Quick Crim Question.

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ajaxconstructions
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Quick Crim Question.

Postby ajaxconstructions » Thu May 10, 2012 12:28 am

A drugs B, trying to kill B but fails because he used too little drugs and B is simply asleep.

A thinks B is dead and dumps the body into an ocean. B drowns.

What can A be charged with?

JDcandidate
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Re: Quick Crim Question.

Postby JDcandidate » Thu May 10, 2012 12:47 am

It's been a while since crim. for me, but I'll bite. My guess at first blush is this would be first degree murder. The intent hadn't changed in the perpetrator's mind, regardless of whether the victim died from the drugs or drowning. His actions were still premeditated, the malice aforethought is still there, and he purposely and knowingly tried to ditch what he thought was his dead body (which was thought to be dead as a result of the perpetrator's premeditated plan). It'd be pretty tough to prove a mens rea for less than first degree murder. If you wanted to try and defend the guy from first degree murder, maybe you could say that the drugging of the victim was a felonious assault, not murder since the victim obviously was not murdered at that time. Then maybe you could argue that because it was only felonious assault, it is precluded from being merged with murder in a felony-murder charge. Therefore, the ditching of the body in the river would be negligent homicide, a crime to be considered wholly apart from the felonious assault. Tough position to defend though. That's my take, but I haven't looked at anything crim-related in over a year.

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AVBucks4239
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Re: Quick Crim Question.

Postby AVBucks4239 » Thu May 10, 2012 12:49 am

Run through all the different possible murder charges that are plausible, say why they work or why they don't work, and get points.

But if I had to guess, first degree murder, because one intends the natural and probable consequences of his actions.
Last edited by AVBucks4239 on Thu May 10, 2012 12:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

presidentk1
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Re: Quick Crim Question.

Postby presidentk1 » Thu May 10, 2012 12:49 am

i'm only a 0L but i fail to see how it matters whether or not the victim died via the drugs or the drowning.

...fact remains that the defendant planned to kill the defendant and then went and did just that.

murder 1 all the way IMO

EDIT: its also actually murder 1 regardless of the state of the victim due to the felony murder rule. if in the commission of a felony a victim dies the defendant is automatically charged with murder 1. In this case, the defendant committed many felonies, i.e. assault, kidnapping

ajaxconstructions
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Re: Quick Crim Question.

Postby ajaxconstructions » Thu May 10, 2012 12:52 am

Could the defendant use mistake of fact as a defense and only be charged with attempted murder (when he drugged B)?

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Icculus
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Re: Quick Crim Question.

Postby Icculus » Thu May 10, 2012 12:55 am

AVBucks4239 wrote:Run through all the different possible murder charges that are plausible, say why they work or why they don't work, and get points.

But if I had to guess, first degree murder, because one intends the natural and probable consequences of his actions.


This.

clint4law
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Re: Quick Crim Question.

Postby clint4law » Thu May 10, 2012 12:57 am

Actus Reus + Mens Rea + Causation need to coincide.
Yes, you can use a mistake of fact to mitigate to negligent homicide.
I'd say: attempt for the first act, and negligent homicide for the second act.

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Mike12188
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Re: Quick Crim Question.

Postby Mike12188 » Thu May 10, 2012 12:57 am

presidentk1 wrote:i'm only a 0L

JDcandidate
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Re: Quick Crim Question.

Postby JDcandidate » Thu May 10, 2012 12:58 am

presidentk1 wrote:in this case, the defendant committed many felonies, i.e. assault, kidnapping


The kidnapping thing works. You can't sneak murder into felony-murder on an assault claims. But the kidnapping idea is solid. Looks like Presidentk1 could make the curve if he tested tomorrow.

clint4law
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Re: Quick Crim Question.

Postby clint4law » Thu May 10, 2012 12:59 am

JDcandidate wrote:
presidentk1 wrote:in this case, the defendant committed many felonies, i.e. assault, kidnapping


The kidnapping thing works. You can't sneak murder into felony-murder on an assault claims. But the kidnapping idea is solid. Looks like Presidentk1 could make the curve if he tested tomorrow.


+1

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bk1
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Re: Quick Crim Question.

Postby bk1 » Thu May 10, 2012 1:00 am

presidentk1 wrote:i'm only a 0L


Then you probably shouldn't be answering questions in the law student forum.

kublaikahn
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Re: Quick Crim Question.

Postby kublaikahn » Thu May 10, 2012 1:01 am

Run through them, including felony murder, but focus heavily on proximate cause. Use Thabo Meli v. Reginam or similar.

presidentk1
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Re: Quick Crim Question.

