Intervening vs. Superseding Events & Causation

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legallymidwestern
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Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:35 pm

Intervening vs. Superseding Events & Causation

Postby legallymidwestern » Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:56 pm

My Criminal law final is on Wednesday, and from our class materials and the way that my professor has explained it, I'm having a hard time determining the difference between intervening and superseding causes and their effect on a criminal's liability. If anyone is a fan of Crim Law and would like to give me a better explanation on this, I would really appreciate it - thanks!

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I.P. Daly
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Re: Intervening vs. Superseding Events & Causation

Postby I.P. Daly » Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:48 pm

A dependent intervening cause will supersede the defendant's act only when it's a totally abnormal response to the d's act. For example, D intentionally punches P, causing P to suffer serious but non-life threatening injuries. P seeks medical treatment. The doctor negligently treats P and P dies. The negligent treatment is not considered abnormal and the D can be found to have proximately caused P's death.

An independent intervening cause will normally supersede the D's act, except where the independent intervening force was foreseeable. For example, D breaks into P's house and attempts to rape and kill him. P escapes and runs into the woods on an extremely cold night. P dies of exposure. D's act might be sufficient for criminal liability because of the foreseeability of P dying from exposure.

legallymidwestern
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:35 pm

Re: Intervening vs. Superseding Events & Causation

Postby legallymidwestern » Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:31 pm

That's a great explanation - it makes a lot more sense now, thanks so much!




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