1. Rules. How much conduct is enough to qualify as an attempt? There must be
SOME conduct component beyond just thought. must go beyond mere
preparation and show some overt act.
1. The traditional test is the physica
What mens rea level should be required of in order to convict for a crime of
Common law. Crimes of attempt always require a showing of specific
intent to do the entire criminal act. Therefore, if lacks specific intent for
DISCUSSION & CASES INVOLVING MENS REA ATTEMPT
1. Where we draw the mens rea line for attempt depends on the goal. Are we
trying to thwart and punish people who are trying to commit specific
crimes? If so, we should require intent to commit
Impossibility of Prosecution
Can be prosecuted for an attempted offense when could not have committed
the offense because it was impossible under the circumstances?
Old common law rule: legal impossibility is a valid defense, while factual
Can be prosecuted for attempt when she has abandoned the commission of the
crime, even though has satisfied the mens rea requirement and has performed
enough conduct to qualify as attempt?
Traditional common law rule: no def
Vagueness Doctrine. A criminal statute that is so unclear that men of
common intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning and differ as to
its application is void for vagueness.
General approach to vagueness3 questions: (1) how legit
Every crime must have a conduct element, or actus reus. No punishment for
thoughts alone. This may include affirmative acts, possession, and in some
cases omissions (deliberate choices not to act).
Doe v. Lafayette. chi
Kuntz. had a stormy relationship with her longtime boyfriend. One
night she stabbed him in self-defense, then fled to her mothers house.
She failed to call for help and he bled to death. Court: one of two
common law duties could apply here: a
Mens Rea and Defenses
1. Common law distinguishes between specific intent crimes (or elements),
general intent crimes (or elements), and strict liability crimes (or elements).
1. Specific intent crimes are subjective; they require a showing that
The MPC favors a subjective standard, so most offenses require at
least recklessness (since negligence is objective).
1.1. 2.02 (3) If the culpability level is not listed, then it is
recklessness, and may be s