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by: Charlinda Hartfield

WEEK 4 OF NOTES 007312

Charlinda Hartfield
GPA 3.83
Criminal Law
Michael McPhail

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Criminal Law
Michael McPhail
Class Notes
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Charlinda Hartfield on Wednesday September 23, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to 007312 at University of Southern Mississippi taught by Michael McPhail in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 11 views. For similar materials see Criminal Law in Criminal Justice at University of Southern Mississippi.


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Date Created: 09/23/15
Chapter 9 INCHOATE OFFENSES AND PARTY LIABILITY Key Terms p 179 Inchoate Offenses at Common Law p 180 Inchoate is a descriptive word meaning quotnot fully formed An inchoate offense then often called an quotincomplete crime is one that represents an offender s steps toward committing a crime of greater substance The offenses of solicitation conspiracy and attempt in connection with crimes such as extortion and murder are considered quotinchoatequot because they represent acts intended to advance toward a greater more substantive quotintended offense Under common law the offenses of attempt conspiracy and solicitation were misdemeanors In contrast to their status under common law most modern American jurisdictions now classify these offenses as felonies punishable by fines or substantial prison sentences Attempt p180 The crime of Attempt requires the prosecution to establish the offender s intent mens rea to commit a substantive crime as well as the steps taken actus reus to prepare for the intended crime actus reus What constitutes an Act 0 The offense of attempt requires proof of an act beyond mere preparation 0 Attempt lies beyond acts of mere preparation but stops short of the proximate act the crime itself 0 Courts use many tests to determine whether acts in a given case constitute mere preparation or something more The two most common tests adopted by American courts are the physical proximity test and the substantial step test which focus on how close an offender came to completing a crime 1 Physical proximity test often referred to as the traditional test focuses on what is left for the defendant to do in order to commit the intended crime 2 The dangerous proximity test endorsed in several states instead examines whether the defendant was dangerously close to committing the intended crime Determines by analyzing several factors such as whether the defendant approached the victim whether all instrumentalities had been obtained and whether the defendant arrived at the crime scene 0 The substantial step test seeks to determine whether the defendant had taken a substantial step toward committing the intended crime Focuses on the nature of the defendant s actions in preparation of the intended crime rather than on what remains to be done to carry out the defendant s intent o The last act test is one of the earliest tests identified to evaluate whether the defendant s action constitute an attempt however the test is no longer used because of the strict requirement that the defendant must have engaged in that last act necessary to commit the intended crime Intent p 182 The crime of attempt requires proof that the defendant specifically intended to commit a crime 0 Two primary tests are used to determine whether this intent was present 1 The probable desistance test specifically evaluates whether the facts and circumstances suggest that the defendant likely would have desisted from committing the criminal act without law enforcement intervention 2 The equivocality test seeks to determine whether the defendant s action indicate intent to commit the crime The test looks at whether the defendant seemed to hesitate or demonstrate any misgivings about putting his or her plan into motion The indispensable element test focuses on whether the defendant controlled or possessed the instrumentality ability or means to carry out the intended crime If so he or she can be found to have satisfied the quotactquot requirement of attempt Defenses of Attempt p 183 0 Two primary defenses are impossibility and renunciation 1 The defense of impossibility may be used if it is legally impossible for a defendant to have committed the crime Factual impossibility that some fact unknown by the defendant or beyond his or her control makes it impossible for him or her to have committed the intended crime Legal impossibility exists when the defendant is mistaken about the law or is improperly charged with the wrong crime 2 Renunciation or abandonment may also be a defense to attempt Under common law renunciation was not an allowable defense The Model Penal Code and otherjurisdictions now permit the defense of renunciation when it can be shown that the defendant voluntarily abandoned the intent to commit the crime in other words the defendant changed his or her mind The Model Penal Code requires proof of a quotcomplete and voluntary renunciation of the criminal purpose a Involuntary renunciation occurs when the defendant abandons the intent to commit a crime due to intervening circumstances ie arrival of law enforcement officers or potential witnesses gun jams or door locks behind him or defendant elects to commit crime at a later date The offense solicitation occurs when an individual commands encourages hires counsels or asks another to commit a crime Also known as incitement Requires proof of the defendant s specific intent that the crime be carried out Whether the solicited acts actually occur has no bearing on the charge of solicitation In many solicitation cases a third party is used to do the soliciting which is referred to as an intermediary Renunciation can be used as a defense if he can establish that the defendant completely and voluntarily abandoned criminal intent and then either persuaded the solicited party not to carry out the crime or otherwise prevented him from committing the offense Conspiracy is an agreement between two or more people in advance of committing a crime Referred to as quotconcert in criminal purpose The crime of conspiracy requires proof that the accused specifically intended the target crime to occur Specific intent is willful intentional and stubborn purpose The definition of conspiracy is broad enough to include individuals who agree to accomplisha lawful obiective by unlawful means Overt act is something beyond mere preparation Wharton s Rule applies when the conspirators intended crime cannot be completed without two or more individuals allows an exception to the merger doctrine The rule of consistency is another legal doctrine that provides that if all but one alleged conspirators are acquitted of conspiracy the remaining alleged conspirator cannot be convicted Defenses to Conspiracy Evidentiary Considerations p 189 1 Hearsay is testimony from one person about what another person said or did Party Liability p 190 those who assist in committing criminal offenses referred to as accomplices or accessories are also culpable for their consequences 1 An accomplice is an individual who helps solicits aids or abets the perpetrator before he or she commits the crime or a person who fails to exercise a legal duty to prevent the crime In order to be criminally liable the accomplice must know that his or her actions would assist or otherwise aid an individual in committing a crime 2 An accomplice who was present at the crime scene and who helped in this way would be labeled a principal at the fact 3 An accessory after the fact is someone who helps a perpetrator after a crime is committed 4 An additional category of accessory before the fact existed to describe individuals not present at or near the crime scene as would be true of a getaway driver but who did help aid or abet the principal participant before the crime was committed Accomplices may raise the same defenses on which a principal participant relies ie If the principal could raise a defense of insanity mitigation selfdefense or impossibility so too may the accomplice


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