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Unformatted text preview: Actus Reus Defined: The physical component of a crime...the comprehensive notion of act, harm, and its connecting link, causation, with actus expressing the voluntary physical movement in the sense of conduct and reus expressing the fact that this conduct results in a certain proscribed harm Actus Reus- the physical or external part of the crime • comprehensive notion of act and harm • actus expressing the voluntary physical movement, conduct • reus expressing the fact that the conduct results in a specific harm *It is a voluntary act that causes social harm Martin v. State • Appellant was intoxicated at his home when arrested by an officer who took him to the highway. where by which he was drunk on a public highway and charged therefore of being publicly intoxicated. • Appellant was convicted and appealed • Rule of Law: Any person who, while intoxicated or drunk, appears in any public place where one or more persons are present,...and manifests a drunken condition by boisterous or indecent conduct or loud and profane discourse, shall, on conviction, be fined • Rule implies that persons are drunk publicly voluntarily and not arrested in a safe location and taken to a public arena by police officers. • Decision was reversed because accused did not enter the highway intoxicated on his own merit Voluntary action vs. involuntary • a person is not guilty of an offense unless his conduct "includes a voluntary act or the omission to perform an act of which he is physically capable." • the law cannot hope to deter involuntary action • o Persons whose involuntary movements threaten harm to others may present a public health or safety problem, calling for therapy or even for custodial commitment; they do not present a problem of correction • One is responsible only for those things in which his body, but not his acting self is causally implicated Voluntary act is willed muscular movement Voluntary Act Requirement= 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. Examples of Involuntary Acts= • a reflex or convulsion • a bodily movement during unconsciousness or sleep • conduct during hypnosis • a bodily movement that otherwise is not a product of the effort or determination of the actor, wither conscious or habitual State v. Utter Claude Gilbert Utter was charged with murder in the 2nd degree. he was convicted of manslaughter by the jury and appealed the decision. "Homicide is the killing of a human being by the act, procurement or omission...
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- Spring '11
- Common Law, Manslaughter