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Criminal Law
University of Mississippi School of Law
Hoffheimer, Michael

29-30, 30-31, 34-38
49-50, 553-556, 557-558 NOTE 3
KNIGHT V. STATE (Mississippi case)
MPC 3.02 (BACK OF BOOK) (Modern penal code)
546 NOTE 3
Will ask us to know about the theories of punishment, but not know about them too in-depth.
Necessity Defense
“Proof beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Watch out for Jurisdictions. Watch out for Elements. What are each of the elements in the rule?
There are old copies of the exams on his home page.
1.      Arrest establishes personal jurisdiction.
2.      Initial Appearance
a.       Charges, Bail
3.      Preliminary Hearings
a.       Where the defendant is held and the state has to show probable cause
b.      Grand Jury – Where the jury votes to indict.
4.      Indictment
5.      Arraignment
6.      Trial
a.       Jury instruction
b.      Corpus Delicti – no requirement for a body. The body of the crime.
·         6th Amendment – Criminal Proceedings
o   At least 6 jury members
o   Substantial Majority 9-3
·         Requirement of proof beyond a reasonable doubt for every element of the crime
·         Jury is told that they have to find the elements beyond a reasonable doubt
o   Courts don’t have to give any further guidance from the court
·         “Excludes every reasonable hypothesis of innocence.”
·         JURY NULLIFICATION – Where the jury chooses not to convict in the face of overwhelming evidence.
o   Jury nullification is a reality because of double jeopardy
o   William Penn and republican forms of govt, but also has a bad history like in Mississippi
o   STATE v. RAGLAND – Power of Nullification
o   Why do we punish people?
1.      Retributivist
a.       Just desserts, deserves
b.      Kant
2.      Instrumentalist or Utilitarian or Consequentialist
a.       Betters society
b.      General Deterrence
c.       Individual Deterrence
d.      Incapacitation and other forms of risk management
e.       Reform/Rehabilitation
3.      Maybe we should use different theories for different types of crimes
·         Necessity, Choice of Evils Defense
·         Queen v. Dudley & Stephens
o   4 people survive a shipwreck, three of them eat one of them so that they could survive.
o   No self-defense defense possible
o   “Whether killing under the circumstances set forth in the verdict be or be not murder?”
o   Classic example of the rejection of the necessity defense
o   In order for the MPC to recognize a necessity defense, the conduct must be:
o   MPC 3.02
§  Believed by the actor to avoid some harm or evil
§  That is greater than the harm of the criminal defense that actor wishes to avoid
·         KNIGHT v. STATE
o   Willie Knight is charged with leaving the scene of the accident
o   Statute states you must stay, provide license, insurance, reasonable help
o   In this case we learn that MS has some form of necessity defense
o   They find that Knight did not violate the purpose of the statute
We’re looking for an active use of the [all] rule on the exam
You need to learn the model penal code. You need to know these precisely.
MPC 3.02 Necessity Defense
–          The actor truly believes that the action is necessary to avoid the harm
–          The harm sought to be avoided is worse than the harm that is used to avoid the greater harm
–          What is the common law for the necessity defense?
·         A crime has:
o   Actus reus – objective act. The act itself.
§  Omission (where there is duty)
o   Mens rea – subjective intent. The criminal intent in which one acts out the actus reus.
§  Guilty mind
§  Sometimes strict liability
·         Martin v. State (1944)
o   A person must voluntarily commit the crime charged in order to be guilty.
o   Martin was taken from his home while intoxicated and thus he did not voluntarily act drunkenly in public.
o   “voluntary appearance [in public] is presupposed.”
o   Initially convicted of being drunk on a public highway
o   Martin is dragged out onto the street and becomes belligerent
o   The charge is reversed because he did not arrive onto the street because he was forced onto the street.
o   Still voluntarily got drunk..
o   Statute:
§  Appear in a public place where one or more persons are present.
§  Be drunk and manifest your drunken condition through indecent, loud, boisterous, or profane conduct.
·         If there is no act, there is no harm.
·         We cannot just punish bad thoughts.
·         Voluntary Act: MPC 2.01 Requirement of Voluntary Act; Omission as Basis of Liability; Possession as an Act
(1)   A person is not guilty of an offense unless his liability is based on conduct which includes a voluntary act or the omission to perform an act of which he is physically capable.
(2)   The following are not voluntary acts within the meaning of this section:
1.      A reflex or convulsion
2.      A bodily movement during unconsciousness or sleep
3.      Conduct during hypnosis or resulting from hypnotic suggestion
4.      A bodily movement that otherwise is not a product of the effort or determination of the actor either conscience or habitual
·         State v. Utter (1971)
o   An act committed during unconsciousness is not voluntary and therefore one cannot be he

rm could occur.
§  Malice does not require wickedness. Foreseeability and Recklessness can suffice.
·         People v. Conley (General Intent versus Specific Intent)
o   Is a crime a specific intent or a general intent crime?
o   Struck victim with wine bottle, argues that there was no proof of an intent to cause permanent disability
o   Natural and Probable consequences. Can we infer intent here, via jury? Yes.
o   Rule: Transferred Intent: Assigning criminal intent where the actor gets a result of an action from acting on a different person than he initially meant to.
§  Doctrine of Transferred Intent: When you have the intent to act, you are liable for that act, no matter who that act is performed upon.
§  The requisite intent needed is an intent to kill, not an intent to kill a specific person
§  The intent to injure one person is the intent to injure another person.
§  You just need the intent to injure
o   Specific Intent – Special mental element which is required above that general intent. When the mental state is specially laid out in the element of the crime. Common Law Specific Intent:
§  Elemental – When there is a specific mental state associated with the culpability of a particular element. Written out in the element.
§  Purpose or Knowledge –  The guy running over the wife
§  Future goal or some specific Attendant Circumstance, not just the conduct.
o   General intent – Any mental state, whether expressed or implied, in the definition of the offense that relates soley to the conduct and or result that constitutes the social harm of the offense.
o   Rule: Intent can be inferred by the circumstances surrounding a crime
o   Rule: A person who in committing a battery causes great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement commits aggravated battery
o   Common Law “Intent”: In the context of result crimes like Murder and Battery, the term intent is ordinarily defined to include not only those crimes that are the conscious object of the actor but also those results that he knows are virtually certain to occur from his conduct.
·         Section 2.02 of MPC, General Requirements of Culpability