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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Allison Voss on Wednesday October 5, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 212 at Western Illinois University taught by Lisa Schaefer in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 2 views. For similar materials see Criminal Law in Leja at Western Illinois University.
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Date Created: 10/05/16
LEJA 212 Criminal Law Chapter 5 Defenses to Criminal Liability Justifications: Defenses to Criminal Liability: Behavior that is justifiable or excusable does not lead to criminal liability Justifications and excuse comprise many of the defenses to criminal liability Justification defenses defendants admit responsibility but claim that what they did was right under the circumstances Excuse defenses defendants admit that what they did was wrong, but claim they are not responsible Proving Defenses in Court: Affirmative defenses require the defendant to raise the issue and put on some evidence supporting his or her claim (burden of production) Failureofproof defenses require the defendant only has to raise a reasonable doubt about the prosecution’s proof of just one element in the crime Perfect and Imperfect Defenses: Perfect Defenses: o Allow defendant to escape all criminal liability if they are successfully raised (“they let the defendant walk”) o Most defenses are perfect defenses o Insanity defense is not a perfect defense because even if defendant succeeds, there will generally be some commitment Imperfect Defenses: o Either the defense is an imperfect defense and if defense is successfully raised, the defendant will not “walk” Example: Diminished capacity (see Chapter 6) o OR a perfect defense which is not completely fulfilled Example: Swann v. United States a. Jury could consider evidence that Swann honestly but unreasonably believed he needed to use deadly force in selfdefense and convict on manslaughter rather than murder o Example: Mitigating Circumstances: Circumstances that convince fact finders (judges and juries) that defendants don’t deserve the maximum penalty for the crime they’re convicted of Self Defense: Defense allows selfhelp due to necessity Not retaliation Not preemptive strikes Only good before the law when: The necessity is great It exists “right now” It’s for prevention only SelfDefense Elements: ( know for test) *Unprovoked Attack Defender cannot be the initial aggressor, cannot have provoked the attack *Necessity Only use force necessary to repel an imminent attack (one that is going to happen right now) *Proportionality Defender can only use the amount of force necessary to repel the unlawful force Deadly force can only be used to repel deadly attack *Reasonable Belief Defender has to reasonably believe (objectively reasonable) that it is necessary to use force to repel the attack Fear has to be reasonable SelfDefense: Retreat Rule: Retreat doctrine requires that a person retreat (if they can do so safely) before using force (have to give an effort to leave, means of escape) English common law principle which survived in some American jurisdictions Most jurisdictions did not require retreating, but allowed a person to “stand one’s ground” and kill in selfdefense Retreat Rule states you have to retreat from attack if you reasonably believe that you’re in danger of danger of death or serious bodily harm and backing off won’t unreasonably put you in danger of death or serious bodily harm Castle exception (to the retreat rule) provides that when you are attacked in your own home you can stand your ground and use deadly force to fend off unprovoked use of deadly force against you only if you believe the attack threatens death or serious bodily harm Iowa Jury Instr. 400.2: Justification Elements SelfDefense Of Person. A person is justified in using reasonable force if [he] [she] reasonably believes the force is necessary to defend [himself] [herself] from any imminent use of unlawful force. If the State has proved any one of the following elements, the defendant was not justified: 1. The defendant started or continued the incident which resulted in [injury] [death]. 2. An alternative course of action was available to the defendant. 3. The defendant did not believe [he] [she] was in imminent danger of death or injury and the use of force was not necessary to save [him] [her]. 4. The defendant did not have reasonable grounds for the belief. 5. The force used by the defendant was unreasonable. Domestic Violence: In those states that have the retreat rule and the castle exception to the retreat rule, an issue arises when the attacker and the defender are cohabitants sharing the same “castle.” People v. Tomlins (1914): case involved a man killing his 22yearold son in their cottage. The court held that the general rule that a person need not retreat in his or her own home applies whether the attacker is a cohabitant or an outsider. Defense of Others: Historically limited to members of immediate family Trend is in opposite direction Many states allow defense of anyone who needs immediate protection from attack Others have to have the right to defend themselves before someone else can claim the defense Ex: State v. Aguillard—abortion rights protestors could not claim defense of others, because the “others” could not legally defend themselves Iowa Jury Instr. 