense.

Reading the MPC now, it's ambiguous to me.

TFR
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Re: Complex Crimlaw Hypo

Postby TFR » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:58 pm

bk1 wrote:
TFR wrote:I am pretty sure I am correct in my interpretation of provoker, correct me if I am wrong, and if I am, it was bothering me that such a hypo could exist, that provocation could bar seld-defense claim from A, and not allow B to claim self-defense either.


I learned it that if you started a confrontation with nondeadly force and your opponent escalated to deadly force then you can use deadly force in self defense.

Reading the MPC now, it's ambiguous to me.


Thats correct, but for A, it isnt an escalation issue, because he didnt provoke with a punch, he provoked with words - intending to cause death under the language of the MPC clearly barring seld-defense. The ambiguity is nerve-wracking in the MPC sometimes.

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Guchster
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Re: Complex Crimlaw Hypo

Postby Guchster » Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:00 am

TFR wrote:
bk1 wrote:
TFR wrote:Under the MPC though, he was the provoker - see post above. A provoker doesnt have to be the first punch, technically, under the MPC.


Well in the OP hypo, B is the provoker (which I incorrectly stated in my post). He's got a gun trained on A from the start. I don't see how A using words makes A the provoker unless B did not intend to shoot A even though he had the gun trained on him. But even in that it would depend on the reasonable belief of A that someone with a gun drawn on him intended to shoot him.


OP here, the gun wasnt trained on A from the start, it was in B's pocket, but A knew it was there, and A provoked intending to cause death or SPI, because he knew it was there.

bartleby wrote:can words alone provoke deadly force under MPC? i'm pretty sure not...i think this goes into the whole excuse v. justification v. defense thing...it should be noted that attempt to commit something in mpc is as bad as doing that thing - just a higher bar set for intent...i believe.


See, I agree with your point that B's deadly force wasnt justified, so B couldnt use self-defense as a justification. In other words, the provocation wouldnt let B use a self-defense claim.

BUT, in this hypo, it would seem the provocation WOULD PREVENT A from using self-defense as a justification, if he were alive and had shot B in defense as per his initial subjective plan when he walked into the room, because, subjectively he provoked (even though B didnt know he was a provoker with the intent to cause death).

I find it intriguing to have a scenario where neither A nor B can claim self-defense if either were the killer of the other.



My notes on this say that 3.09 of the code specifies that a person is considered the initial aggressor if he had the purpose of causing death or bodily harm. The aggressor may regain the use of force in self-defense if he does not use it in the same part of the encounter in which he was the provoker.

It seems like A lost it in this situation the moment he went into the room. The fact that his "defense" happened "in the same part of the encounter" suggests that he didn't recapture the right of force for self-defense.

I would agree that B escalated too quickly, and under the MPC lost self-defense.

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Guchster
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Re: Complex Crimlaw Hypo

Postby Guchster » Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:03 am

too make this even harder. can we pretend this is a non-MPC but common law jurisdiction? I'm curious to see if my notes on this are on point.

TFR
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Re: Complex Crimlaw Hypo

Postby TFR » Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:05 am

Thanks for reply, thats what I thought. So you agree under the MPC in this hypo, neither A nor B could claim self-defense if one shot the other and killed them? (Assuming no retreat, renunciation etc...)

TFR
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Re: Complex Crimlaw Hypo

Postby TFR » Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:07 am

Guchster wrote:too make this even harder. can we pretend this is a non-MPC but common law jurisdiction? I'm curious to see if my notes on this are on point.


Under common law I think the other guy has to be an actual aggressor, not just a provoker. And then theres state statutes making it even more complicated.




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