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Course: Criminal Law Spring 2004
School: unknown
Year: 2004
Professor: West Video Lecture
Course Outline provided by Legalnut.com

Criminal Law Review

West Video

1L, 2d Semester

 

 

 

Most academics will test on identify offense and defense – and make sure you are able to barf up those

 

If prof prefers the law approach you will be looking for one of two elements of a crime that will be at issue

 

Homicide –

Threshold issue – is this a homicide – do you have the killing of a human by a human

Usu tested in context of causation – someone does something that something has to be the but-for causation

 

Tested in following scenario – A shoots B who is lying on sidewalk dying – then cop and ambulance comes all people will intervene, no does something intervene in such a way that it will supercede the initial act – a thing will supercede if it is abnormal and not foreseeable

 

B unloaded at hospital and fire bomber is hitting the ambulances and person dies as result of bomber that supercedes – point the bomber does not have the right to shorten the life of that person even though was dying

 

B at hospital and intern fell asleep while working now physician was a superceding act, he is but for cause not and A free

 

Assuming have homicide – basically have to work two floating variables – 1. Level of culpability – 1st degree murder, 2d degree, manslaughter, excused homicide and justified and so on – and 2. Methodology of bringing about dead bodies – geared to malice – specific intent to kill, specific to bring about bodily harm, depraved heart act and felony murder

 

Generally can just consider is this murder, manslaughter or not guilty – so typically when have a hypo with dead bodies figure out if intentional or unintentional and then figure out if manslaughter, murder or not guilty

 

Don’t confuse degree of culpability – if have murder is have to figure out 1st degree murder or 2d

 

Voluntary intoxication can never negate murder or manslaughter but can get 1st degree down to 2d

 

Intentional killing – start at murder – why because malice, would be either specific to kill or intent to do great bodily harm – malice is – intentional doing of a wrongful act without justification, excuse of mitigation – and presume none of these

 

How do I know when I have a specific intent to kill or great bodily harm – if aiming a gun then have specific intent, but if not have to infer from surrounding circumstances – therefore if guy dead because of an intentional act – if use deadly force against major part of body enough for specific intent

 

The body aided prob enough for deadly force – use of chair or bat

 

A hate B, A likes C and shoots at B and hits C and C dies, specific intent to kill of C by A, yes under doctrine of transferred intent

 

A mitigated murder is manslaughter, either intentional or not, intentional = voluntary man – there is only two ways to get to man – 1. hot blooded response, and 2. and imperfect defense

 

Hot blooded response – kind of thing that would cause a responsible person, objective, to kill, and subjective our defendant caused to do something – and objective cool off and subjective cool off, he did not cool off

 

Objective enragement – spousal adultery, violent battery, mutual affray or illegal arrest

Spousal adultery – c/l says-triggers normal person to kill - spousal and then adultery, in order to get spousal must be state recognized marriage, and adultery – will not work for a boyfriend, girlfriend relationship at least under the c/l

 

One of the spouses may be angry for a indefinite period of time – this is a factual issue, day, years, see surrounding facts – have bullets in drawer, still good, but if make a note to order bullets problem with mitigation may not get the man, and 2d situation if have six bullets kill the two provokers then still made kill four other people now guilty of two counts of man and four counts of murder only can mitigate as to the provokers – legally adequate provocation, hot blooded response

 

Violent battery – allowed the jury to compromise at voluntary manslaughter, mutual affray – two guys sitting at bar, got guns and started shooting at one another, one guilty of murder the other not so law allows mid-level culpability

 

Perfect defense – will be required to honestly or reasonable believe

 

Imperfect defense- honest but unreasonable belief - I thought was innocent but unreasonable in belief – Walking down street with 13 year old kid, student says will strike down kid with lightening so I shoot can get an imperfect defense

 

Murder mitigate is voluntary manslaughter –

 

Depraved heart – 25 mph in 25 mph zone parent lets kid go you hit – this is a homicide but no rational inference to make it intentional – culpability is not guilty – neither in criminal or tort side no gross deviation from reasonable – now make it 30 mph in 25 – still homicide still not guilty but there is a deviation but tort course maybe guilty – this time have had some drinks, 2am – doing 80 mph, raining a little, one head light out – now hit someone and killing him – guilty of man, unintentional and this is involuntary man, because last thing wanted to do was hit him but did, gross divination from standard of care, and behavior demonstrates my willingness to take chances

 

Six-shooter with Russian roulette – or shooting between train cars to telephone pole – these are situations where any fool knows end up with dead body – depraved heart

 

Felony murder - if you underlying conduct is a felony then have strict liability felony murder, per se depraved heart – all underlying misdemoers manslaughter result a lawful conducts fight up and down the facts

 

Kids watching me clean gun – no unlawful conduct is guns go off and kills kid – does conduct demonstrate depraved indifference for life maybe

 

Some limitations on strict liability felony murder rule – have to take the life during the commission of a felony, so if doing attempted felony, of doing the felony or escaping from felony you are in the time frame to be guilty- during the commission means before, during or after, part of a continuous act – you may spend two hours trying to effectuate an escape.

