sect9_pros_memo - CAUSATION SECTION 9 Legal basis of...

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C AUSATION : S ECTION 9 Legal basis of causation: Offense definition requires result element Causation requirement is implied Homicide requires death. Homicide also requires causation. Must show that actor’s offense conduct caused the prohibited result Factual Cause: - “But for” cause test + Necessary cause + Result would not have occurred but for the conduct of the defendant + What would the world have been like if the actor hadn’t performed his conduct - Sufficient-cause test + Would the actor’s conduct have been sufficient by itself to cause the result? Proximate (Legal) Cause: - Deciding whether a result is “too remote or accidental in its occurrence” or “too dependent on another’s volitional act” - Jury/decision-maker must decide what is too remote or too dependent - Foreseeability of the result - Interaction of complex factors: + Degree of “remoteness” + Extent to which the result seems “accidental” + Degree of dependence on “another’s volitional act” Causing another person to cause result: - One person can’t cause another person to act in the same way that a person can cause a chain of events that are governed by the laws of physics - Actors have their own volition - Intervening actor’s volition breaks the chain of events - Continuum of voluntariness - Decision-maker must determine whether intervening actor’s choice reaches that point of the continuum that extinguishes the primary actor’s causal accountability for the result - One actor induces another to commit an offense + Form of complicity/involvement/responsibility 1
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G OVAN P ROSECUTION M EMO I. P RIMARY C ASE IN S ECTION : J OE P AUL G OVAN Key Facts: Key Facts Actus reus Mens rea Significance 1. Sharon Keeble (upon hearing that Govan kissed her daughter on the neck) loads her gun and shoots at him but misses. Govan leaves. Defense: - Keeble threatened Govan first - She’s not in the proper state of mind. - She is provoking Govan. - She actually attempted to shoot him, but misses - Govan leaves. He doesn’t want trouble. Prosecution: - Keeble was merely trying to protect her family from a man who’s taking advantage of her daughter. Any reasonable parent would have done the same. - Only trying to scare Govan, not shoot him/injure him 2. Govan desperately convincing Sharon Keeble not to call the police to report his “messing around” with Kimberley, her daughter. Defense: - Intention not to shoot her, only trying to prevent her from making the mistake of turning him in based only on her daughter’s statements, which could just be hear-say - No proof of the messing around Prosecution: - Shows his distressed condition - He would have done anything to prevent her from calling the police - In anger, he would have shot Keeble 3. Govan walks away from their argument, but sees as he does so that Defense: - Earlier that day, Keeble shot 2
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Key Facts Actus reus Mens rea Significance Sharon is reaching into her purse, where she habitually stores a gun.
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