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I.

BASIC DEFINITION: Act + Mental State + Result = Crime – Defenses

II. ACTUS REUS: a voluntary act, omissions do not usually count.

A. VOLUNTARY ACT
COMMON LAW MPC DIFFERENCES
Requires a voluntary and a social No person may be convicted of a crime
harm An act is voluntary if ∆ willed the in the absence of conduct that includes
action or if she was sufficiently free that she of which he is physically capable. He
could be blamed for her conduct. The social has to be physically capable.
harm is the wrong caused by ∆ 's voluntary
act.

B. EXCEPTIONS
1. OMISSIONS
COMMON LAW MPC DIFFERENCES
No crime unless there is a legal duty to act Same as CL criminal liability imposed None
Types: for the omission of an act which ∆ is
Statute- you have duty to file an income tax physically capable. NOTES
Contract- like a lifeguard Not obtaining reasonably
Special Relationship available help can make ∆
Assumption of Care liable, no matter what ∆ ’s
Peril wrongfully created for another physical capabilities.

2. INVOLUNTARY ACT
COMMON LAW MPC DIFFERENCES
Can negate the action or serve as an Involuntary acts: reflex, convulsion, MPC extends CL such that acts
affirmative defense. Done in a state of movements during sleep, movements done under hypnosis and in
unconsciousness under or the result of hypnosis, and states of unconsciousness are
unconscious movements. "no action."

III. MENS REA - A mental state is required for most crimes. Strict liability and public welfare offences are the exception. To
prove an offense, the prosecution must prove mens rea as to every element of the offense
A. TYPES
COMMON LAW MPC DIFFERENCES
Intentionally (willfully) – to consciously Purpose - conscious object with MPC splits intentionally into
cause the result or when one is virtually conduct & results. Must be aware of the purpose and knowledge
certain that the object will occur as a result of existence or believe or hope that such MPC clear distinction between
∆ 's conduct. circumstances do exist negligence and recklessness -
Recklessness – A heightened criminal Knowledge – Conscience awareness not on the degree of risk
negligence or conscious disregard of a that results are practically certain to involved but on D's knowledge
substantial and unjustifiable risk. occur of the risk.
Negligence – Objective fault ∆ should have Recklessness - Conscious disregard of MPC provides that when it is
been aware that his conduct created a a substantial and unjustifiable risk. not clear which element a mens
substantial and unjustifiable risk that the Negligence – Should have been aware rea applies to, apply it to all
social harm would result. of a substantial and unjustifiable risk. elements of the offense
Maliciously - when one intentionally or Where the statute is silent on
grossly reckless causes the social harm Rule of thumb Mens Rea, recklessness is
prohibited by the statute. Purpose = desire for a certain outcome required.
Knowledge = indifference to a certain
outcome Willful Blindness
MPC - if one deliberately
avoids knowledge because of
the belief that knowing would
be bad, then ∆ satisfies mens
rea of knowledge. Requires high
probability
CL - Only have to be aware of
probable existence of element

B. ATTENDANT CIRCUMSTANCES
COMMON LAW MPC DIFFERENCES
? For a crime requiring a mens rea of:
Purpose - ∆ must be aware of the
existence of such circumstances
(attendant), or believes or is aware they
exist

Knowledge - Aware that his conduct is


of that nature or that such
circumstances exist: only requires high
probability of existence.

Reckless: Conscience disregard of


substantial and unjustified risk

Negligence - Should be aware of


substantial or unjustified risk

C. SPECIFIC INTENT/GENERAL INTENT


COMMON LAW MPC DIFFERENCES
Applies to mens rea. Defined by the crime MPC does not distinguish between This is exclusively a CL issue.
general and specific intent.
General Intent – volitional doing of a General intent – ∆ desired to
prohibited act. Only require intent to commit commit an actus reus;
the act constituting the crime. Can infer all Special intent – ∆ desired to
mens rea from observing the conduct. bring about something further

Specific Intent – intent to do some further act An alternative definition


or cause some additional consequence beyond Specific - intent to do conduct
that which must have been committed or and a further intent.
cause in order to complete the crime. Acts in
addition to general intent. Proof of specific General - intent to do the
intent is required , but it may be conduct.
circumstantial.