Postby presidentk1 » Thu May 10, 2012 1:01 am

JDcandidate wrote:
presidentk1 wrote:in this case, the defendant committed many felonies, i.e. assault, kidnapping


The kidnapping thing works. You can't sneak murder into felony-murder on an assault claims. But the kidnapping idea is solid. Looks like Presidentk1 could make the curve if he tested tomorrow.


i appreciate the compliment

ajaxconstructions
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Re: Quick Crim Question.

Postby ajaxconstructions » Thu May 10, 2012 1:01 am

clint4law wrote:Actus Reus + Mens Rea + Causation need to coincide.
Yes, you can use a mistake of fact to mitigate to negligent homicide.
I'd say: attempt for the first act, and negligent homicide for the second act.


You stated this better than I did.

This is what I thought, but wasn't sure on it.

JDcandidate
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Re: Quick Crim Question.

Postby JDcandidate » Thu May 10, 2012 1:06 am

ajaxconstructions wrote:
clint4law wrote:Actus Reus + Mens Rea + Causation need to coincide.
Yes, you can use a mistake of fact to mitigate to negligent homicide.
I'd say: attempt for the first act, and negligent homicide for the second act.


You stated this better than I did.

This is what I thought, but wasn't sure on it.




The timing here matters - if its a continuation of the same crime, and the facts don't demonstrate any time that A recollected himself / detached himself from attempted murder, the it would be tough to argue. As would be any of the defenses suggested here. Just something to watch for.

goodolgil
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Re: Quick Crim Question.

Postby goodolgil » Thu May 10, 2012 1:09 am

Reckless disregard for human life is seemingly also there since it should be pretty obvious if one is breathing or not. Thus the dumping of the body would be murder even apart from the attempted murder of the drugging.
Last edited by goodolgil on Thu May 10, 2012 1:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Quick Crim Question.

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Thu May 10, 2012 1:10 am

clint4law wrote:Actus Reus + Mens Rea + Causation need to coincide.
Yes, you can use a mistake of fact to mitigate to negligent homicide.
I'd say: attempt for the first act, and negligent homicide for the second act.


^Agree with this. There is a concurrence requirement between Actus Reus and Mens Rea, which doesn't exist in this instance. I think it should be attempted murder and negligent homicide (or even felony murder, depending on jurisdictional rules).

Courts have disagreed with this though b/c they "want justice." See Thabo case cited earlier and Jackson v. Commonwealth, 28 S.w. 422 (Ky. 1986).

Dressler (in Understanding Criminal Law) talks about this very issue on pg 201-02 (and cites those two cases). The outcomes in those cases: "the murder convictions in both cases were affirmed, presumably because the defendant's culpability was that of a murderer, and '[o]rdinary ideas of justice and common sense require that such [cases] . . . be treated as murder,' rather than attempted murder."
Last edited by Richie Tenenbaum on Thu May 10, 2012 1:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

ajaxconstructions
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Re: Quick Crim Question.

Postby ajaxconstructions » Thu May 10, 2012 1:11 am

JDcandidate wrote:
ajaxconstructions wrote:
clint4law wrote:Actus Reus + Mens Rea + Causation need to coincide.
Yes, you can use a mistake of fact to mitigate to negligent homicide.
I'd say: attempt for the first act, and negligent homicide for the second act.


You stated this better than I did.

This is what I thought, but wasn't sure on it.




The timing here matters - if its a continuation of the same crime, and the facts don't demonstrate any time that A recollected himself / detached himself from attempted murder, the it would be tough to argue. As would be any of the defenses suggested here. Just something to watch for.


No big time difference between the actions. Would it really matter? Wouldn't the actus reus and mens rea be separate even if it was done consecutively with no time between the acts?

ajaxconstructions
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Re: Quick Crim Question.

Postby ajaxconstructions » Thu May 10, 2012 1:14 am

Richie Tenenbaum wrote:
clint4law wrote:Actus Reus + Mens Rea + Causation need to coincide.
Yes, you can use a mistake of fact to mitigate to negligent homicide.
I'd say: attempt for the first act, and negligent homicide for the second act.


^Agree with this. There is a concurrence requirement between Actus Reus and Mens Rea, which doesn't exist in this instance. I think it should be attempted murder and negligent homicide (or even felony murder, depending on jurisdictional rules).

Courts have disagreed with this though b/c they "want justice." See Thabo case cited earlier and Jackson v. Commonwealth, 28 S.w. 422 (Ky. 1986).

Dressler (in Understanding Criminal Law) talks about this very issue on pg 201-02 (and cites those two cases). The outcomes in those cases: "the murder convictions in both cases were affirmed, presumably because the defendant's culpability was that of a murderer, and '[o]rdinary ideas of justice and common sense require that such [cases] . . . be treated as murder,' rather than attempted murder."