If did it before started attempt or after escape effectuated then no felony murder rule

 

Actors are liable for one another’s acts, kind of like agents of one another

 

Facts are no relevant in felony murder – strict liability

 

Felony murder – robbing a house see a guy at another at other house looking for burn house me liable for everything partners not, I am off on a detour and that was not foreseeable, I am going to garage to steal person comes home and door opens, she comes out of car, and rape her, and she dies what I am liable, other two are not the rape was not part of the robbery, went on a detour from original crime

 

Make sure dead body comes as a result of an act done as part of an agreement we all agreed to, furtherance of an agreed upon act

 

Redline rule – I am not liable for the acts of justified homicides – when we go to bank to rob the place, inherently dangerous felony, not liable for inherently dangerous felony – my bank robbering partner shot I am not liable because it was a justifiable homicide, not liable for death of co-felon when done at hands of someone who is justified in order to stop the inherently dangerous crime

 

Perfect necessity based defense: Necessity and duress – duress when I break law when human makes me break law because of imminent serious bodily harm or death – must only be an honest reasonable belief – duress defense to any crime except to the intentional taking of another innocent human life, duress not a defense here or even in attempted murder

 

Necessity – break law because situation made me – choice of evils – chose the lesser evil, will be forgiven - do what you have to do in a situation – self defense classic necessity based defense – anything from assault to murder may use self defense

 

Retreat rule – generally in a non-deadly force situation may protect self w/o retreat, provide honest and reasonable believe need that much force to stop from being hit, or stop the punch from coming – deadly force level: as long as honestly reasonably believe trying to take my life may respond w/deadly force, half nation says this, other half says retreat if safe, if not safe then defend self, retreat must be the first option – exception, do not have to retreat within own house – the aggressor owns no rights to self-defense, only the actor acting second, not the guy who started the fight

 

A Punched in nose B, B pulls knife, then A pulls gun and shoots, so in deadly force arena A owns rights to self-defense, in non-deadly force arena B owned rights to self-defense

 

Defense of others – c/l rule – if going to defend another, 1 it would have to be a close relative, and 2 he had to stand in shoes in person, meaning if that person has right of self defense then I have right to defend them, if no right then no right to defend them

 

At common law if make a mistake as to who is the aggressor and defend wrong guy you are guilty

 

Modern trend – use the good Samaritan belief, if he believes, honestly and reasonable, then have a right to defend even though he maybe bad guy you are defending

 

Crime prevention – when may I use deadly force to effectuate and arrest or stop an escape – only when you pose a serious threat to others, but if do not believe this then must let them escape – you may always defend at non-deadly force level – deadly force may never be used to defend property, all human life is worth more than property – however if have underlying defense of self or others then may use it, I was there when robber in my house and so forth

 

Arrest – c/l – if officer wants to arrest then better be right, but if wrong can defend, but if defender wrong is liable did not have to submit to arrest, but cannot use excessive force even if arrest is unlawful, modern trend – submit to arrest and let it play out in court if law enforcement officer

 

Homicidal minute – have dead body find out who the causers are, what it intended or unintended, if intended go to murder unless can mitigate somehow, hot blooded, justified, unintended side – reckless or wanton manslaughter

 

 

Inheritably dangerous felony then becomes murder

 

Larceny and embezzlement – very similar – larceny taking and caring away, w/specific intent to permanently deprive by trespass, any level of carrying away pick it up and move it an inch, and put it back when heard you coming down stairs, still larceny – but it must be tangible personal property of another superiors possessory interest – trespass means any wrongness in taking, coat on coat hook take it by accident, no specific intent to deprive but it is a trespass – you do not need to permanently deprive just intent to do so

 

Want to just borrow someone’s boat, so you do, boat sinks, not guilty of larceny, intent to return it

 

Take boat to go to Florida, but boat is leaking so takes it bake, still guilty of larceny because you intended to keep it but it leaked, guilty when boat moved a millimeter

 

Continuing trespass theory – if taking a carrying away linked in time after two hours borrowed then decided to go to Florida continuing act – no if borrow something and displace economic value will get a larceny equivalent

 

Larceny by trick – ask to borrow car for day, and intent was to go to Florida then still larceny minute take keys

 

Embezzlement – only diff from larceny is in larceny I am taking from you possession, in embezzle take after already in possession, so say convert to my own use when already in unlawful possession

