measure and evaluate the major facets of a choice/problem; quality of thought process
2 approaches to P&D
1. means something more than purpose to kill - time for "second look"
2. essentially means intent to kill - spur of the moment killing will do; 1 second enough
how is premeditation inferred from method of killing?
1. type of weapon
2. manner of use
3. nature, extent, location of wounds
4. conduct of D
how to analyze P&D
1. Did D think about beforehand?
2. Did D measure and evaluate the major facets of a choice/problem?
3. Was the D thought process undisturbed by hot blood...kill in cold blood?
4. Did the D weigh/reason for a period of time, however short, after which the intent to kill was formed?
definition of voluntary manslaughter
intentional killing committed in the heat of passion after adequate provocation
generally are words sufficient legal provocation?
No, not w/o more
Elements of Provocation Doctrine
1. legally adequate provocation
2. cause state of intense passion
- sudden, one where RPP would lose control
3. without time to cool off
- both subjective and objective
mental states involved in voluntary manslaughter
1. recklessly - primary mental state
2. purpose, knowledge, or reckless+ but are done under influence of EMED for which there is a reasonable explanation or excuse
what is the Last Straw Theory?
resentment/pent up rage from prior insults or humiliating events come to a head making the final event the last straw before the attack even though that final event is insignificant in of itself (minority view)
definition of involuntary manslaughter
- killing committed with criminal or gross negligence
- killing committed during crime that isn't a felony (misdemeanor manslaughter)
- negligent homicide - hinges on what actor's actual situation is and how RPP would have acted in that situation
definition of felony murder
any killing committed caused during commission or attempt to commit a felony
6 limitations on felony murder
1. D guilty of underlying felony
2. felony inherently dangerous
3. felony separate from the killing itself; independent felonious purpose
4. killing during or in immediate flight from the felony
5. death is foreseeable
6. victim isn't a co-felon
definition of agency rule
the homicide must be committed by a felon, his agent, or someone under his control
majority and NC view
what is the Proactive Act Doctrine?
allow felony murder even when the victim is a co-felon if the prosecution can prove:
(1) felon harbored malice aforethought
(2) killing was attributable to the act
(3) was one of the enumerated felonies (to get to 1st degree)
what is the substantial factor test in felony murder?
some jurisdictions allow felony murder even if hte actual killing was perpetrated by a witness/intended victim and the co-felon was a substantial factor in causing that death
how does felony murder incorporate the SL approach?
1. as long as the homicide is the direct causal result of the felony the rule applies whether or not the death was a natural or probable cause of the felony
2. presumes extreme recklessness
3. no intentional act is necessary
4. murder regardless of whether it was willful, deliberate, and premeditate or merely accidental or unintentional, and unplanned
what is the MPC approach to homicide?
3. criminally negligent homicide
what are the 3 forms of MPC murder?
1. intent to kill
2. extreme recklessness
3. felony murder
what are the four factors in extreme recklessness under MPC murder?
1. nature/magnitude of the risk
2. D awareness of hte risk
3. justifiability of the risk
4. degree of deviation from reasonable behavior
Extreme indifference to value of human life
enumerated felonies in MPC approach?
6. sexual assault
mental states involved in MPC manslaughter
1. intentional (provocation)
- extreme mental or emotional distress (P, K, R+)
2. reckless killing
- killing where D is aware of and consciously disregards the substantial and unjustifiable risk of death
focus on issue of risk - ordinary recklessness
how to analyze MPC manslaughter
1. what was the probability that the death would occur?
2. was there a legitimate reason for taking the risk?
3. was the D aware of the risk?
criminally negligent homicide in MPC
majority - gross negligence and gross deviation
minority - ordinary negligence sufficient
3 levels of criminal liability
1. did a violation of a criminal statute occur? (facial criminality)
2. if so, was that violation unjustified? (legality)
3. If so, was the person committing the violation excused? (responsibility)
what are the 2 categories of defenses to criminal liability?
what are the justification defenses
1. mistake of fact
2. mistake of law
3. self defense
4. defense of others
5. defense of property
what are the excuse defenses?