400.3: Justification Elements Defense Of Third Person. A person is justified in using reasonable force if [he] [she] reasonably believes the force is necessary to defend another from any imminent use of unlawful force. If the State has proved any one of the following elements, then the defendant was not justified: 1. The defendant knew the person [he] [she] helped had started or continued the incident, or the defendant [himself] [herself] started or continued the incident which resulted in [injury] [death]. 2. An alternative course of action was available to the defendant. 3. The defendant did not believe the person [he] [she] helped was in imminent danger of death or injury and the use of force was not necessary to save the person. 4. The defendant did not have reasonable grounds for the belief. 5. The force used by the defendant was unreasonable. Defense of Home and Property: Historically defense was limited to nighttime invasions Modern statutes limit use of deadly force to cases where it is reasonable to believe intruders intend to commit crimes of violence against occupants Defense generally didn’t cover the curtilage of the home (area immediately surrounding home) Many statutes required entry into occupied home (no spring guns, dangerous dogs) Defense Property: Can use force, but not deadly force, to protect property and prevent it from being taken from you Defense based on necessity Can run after and take back what someone has just taken from you Iowa Jury Instr. 400.4: Justification Elements Defense Of Property. A person is justified in using reasonable force to prevent or stop an unlawful interference with [his] [her] property. If the State has proved any one of the following elements, the defendant was not justified: 1. The defendant started or continued the incident which resulted in injury. 2. The defendant did not believe [he] [she] was in imminent danger of losing the property and the use of force was not necessary to prevent its loss. 3. The defendant did not have reasonable grounds for the belief. 4. The force used by the defendant was unreasonable. New Castle Laws: Laws of defense of habitation and property are undergoing transformation More than 40 states have proposed new legislation expanding law of “selfdefense” Florida Personal Protection Law Sets out standard conditions of selfdefense, defense of others, then creates a presumption or reasonable fear of great bodily harm when others enter dwelling, car Also allows other to stand their ground in any place (not limited to dwelling) and meet force with force, including deadly force Also creates a presumption that anyone forcefully entering a dwelling intends to commit an unlawful act involving force or violence Creates immunity from civil action and criminal prosecution for using deadly force under the statute Supporters Public reasserting fundamental rights (to protect homes and self) Gun Control Advocates Creates violence by citizens, citizens have more right to use deadly force than the police License to kill Sends wrong message to people Law Enforcement Concerns: Unintended negative consequences for public safety created by new castle laws Officers use of force Operations and training requirements Increased investigation burdens Law enforcement attitudes and their impact on officer performance Doubt that these laws deter crime Officer’s use of force: Imbalance between civilians right to use deadly force and officers rights creates dangerous situations No knock search implications Presumption of reasonable danger provisions means civilians can shoot officers entering to serve warrant Choice of Evil: Ancient defense See Queen v. Dudley (1884) Stems from doctrine of necessity Criticized as vague, and wide open to interpretation Examples a. Escape from prison to avoid fire b. Destroy home to stop fire from spreading Choose to commit a lesser crime to avoid the harm of a greater crime (AKA: general defenses of necessity) Three part analysis of MPC Identify evils Rank evils Reasonably believe that the greater evil is imminent MPC indicates that right choices are life, safety, and health over property Consent: Arises from value placed on individual autonomy Criminal law “hostile” to the defense of consent Some behavior requires lack of consent as an element of the crime (e.g., rape) Some individuals are unable, because of statute, to give consent Minors, legally incompetent individuals, intoxicated individuals for example Situations where consent is recognized defense No serious injury results from the consensual crime The injury happens during a sporting event The conduct benefits the consenting person The consent is to sexual conduct To be valid the defense of consent must be Voluntary Consent given was the product of free will, not of force, threat of force, promise or trickery Forgiveness after the fact doesn’t turn involuntary consent into voluntary consent Knowing The person consenting must understand what he or she is consenting too Person can’t been too young, under the influence, or insane to understand Authorized Consent must also be authorized A person cannot give consent for someone for whom they are not legally responsible
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