may be held liable for a criminal act committed by another as long as she
intentionally assisted that party in the commission of the crime.
Under the old common law rule, accomplice liability needed to deri
Solicitation, attempted solicitation, aid, agreement to aid, and attempt to aid are all
sufficient to satisfy the conduct requirement for complicity, as is the omission of a legal
duty to act. In addition, any conduct expressly defined
The relevant mens rea question in complicity always concerns the mens rea
required of the defendant with respect to the actors actus reus of the offense.
MPC. A person is an accomplice when he possesses the purpose of promoting
1. Peoni (Learned Hand). Constricted notion of purpose; requires a stake
in the venture. No mens rea language in the statute, but LH reads
purpose into it.
2. Backun. B sells stolen silverware to Z so that Z can sell it in NC, where
The Decline of Derivative Liability
Old Common Law Rule.Traditionally, accomplice liability required the
conviction of the principal actor. Therefore, the principal actor needed to
satisfy both the mens rea and actus reus elements of the crim
States vs Hayes
1. Richards. paid two men to beat up her husband so that she would turn to
him for affection. She told them to beat him bad enough to put him in the
hospital for a month, but he only suffered minor lacerations.
Justification and Excuse
Justification/Necessity. A justification defense involves a claim that, although did
something that would normally be a crime, the action was the right thing to do
under the circumstances. Ex. Self-defense.
Markum vs Archer
1. An excuse defense does not contend that s actions were right, but that should
not be blamed or punished for their wrongful conduct. Ex. Insanity.
1. Markum. s invaded an abortion clinic during its hours of operation and
Medical necessity case. was an MS patient who used marijuana to relieve his
symptoms. Marijuana was legalized in WA only to relieve symptoms of glaucoma and
chemotherapy, with a procedure for adding other diseases to the list. Defense of medical
The Mayor of the City of New York v. Bailey
The defendant built a dam across a river. Shortly thereafter, a flood carried off a
large portion of the dam, which damaged the property of the plaintiff. Witnesses testified
that floods of similar severity were