3. diminished capacity
5. affirmative defenses
elements of self defense (ML)
1. honest and reasonable fear (RPP)
2. imminent and unlawful threat (not future)
3. proportional response to threat
4. D not initial aggressor unless:
- victim used deadly force against non-deadly force
- initial aggressor withdrawn
elements of self defense (MPC)
1. actor believes that such force is necessary
- subjective; if D is negligent or reckless than D may be convicted of reckless or negligent homicide
2. immediately nec to protect himself (deadly force OK)
3. not initial aggressor
4. retreat unless at home or work
is there a duty to retreat in self defense (ML)?
majority - no
minority - yes but castle exception
defense of others
majority - may use force to protect someone if that person would be justified in using it to protect himself
- if D subjectively believes victim would be justified then excused
- mistake is OK
minority - D "steps into the shoes" of the person and if he had no right to defend himself then D had no right to defend him
- mistake no excuse
defense of property
deadly force not permitted
exceptions - home, prevention of felony
elements of necessity
1. harm avoided > harm committed
2. no alternative
3. harm imminent
4. not D fault
definition of justification
concedes that the act in the abstract is wrong but D was right and justified in what he did
definition of excuse
concedes that violation is unjustified but maintains that the act is right; seeking to exempt this particular D from responsibility
- D threatened with harm to himself or another and threat compelled commission of crime
- reasonable belief that had to commit crime to avoid harm
when is duress not an available excuse
1. charged with M or m
2. threats against property alone
3. D created situation
3 tests for insanity
2. Irresistible Impulse
3. MPC Substantial Capacity
elements of M'Naghten test
1. D suffered mental disease causing a defect; AND
2. either D didn't understand the nature/quality of his act; OR
3. D didn't know that his act was wrong
majority and NC view
elements of Irresistible Impulse Test
1. D suffered mental disease causing defect; AND
2. either D didn't understand nature/quality of his act; OR
3. D didn't know act was wrong; AND
4. b/c of mental illness, D was unable to control his actions or to conform his conduct to the law (knew it was wrong but couldn't stop/help himself)
elements of MPC Substantial Capacity Test
1. D suffers from mental disease/defect and as a result lacked substantial capacity to either:
(a) appreciate the criminality of his conduct; OR
(b) conform his conduct to the requirements of the law
what is diminished capacity?
- have some issues but not full blown insane
- culpability may be lowered b/c D lacked required mental state
- limited to specific intent crimes (majority and NC)
general rule for complicity/accomplice liability
person is an accomplice to a crime if hte person intentionally assists another person in commission of crime
what does being an accomplice mean?
- not separate crime...not crime of aiding and abetting
- will be convicted of the same crime the primary offender is charged with
conviction of primary offender not required
silence isn't enough...requires action
definition of mistake of fact
claim of ignorance/mistake regarding factual matter relevant to the crime
what are mistakes of fact evidence of?
what is the burden of proof for mistake of fact?
beyond reasonable doubt
is mistake of fact a defense under MPC?
yes if it negates the mens rea required to establish a material element of the offense
no for SL offenses
does the mistake have to be reasonable?
CL - yes for general intent crimes
MPC - no
what are the general rules regarding mistake of fact at CL?
specific intent - not guilty if the mistake negates the specific mens rea even if the mistake is unreasonable:
- the definition of crime expressly includes an intent/purpose to do some future act, or to achieve some further consequence beyond the conduct that constitutes actus reus; OR
- crime that provides that the actor be aware of a stautory attendant circumstance
general intent - not guilty if the mistake is a reasonable one with 2 exceptions: (1) MWD; (2) LWD
definition of Moral Wrong Doctrine
person can make a reasonable mistake regarding attendant circumstance and yet be culpable
view situation from the actor's reasonable belief and if still morally wrong then actor's mens rea is not negated
definition of Legal Wrong Doctrine
person can make reasonable mistake of fact and yet still be guilty of a different crime if the situation were as he believed
typically less serious offense than one charged for
what are the general rules regarding mistake of fact under MPC?
applies to all offenses in the same manner with no distinction b/t general and specific intent
general rule - not guilty if mistake negates mens rea EXCEPT still guilty of lesser included offense if MPC's version of LWD applies
what happens when mistake of fact negates the mens rea for a charged crime but doesn't negate the mens rea of a lesser included offense?
will drop the charge/penalty down a notch due to the offender's ignorance (LWD)
definition of Mistake of Law
were unaware/ignorant of the law for which they are accused of violating
general rule of MoL
there is no element of mens rea that is capable of being negated by D's mistake or ignorance of the law (SL)
is MoL a defense?
(1) statute/code expressly makes such knowledge an element of the crime;
(2) reliance on official interpretation (not always sufficient and must come from someone involved in making/shaping the law)
(3) collateral fact
what are the constitutional issues with MoL?
legislature must publish or at least make statute's existence known to public b4 individuals can be charged/convicted of its violation
DP requires notice!!!!
what are the specific intent crimes?
4. 1st degree murder
7. false pretenses
what crimes require malice?
what are the general intent crimes?
virtually everything else (i.e. - rape, battery)
what are SL crimes?
crimes with no mens rea requirement (i.e - public welfare offenses)