Thanks.

That Thabo case really helps. Too bad in our class we didn't even cover that case (or anything similar) and didn't talk about the meeting of Actus Reus + Mens Rea requirement for murder. Learning more on TLS than I did in class.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Quick Crim Question.

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Thu May 10, 2012 1:18 am

JDcandidate wrote:
ajaxconstructions wrote:
clint4law wrote:Actus Reus + Mens Rea + Causation need to coincide.
Yes, you can use a mistake of fact to mitigate to negligent homicide.
I'd say: attempt for the first act, and negligent homicide for the second act.


You stated this better than I did.

This is what I thought, but wasn't sure on it.




The timing here matters - if its a continuation of the same crime, and the facts don't demonstrate any time that A recollected himself / detached himself from attempted murder, the it would be tough to argue. As would be any of the defenses suggested here. Just something to watch for.


MPC analysis: These are distinct acts and separate state of minds are occurring for each act. When A drugs B, it is his conscious object to bring about the death of B. When A dumps B into lake, he is either reckless to the fact that B might still be living (if he was aware of a risk that she might still be alive), negligent (if he should have known), or strict liability. We usually only punish for crim neg. or recklessness, but it seems likely a jury will find at least crim neg.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Quick Crim Question.

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Thu May 10, 2012 1:20 am

ajaxconstructions wrote:
Richie Tenenbaum wrote:
clint4law wrote:Actus Reus + Mens Rea + Causation need to coincide.
Yes, you can use a mistake of fact to mitigate to negligent homicide.
I'd say: attempt for the first act, and negligent homicide for the second act.


^Agree with this. There is a concurrence requirement between Actus Reus and Mens Rea, which doesn't exist in this instance. I think it should be attempted murder and negligent homicide (or even felony murder, depending on jurisdictional rules).

Courts have disagreed with this though b/c they "want justice." See Thabo case cited earlier and Jackson v. Commonwealth, 28 S.w. 422 (Ky. 1986).

Dressler (in Understanding Criminal Law) talks about this very issue on pg 201-02 (and cites those two cases). The outcomes in those cases: "the murder convictions in both cases were affirmed, presumably because the defendant's culpability was that of a murderer, and '[o]rdinary ideas of justice and common sense require that such [cases] . . . be treated as murder,' rather than attempted murder."


Thanks.

That Thabo case really helps. Too bad in our class we didn't even cover that case (or anything similar) and didn't talk about the meeting of Actus Reus + Mens Rea requirement for murder. Learning more on TLS than I did in class.


Unless your professor is just awful, might be best to stick to what he or she wants to hear. If you didn't cover something in class, I would hope that it doesn't pop up on the test.

ETA: Requirement of concurrence between mens rea and actus reus applies to all of criminal law, not just murder.

JDcandidate
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Re: Quick Crim Question.

Postby JDcandidate » Thu May 10, 2012 1:29 am

Richie Tenenbaum wrote:No big time difference between the actions. Would it really matter? Wouldn't the actus reus and mens rea be separate even if it was done consecutively with no time between the acts?


Good point. Probably, yeah. Shoulda checked my outline. Sorry dude. Good heads up lawyering tho haha

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sundance95
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Re: Quick Crim Question.

Postby sundance95 » Thu May 10, 2012 2:18 am

Richie Tenenbaum wrote:Unless your professor is just awful, might be best to stick to what he or she wants to hear. If you didn't cover something in class, I would hope that it doesn't pop up on the test.

ETA: Requirement of concurrence between mens rea and actus reus applies to all of criminal law, not just murder.

Generally, this. But, sometimes professors don't cover a particularly esoteric area of law and then test it, reasoning that they've given you the skills to argue both sides of what should be novel to you. This could be one of those. In these situations its great to have read and thought about the actual case that the Q is based one, and have read the arguments for and against its holding, which Richie has pretty much done for you.

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BriaTharen
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Re: Quick Crim Question.

Postby BriaTharen » Thu May 10, 2012 3:25 am

Mike12188 wrote:
presidentk1 wrote:i'm only a 0L

Hey guys, I've got a game. Let's play Spot the Future Gunner! Pew pew pew

BeaverHunter
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Re: Quick Crim Question.

Postby BeaverHunter » Thu May 10, 2012 7:20 am

Sounds like attempted murder and negligent homicide. The only way to make it murder is extreme recklessness, which I don't think you can get here so long as the guy thought he was dead. He would have had to consciously disregarded the risk that the victim was still alive after he drugged him.

I'm not sure how you get felony murder. You can't merge the assault, and there's no mens rea for the kidnapping or anything else.




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