Criminal Law Part 1 of 2

Criminal Law Part 1 of 2 - CRIMINAL LAW Aims of Criminal...

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CRIMINAL LAW Aims of Criminal Law Deterrence: we try to punish when we can send the message to general population Retribution: we punish people who exercise free choice and still blew it Actus Reus The physical or external portion of the crime. Voluntary affirmative acts that cause social harm. It must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt that D’s conduct was voluntary. MPC 2.01(1) - One is responsible only for those consequences that are caused by his actions, and not for those things in which his body, but not his acting self is causally implicated. Martin v. State - Where was charged with drunken behavior in public place when he involuntarily appeared in the public place (police forced ) - no actus reus b/c no voluntary act, so no crime. People v. Decina D guilty when he got behind the wheel of a car knowing he was susceptible to seizures and killed 4 kids (voluntary act). If you know you're going to have seizures, you committed an actus reus. Components an act ” and its “ voluntary nature Act = bodily movement, muscular contraction, involving physical but necessarily visible behavior and the use of the mind , not the brain Omission to Act (generally not actionable) Actus Reus can sometimes be (in addition to a duty to act) the failure to act. Failure to act is actionable if decided that there was a duty to act. There is no duty to act unless 1. Statutory Requirement 2. Status Relationship 3. Contractual Relationship 4. Voluntary assumption of care to exclusion of others Jones v. United States – Where the young mother paid to keep her two infant children and when discovered by the utility guy in unsanitary and malnutritioned condition, and subsequently one of them died, the court found that had no legal obligation to act therefore could not be held liable. Note * Moral Obligation ≠ Legal Obligation Voluntary Drunk driving is considered a voluntary act because there is knowledge of the risk of being drunk, which creates the voluntary act not driving voluntarily, but you voluntarily drank, knowing you might have to drive Acts Not Voluntary- 1. A reflex or convulsion that the body can’t control. 2. A spasm 3. Hypnosis in some states 4. Involuntarily induced unconsciousness
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State v. Utter – Where the heavily drunk war veteran killed his son then claimed that his was a conditioned response, the court held that voluntary drinking results in a self induced unconsciousness, which meets the actus reus. In order for unconsciousness to negate the element of voluntary it cannot be self- induced. Mens Rea Mens Rea Guilty Mind The state of mind or intent of the defendant at the time of the act. Degrees of
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Criminal Law Part 1 of 2 - CRIMINAL LAW Aims of Criminal...

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