To negate specific intent, a mistake must be


honest.
To negate a general intent, the mistake must
be honest and reasonable.
D. STRICT LIABILITY - Where there is no mental state required for an offense
COMMON LAW MPC DIFFERENCES
Public welfare and traditional crimes. Created Under MPC, SL crimes are generally MPC is generally the same as
by statute restricted to violations and are CL.
punishable by fines, not incarceration -
public welfare crimes;

IV. RESULT
A. CAUSE IN FACT - Causation is only required for result crimes.
COMMON LAW MPC DIFFERENCES
Conduct satisfies the but-for test. Actual MPC only requires actual causation and MPC only requires actual
cause exists when the result that constitutes uses the same but-for test as CL. causation.
the criminal offense would not have occurred Cause in fact
when it did but for ∆ 's voluntary act (or
omission)

B. PROXIMATE CAUSE
COMMON LAW MPC DIFFERENCES
Forseeability Test MPC handles proximate causation For MPC, proximate causation
To determine proximate cause, one must within the mens rea as to results. is handled within mens rea.
determine whether the actor was the direct Whether the result was too distant or
cause and whether there were any intervening accidental in occurrence to have a just Purp/Know: Causation not
actors or intervening causes (coincidences) bearing on ∆ 's liability or on the established if result was not
that severer the causal chain back to ∆ gravity of the offense. what was intended, unless:
No intervening causes unless the cause is 1. Π just a different person
foreseeable or de minimus. If the result deviates too far from what (Transferred Intent)
is foreseeable, then one will be 2. Injury less than intended
Intervening Acts - Intervening acts can exculpated for purpose and knowledge
sufficiently break the chain of causation; crimes. If not, then ∆ will be Reck/Neg: Causation not
Dependent intervening acts: occur where convicted even if there is an established if result not within
the intervening actor acts because of a intervening actor. risk the actor was or should
condition brought upon by the D’s prior have been aware of, unless:
conduct. However, if the dependant For risky crimes, the result must have 1. Π just a different person
intervening actor was grossly negligent, this is been foreseeable in order to convict (Transferred Intent)
sufficient to break the chain of causation. 2. Injury less than risked
Voluntary Intervening Act: occur where the
intervening actor acts voluntarily. Intentional Exceptions to forseeability:
acts always break the chain of causation;
reckless acts are sometimes sufficient Take the Victim as you find him
(depending on court). - Condition unforeseeable, but
∆ still liable
Transferred intent - Result
unforeseeable but ∆ still liable
Voluntary intervening act -
Result foreseeable but ∆ not
held liable.
C. COMPLICITY
1. ACCOMPLICE - An accomplice is one who intentionally assists another person to engage in conduct that constitutes the
offense
COMMON LAW MPC DIFFERENCES
Types Types MPC - no actual assistance for
Principal in the 1st degree – Actually engage Principal – Acting with the requisite accomplice liability is
in the act or omission that constitutes the mens rea, actually engages in the act or necessary. Agreement to aid is
criminal offence omission that causes the crime, or acts enough.
Principal in the 2nd degree – incites or abets through an irresponsible or innocent MPC - accomplice can be
and is present, either actively or constructively agent (Innocent Instrumentality) to convicted even if the perpetrator
at the time of the crime commit the offence has not yet been prosecuted, has
Accessory before the fact – incites or abets Accomplice – incites or abets with been convicted of a lesser
but is not present at the time of the crime. requisite intent before or during the crime, has been acquitted, or is
Accessory after the fact - intentionally assists commission of the offense. Includes feigning.
the principal after the crime. solicitation and omission when a duty MPC - does not recognize the
is present. natural and probable
Actus reus, mens rea and principal’s consequences rule for homicide
completion of the offense mens rea found in CL. MPC - one who is
Purposefully promotes or facilitates in legally incapable of committing
Actus reus the commission of a crime. an offense may be accountable
Abetting or inciting - The ∆ must have for the crime if another person
directly of indirectly encouraged of facilitated Must act with culpability sufficient for for whom he is legally
the commission of the offence. the commission of the offense accountable commits it.
Abetting -is any significant assistance in the MPC - knowing facilitation is
commission of an offense Note that this is especially significant not enough to establish liability.
The aid must impact upon the actual in jurisdictions with felony murder A victim cannot be an
perpetrator because it makes an accomplice in the accomplice.
aid does not have to be necessary for the conduct (underlying felony) strictly MPC includes the crime of
successful commission of the offense. liable for the resulting death because he attempt to aid and abet.
perpetrator doesn’t’ have to be aware of the of had the requisite mens rea as to the CL - If the perpetrator is
the accessory’s assistance. result. This is how MPC deals with justified, then there is no
Inciting – encouragement even if not accomplice liability in reckless or accomplice liability because
accompanied by physical aid. negligent contexts. there is no crime.
Perpatrator must be aware of encouragement CL- excuses do not transfer
Being present at crime with prior agreement to from perpetrator to accomplice
aid is sufficient encouragement A victim accomplice (underage
girl in statutory rape) cannot be
Mens rea an accomplice unless there is a
legislative exception.
Mental state required for commission of the Knowing or reckless facilitation
target offense is sufficient to establish
complicity in some courts
Intend for action to assist or encourage in the
successful completion of the crime Substantiality of aid can also
create complicity. Complicity
Generally, this second element can be inferred may also be established if there
from the first. is sufficiently substantial benefit
Accomplice is liable for all crimes that are a to the knowing facilitator.
reasonably foreseeable result of the
contemplated crime. Some jurisdictions allow
∆ 's to be accomplices to reckless or negligent
crimes.
a. DEFENSES
COMMON LAW MPC DIFFERENCES
Withdrawal Withdrawal
Must take place before the events are Wholly depriving his prior assistance
unstoppable of effectiveness,
Inciter – communicate an renunciation of the Provide a timely warning of the plan to
crime to the perpetrator law enforcement
Abettor – Must render the assistance ∆ gave Make an effort to prevent the
ineffective commission of the offence

