how do u reconcile elements on a crim law exam?

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myung76
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Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:21 pm

how do u reconcile elements on a crim law exam?

Postby myung76 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:10 pm

in the beginning i assumed u have a fact pattern and a certain law (Lets say burglary)

i assumed u would approach it by:

1) the crime of burglary is : blah blah blah

2) "First, the actus reus is satisfied/not satisfied blah blah blah

3) "Second, the mens rea blah blah"


Now, heres where im confused: obviously for crimes n stuff, they themselves have elements
ie
Defendant negligently partakes in violent potato eating

1) negligently 2) partakes in violent 3) potato eating


so taking the above into consideration, how do u answer a crim law exam? do u fit the elements into wherever they belong in actus reus, mens rea, etc?

or how the frik does it work?

thanks all

swimmer11
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Re: how do u reconcile elements on a crim law exam?

Postby swimmer11 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:27 pm

I do not know if this will help, but I think this is what you are asking.

A shot B in the face.

Intentional homicide occurs when an actor is engaged in conduct, with the requisite mens rea, and that conduct causes the death of another human being.

A conduct was pulling the trigger of the gun at B face

A had the requisite mens rea because he had the intent to kill. Intent to kill is either shown through purpose or knowledge. Here A both desired to kill B and knew with a substantial certainty that pulling the trigger at point blank range from D would blow his fucking brains out.

A was both the factual cause and the proximate cause of B death. To determine factual cause courts generally use the but for test. The but for test states but for the D actions, the V would still be alive. A is the factual cause because but for A pulling the trigger B would still be alive. Courts determine proximate cause off of foreseeablity. It is foreseeable that shooting someone would kill them. Therefore, A is both the proximate and the factual cause of B death.

B was a human.

Therefore, a jury could find A guilty of intentional homicide.

DEFENSES (Next)

GRADING (Next)

Other culprits.

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MrSparkle
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Re: how do u reconcile elements on a crim law exam?

Postby MrSparkle » Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:05 pm

1) negligently 2) partakes in violent 3) potato eating


No it should be 1)negligently 2)partakes 3)violent 4)potato eating.

How you break it down depends on if you're in common law or MPC jurisdiction. Under the common law, the actus reus only has recklessness or intent, there is no negligent crime (Faulkner case), so this is probably MPC crime.

Under MPC, each material element (actus reus) has a culpability element attached to it (mens rea).

In general, the material possiblities are conduct, circumstance, or result. Culpability could be negligence, recklessness, knowledge, or purpose.

here, "negligently" is the culpability requirement required for the material elements for there to be a crime. Partakes = conduct; violent = circumstance, potato eating = conduct. Each of these must be done in a negligent manner for there to be a crime, and lack of any material or culpability elements will negate there being a crime at all.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

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MrSparkle
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Re: how do u reconcile elements on a crim law exam?

Postby MrSparkle » Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:08 pm

Also keep in mind that "actus reus/mens rea" are terms in COMMON LAW and never used in the MPC. In MPC, these terms are framework for understanding it, but the MPC itself does not use these terms.

When you analyze the crimes you have to pick at the facts to determine if the facts show negligence, or if there's a possible defense like mistake of fact/law or whatever.

i.e. was he violently eating the potato? Is that violent? Is that a potato at all? Are french fries potatoes? Is he partaking only if he eats the whole thing, or just the skin?

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thesealocust
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Re: how do u reconcile elements on a crim law exam?

Postby thesealocust » Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:24 pm

Lack of actus reus is a defense to a crime and nothing more. Mens rea describes a common element to some - but not all (strict liability) - crimes.

You tend to learn them early in crim, but independently they tend not to be that important.




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