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Criminal Law
UMKC School of Law
O'Brien, Sean D.

The Justification of Punishment                                                                                                                      2
                The Elements of a Crime:                                                                                                                     2
                                Actus Reus                                                                                                                       2
                                                Omissions                                                                                                            3
                                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
                Causation                                                                                                                                              6
                Attempt                                                                                                                                                 9
                                Mens Rea                                                                                                                         10
                                Actus Reus
                                Impossibility                                                                                                                       11
Vicarious Liability Statutes                                                                                                                 13
Accomplice Liability                                                                                                                                  14
                Mens Rea                                                                                                                                         14
                Actus Reus                                                                                                                                       16
                Relationship Between the Parties                                                                                                    17
Conspiracy                                                                                                                                                            17
                Accessorial Liability                                                                                                                           17
                Actus Reus                                                                                                                                       18
                Mens Rea                                                                                                                                         19
Homicide                                                                                                                                                               21           
                Murder (Malice Aforethought)                                                                                                      21
                Legislative Grading of Intended Killings                                                                                 22
                                Premeditation                                                                                                                       22
                                Provocation                                                                                                                          22
                Legislative Grading of Unintended Killings                                                                                  24
                                Second Degree Murder                                                                                                     24
Objective v. Subjective Standards of Liability                                                                25
Felony Murder                                                                                                                   26
Misdemeanor-Manslaughter                                                                                       27
Merger Doctrine                                                                                                                 28
Exculpation and Excuse                                                                                                                                    29
                Mistake of Fact                                                                                                                                    29
                Duress                                                                                                                                                   29
                Necessity                                                                                                                                              29
                Self-Defense                                                                                                                                 30
                Defense of Others                                                                                                                               33
                Defense of Property                                                

inal liability for causing harm while having an involuntary epileptic reflex.
                                      ii.     Omissions:
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.