V. CRIME
A. INCHOATE
1. ATTEMPT - an act done with the intention of committing a crime, that falls short of completing a crime
COMMON LAW MPC DIFFERENCES
Mens Rea - Mens Rea - Under MPC, ∆ may still be
For the Attempt - Specific intent to commit For the attempt – Purposely or held for the attempt even if the
the acts or cause the resulting target crime. knowingly engages in conduct which target offense is neither
would constitute the crime if the committed nor attempted by ∆
For the Target crime - Intent necessary for the attendant circumstances were as ∆ or anyone else.
target crime (specific or general depending of believes them to be.
the offence) For strict liability must only show For the Target crime – ∆ acts with the CL - no definitive Actus Reus
intent to attempt, no target crime mens rea kind of culpability otherwise required test
for the commission of the offense. MPC - does not use general vs.
Reckless crimes – Courts generally do not try specific intent language.
for attempts of reckless crimes. However, here too, the mens rea for
attempt is often higher than the one Most states no attempt for
Negligent crimes - Attempt to commit is required for the target offense. Felony Murder
logically impossible Generally, the required mens rea is
purpose.
Actus Reus
Tests Actus Reus
Proximity test – conduct must be physically ∆ must perform a substantial step
proximate to the intended crime. Focuses on toward committing the crime.
what remains to be done. ∆ ’s conduct must be corroborative of
∆ 's purpose.
Indispensable Elements – Control over all
factors in the commission of the crime. .Attempt is a felony.
Nothing must be left undone

Probable desistance - Likelihood that ∆


would cease efforts to commit the crime given
the conduct ∆ has already committed.