 

Embezzlement invented late in c/l – rented car from Hertz intent to bring back but when already had car decided to keep car so this became embezzlement

 

Serious of fiction that deem to you to have less then possession to find you guilty – if rob a teller of a stolen 100 bill then still guilty of larceny she still have a greater possessory interest

 

I work for boss, gives me a broom I like the broom run away with it, guilty of larceny I get custody boss keeps custody

 

Boss puts most trusted employee in charge – so if any of use rip off the boss crime is larceny because we have mere custody, but if in charge rips of boss its embezzlement because gave constructive possession - 2d scenario – I have broom, bosses friend gives me book to return to him, custody of broom, possession of book, larceny and embezzlement respectively

 

$100 bill scenario – take bill put in tray constructive in bosses hand then take out put in pocket larceny, never put bill in tray straight to pocket no constructive delivery so embezzlement

 

Bailment – gratuitous or for hire, not passing title just possession – as long as still in care not given up possession but only custody

 

Lost and mislaid – embezzlement becomes a red-herring – abandoned you now have title and you get it – but if name or address or phone number, do not have to find a person but can not make your – if abandoned then I am new owner and if lost of mislaid then only have custody, my neighbor get my dry cleaning, if neighbor knows of mis-delivery then in custody, if not then has possession

 

Non-homicidal crimes against person – assault and battery, rape, and so forth

 

2 types of assault – the intent to frighten – still a crime does not matter did not intend to touch because placed the person in fear – next is attempted battery – (2d assault) – took a substantial step toward a battery w/specific intent to battery

 

But if do make offensive physical contact – then a battery, battery not negligently bumping into you – the hitting of a person with a car while driving drunk but person did not die it is still a battery, hit the other guys car, with your car and he went thought the window

 

Extortion and robbery – robbery is larceny when effectuated by assault and or robbery, larceny by actual or constructive force – threat of imminent battery when you point gun at someone and gives you stuff, assault – walk in steal books, owner comes in room no books, goes after you and you pull gun say stop, the thief is guilty of larceny and assault not robbery

 

Extortion – if threaten future harm for exchange of goods, if threaten present harm and get goods then a robbery, if threaten present harm and you do not have goods to give then attempted robbery, if threaten future harm and still not get goods still extortion not attempted extortion

 

False imprisonment and kidnapping – if make you move with me then it’s a kidnapping, or hiding in secret from rest of world – any amount of asportation will do for kidnapping

 

Rape under c/l – sexual intercourse, penal penetration of a man to a woman that are not married – and when done with lack of consent, and under force

 

Now watch for scenario where have consent, but consent obtained by fraud – if fraud is merely fraud in the inducement then does not undue consent – she had sexual intercourse with me for money paid with check that bounced, still not rape because was consent – but if fraud is in fact, does not go to why, but to whether will have sex, I see her in morning, we got drunk and got married in front of best buddy not a clergy man and do her, then fraud in fact and consent is undone

 

Statutory rape – if victim under age of x then cannot then person does not have capability of consent and it is strict liability – circumstances do not matter – strict liability – honest and reasonable belief is not a defense

 

And assault always mergers into rape – know rape shield statute – absolutely forbid the history of her sexual permissiveness – unless probative of elements – example, lived together and had sex for last six months, evidence then let in to see if this time was or was not consensual

 

Crimes against habitation – burgerly and larceny – breaking and entering into a dwelling at night time, breaking actual enlargement of a hole in a structure, wall, floor, roof, break through, or open unlocked front door, or push open unlocked window, any enlargement of a hole in a structure – walking through an open door, or constructive, pretend to be a telephone man – breaking and entering – any portion of me that enters, me, arm what ever – this includes a coat hanger if can get a bracelet but not entering if only used to unlatch door then not entering

 

Driving by house see you shoot through window hit you its murder and burgeraly

 

Now if push open a window and leave and next night that window closed but another open, you go through that you have a breaking and have an entering, but not breaking and entering, now go to room and open door there is the breaking and entering

 

Now if have kitchen cabinets the sub-structure counts, unless you hang a separate cabinet but if part of house then it will count as a breaking and entering

 

Bugererly – if hear you stereo that you loaned is in basement so you break in to get his as a replacement but not taking anything guilty of larceny, no, burgerly, yes break in with intent to steal

 

Arson – burning of a dwelling of another – actual combustion, not scorching – sub-structure is also included – if torch personal property not arson – but if burn paint of house this is arson because paint part of structure – sofa not arson – floor under sofa then arson

 

