The Justification of Punishment 2
The Elements of a Crime: 2
Actus Reus 2
Mens Rea 3
For Levels of Culpability 3
Mistake of Fact 4
Strict Liability 4
Mistake of Law 5
The Significance of Resulting Harm 6
Mens Rea 10
Vicarious Liability Statutes 13
Accomplice Liability 14
Mens Rea 14
Actus Reus 16
Relationship Between the Parties 17
Accessorial Liability 17
Actus Reus 18
Mens Rea 19
Murder (Malice Aforethought) 21
Legislative Grading of Intended Killings 22
Legislative Grading of Unintended Killings 24
Second Degree Murder 24
Objective v. Subjective Standards of Liability 25
Felony Murder 26
Merger Doctrine 28
Exculpation and Excuse 29
Mistake of Fact 29
Defense of Others 33
Defense of Property
inal liability for causing harm while having an involuntary epileptic reflex.
1. Don’t have to act:
a. Pope v. State: the common law does not impose a duty to take affirmative action upon bystanders in emergency situations if they are not responsible for the situation, and the common law of omission is abolished.
2. …Unless you have a legal duty to:
a. Jones v. United States: One element of an omission crime that a jury must find to have existed in order to find a D guilty is that there existed a legal duty to care owed to the victim by the defendant.
3. Preventing others from getting help:
a. People v. Oliver: One who in some way prevents another from getting needed aid may be held criminally liable for any harm resulting therefrom.
4. Medical Professionals:
a. Barber v. Superior Court: Removal of life support from a patient who is unlikely to recover, as opposed to active euthanasia, is an act of omission that, if done in accord with the patient’s wishes, does not create criminal liability.
b. Airedale NHS Trust v. Bland: Some countries permit the withdrawal of feeding and drugs from a patient with no hope of recovery, and who will die shortly, which they distinguish from administering a lethal drug to end the patient’s life.
c. Cruzan v. Director, MO Dept. of Public Health: Although a person has a constitutionally protected right to refuse unwanted medical treatment, a state may require clear and convincing evidence of a patient’s consent before ordering the removal life sustaining devices from a patient in a permanently vegetative state.
c. Mens Rea – Culpable Intent (criminal intent)
i. Basic Conceptions:
1. Regina v. Cunningham: A mens rea requirement of malice can usually be met by showing the act was done with either intent to cause harm or reckless disregard as to whether harm would result; mere wickedness isn’t enough.
2. Guilty for all resulting crimes that were foreseeable:
a. Regina v. Faulkner: One who is engaged in the commission of a felony is not criminally responsible for every result occasioned thereby, unless it is a probably consequence of his act or such that he could have reasonably foreseen or intended it.
ii. The MPC has four levels of culpability for each material element of an offense:
Purpose: committing an act with the conscious object of performing a proscribed action or to cause the proscribed result.