Unequivocal (res ipsa loquitur) – An act


amounts to attempt only if it firmly shows the
∆ ’s intent to commit the crime. The act
“speaks for itself”

Last Proximate Act - test has been universally


rejected, is traditional common law

Attempt is a misdemeanor.
a. DEFENSES
COMMON LAW MPC DIFFERENCES
mistake of fact No mistake of fact MPC – Only “true” legal
no mistake of law No mistake of law impossibility is a defense
legal impossibility Legal impossibility.
no factual impossibility No factual impossibility ∆ ’s conduct is an attempt if it
No hybrid impossibility was only prevented by ∆ 's
mistake of fact.
Abandonment Abandonment:
Traditionally never a ∆ se. Abandonment is a Is a ∆ se only if:
∆ se when it is complete and voluntary. Once It is fully voluntary and not made
∆ 's actions have passed the point of being an because of the difficulty of completing
attempt is not generally a ∆ se. the crime or because of an increased
risk of apprehension
It is a complete abandonment of the
plan made under circumstances
manifesting a renunciation of criminal
purpose, not just a postponement

2. CONSPIRACY
COMMON LAW MPC DIFFERENCES
Actus Reus Actus Reus MPC - knowledge is not
enough. CL - knowledge may
agreement to commit a criminal act or series Agreement to commit a crime; attempt be enough.
of acts, or to accomplish a legal act by to commit a crime; solicit another to
unlawful means. commit an offense; aid another in MPC does not speak on
Object of Agreement - need only be unlawful / planning or commission of an offense. attendant circumstances.
wrongful. Object of Agreement - must be a
Nature of the Agreement - need not be written criminal act. Object of agreement must be
or even express. Can be implied from the Nature of Agreement - ? criminal under MPC vs.
action of the actors Act Doctrine - No overt act is required unlawful / wrongful in CL
Act Doctrine - no further act is necessary in for serious (1st or 2nd degree) felonies,
most jurisdictions. but required for all other offences. MPC is unilateral.
Merger - does not merge into an attempt or the Merger - merges unless there are
completed offense. further conspiratorial crimes to be CL lets ∆ off if state cannot
carried out. prove that there was another
person with the requisite mens
Mens Rea Mens Rea rea.

Specific intent crime with 2 parts: purpose to promote or facilitate the Overt act requirements differ.
intent to agree object crime. MPCe merges and CL does not.
intent to carry out the object crime.
Mere knowledge is not usually enough, MPC has heavier punishments.
Some courts allow conviction if the second but can be when combined with a stake
mens rea (as to object crime) is merely in the success of the object crime. MPC rejects the Pinkerton
knowledge. Doctrine.
Attendant Circumstances - Code is
Attendant Circumstances - court has held that silent here, expressly leaving this to the CL Attendant Circumstances is
mens rea here is the same as for the court to decide. counter-intuitive because how
substantive crime, even if it is strict liability. can you agree to do something
Number of Parties Needed - one with of which you are not aware.
Number of Parties Needed - two or more with the requisite mens rea (unilateral
the requisite mens rea (multilateral theory). theory). CL - In jurisdictions that do not
accept Pinkerton, you can be a
Punishment - some jurisdictions treat all Punishment - punishment is the same conspirator and not an
conspiracies as misdemeanors, usually graded for conspiracy as for the object crime in accomplice.
in relation to the target offense. all cases but 1st degree felonies.
Hearsay evidence may be
Pinkerton Test - all members of a conspiracy Pinkerton Doctrine is rejected - if the brought in to prove the
can be held as accomplices of the crime and of conspiracy goes beyond the intended conspiracy, but not the
any foreseeable result of it. Liability holds purpose, one is not guilty of any substantive offense.
even if the co-conspirator did not assist the foreseeable crime unless he can be said
perpetrator. to have aided and abetted in its
commission.