Inchoate crimes – conspiracy, solicitation, attempt – attempt is a substantial step towards crime, with specific intent to do crime – mens reas, the actus reas is the substantial test – solicitation is asking of another to commit a crime, if agree then it’s a conspiracy – in solicitation the crime is in the asking the conspiracy the crime is in the acceptance – but to prove conspiracy you need an overt act, like acceptance, calling Mike to see what time bank closed works along with a specific intent – withdrawal, you have to tell co-conspirators and limits your liability, but cannot undo the past – always remember do not have to participate in an act, as long as contract is in place as a furtherance of a crime

 

Legal impossibility – impossible to murder dead people, maybe illegal to put lead into dead body but not a homicidal crime

 

Merger, solicitation will always merge into conspiracy

 

Conspiracy req plurality – Wharton rule – party needed but not included, and legislative protected class – the Wharton rule plurality means 3 – the minor who can’t consent to sex is protected and can’t commit the crime

 

Rule of consistency and acquittal – rule of consistency does not apply if trials are severed

If 500 defendants 498 innocent and 2 guilty rule of consistency still applies and is good

 

Parties to crimes – princlpe in 1st degree is person who does the actus reas it principle in 2d degree part of crime constructive, though present did not actually do the actus – principle before the fact could not be present at time of, after the facts helps to conceal the crime after it happened, obstruction of justice type charge

 

Pinkerton rule - merely by entering agreement of conspiracy I am substantively an accessory before the fact – merely saying yup I am in made me liable

Actus reas – affirmative voluntary act – not liable for acts that are not voluntary

A pushed B into C and over the cliff – A responsible, B did not push him by his own power

 

I suffer from epilepsy – did not take medication and drive then you kill two people you are accountable for putting yourself in an involuntary act situation so just like you acted; guilty

 

Omission – c/l relationship parent to child, spouse to spouse – or there maybe a statute – suppose kid drowning, Spits says will save child and all leave, liable because people relied upon this and he created a duty where one did not exist- but if no one relied on it and thinks water too cold to save kid not guilty, unless statute says he has to or has a contract like a life guard

 

If life guard and tricked 20 times that day and did not go out the 20th honest and reasonable belief and not guilty – or if shark bites off foot then will be forgiven

 

Mens rea – voluntary intox can be a defense, but in barf – battery, arson , rape, false imprisonment – intox not serve as defense, general intent crimes

 

If sufficiently intoxicated that can’t form mens rea then may have a defense

 

 

Knowledge – objective knowledge is minority view, subjective what I actually knew

 

My honest mistake of fact if unreasonable will or may negate the crime if fact finder does believe if it’s a specific intent crime, because if really thought your coat then how can have intent to do a crime

 

General intent crimes – must be an honest and reasonable mistake of fact – rape is a general intent crime – strict liability does not require mens rea so mistake does not matter reasonable or not

 

Criminal responsibility – McNaughton test – because of mental dieses or defect I do not have ability to understand legal right from wrong – officer around then will not do crime then know legal right from wrong but if cop still there and do crime then do not have this capacity

 

Irresistible impulse – you can have a 30 yr slow burn – focuses on behavioral ability, lack ability to control conduct, devil made me do, I know not suppose to do it but could not help it – this is difference between this and McNaughton rule

 

MPC is the two above put together and give defendant best of both worlds

 

Competency to stand trial (insanity at trial) – gathering together in a court room – if lack ability to know what’s going on, or rationally assist counsel then don’t have trial without me

 

Entrapment – majority test – do you have entrapment; official instigation- did defendant do crime- was he predisposed to the crime, but if defendant would not have responded but for police action then was entrapped

 

Domestic authority – spanking is a battery – test of reasonableness here – only way to get defense other than is child abuse

 

 

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LEGALNUT.COM NOTICES AND DISCLAIMERS:

 

This Outlines does not constitute legal advice and is not a replacement for obtaining legal counsel.

 

Copyright Property. This outline is © copyrighted 2006 by Legalnut.com (Site). This outline, in whole or in part, may not be reproduced or redistributed without the written permission of the Site. A limited license for personal academic use is permitted, as described below or in Site’s Terms and Conditions of Usage page on this site. This outline may not be posted on any other web site without permission. Site reserves the exclusive right to distribute this outline.

 

No Warranties as to Accuracy. Site has made efforts to provide the best possible outlines, but, Site MAKES NO WARRANTIES AS TO THE ACCURACY OF THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS OUTLINE. THIS OUTLINE IS PROVIDED TO YOU ON AN AS-IS BASIS. USE IT AT YOUR OWN RISK, AND DO NOT RELY ON IT FOR LEGAL ADVICE. IF YOU NEED LEGAL HELP, PLEASE CONTACT A LICENSED AND QUALIFIED ATTORNEY IN YOUR JURISDICTION. As this outline has been written by a law student, it may contain inaccurate information.

 

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