a. DEFENSES
COMMON LAW MPC DIFFERENCES
No factual Impossibility No factual impossibility
No legal impossibility No legal impossibility

Abandonment Abandonment

once the offense is completed (once there is if the conspirator renounces his
agreement) abandonment is not a defense. criminal purpose and thwarts the
Can relieve liability for future crime of former success of the conspiracy under
conspirators. circumstances demonstrating a
complete an voluntary renunciation of
criminal intent.

B. HOMICIDE
1. MURDER - unlawful killing of a human being
COMMON LAW MPC DIFFERENCES
Homicide with malice aforethought. A killing committed purposely or MPC includes GBH under
knowingly, or gross recklessness. recklessness.
Malice Aforethought has four possible states Premeditation and deliberation are not
of mind required. MPC's mens rea is equivalent to
intention to kill another human - One may, Gross recklessness – reckless under CL's intent.
but need not, infer the intent to kill from the circumstances manifesting extreme When MPC uses recklessness as
use of a deadly weapon indifference to human life. the mens rea, it is similar to
CL's malignant heart killings.
intention to inflict serious bodily harm (great
bodily injury) Statutes have been enacted
whick give degrees of to CL
Gross recklessness (malignant heart)- Acts in murder
the face of an unusually high risk that conduct
will cause death of serious bodily harm. first degree includes certain
Under certain exceptional circumstances. enumerated types of homicide
(lying in wait; by poison, etc.);
Felony murder - during the commission or or a willful, deliberate, and
attempted commission of a felony in which premeditated (WDP) killing; or
death results. felony murder (enumerated
felonies include arson, rape,
robbery, or burglary).

All other forms are 2nd degree


murder. "malignant heart" is
usually 2nd degree
a. PROVOCATION - mitigates murder to voluntary manslaughter
COMMON LAW MPC DIFFERENCES
Must be committed in sudden heat of passion Extreme Mental or Emotional MPC requires that ∆ be aware
under adequate provocation Disturbance - Homicide committed of the risk being taken
Heat of passion under the influence of extreme mental (recklessness). MPC’s use of
Adequate provocation: or emotional disturbance for which EMED is a broader form of the
Aggravated assault or battery there is reasonable explanation or CL provocation defense.
Mutual combat excuse.
Serious crime against close relative MPC equivalent of provocation EMED v Heat of Passion
Illegal arrest (HoP)
Observation of infidelity
No cooling off period EMED applies to all types of
Causal link between provocation, passion homicide vs. HoP ∆ se only
and homicide applies to intentional homicides

EMED words alone may be


adequate vs. HoP where they
are not

EMED has no cooling time


requirement and HoP does.
b. FELONY MURDER
COMMON LAW MPC DIFFERENCES
One is guilty if she kills another person, even Does not distinguish felony murder, but Code does not have an express
accidentally, during the commission or MPC raises a presumption of felony M rule.
attempted commission of any felony. “recklessness and indifference to
human life” if the ∆ during the If the felony is one of the
Inherently dangerous test – The lower bound commission or attempt of certain enumerated felonies (arson,
for acceptable felonies. The felony must be felonies. However, this is not absolute, burglary, robbery, or rape), then
inherently dangerous. BARRK the prosecution must still prove it. The this M is 1st degree. If not, then
jury is simply permitted to infer it is 2nd degree.
Merger Rule – Upper bound for acceptable extreme indifference to human life
felonies. Felony must be independent from from the commission of the felony. ∆
the murder. This excludes felonies arising may present evidence that the felony
during the commission of a murder. was committed the in a manner that
does not manifest extreme indifference
The causation limitation requires that the to human life. It is up to the jury to
killing be in furtherance of the felony. The decide. Therefore, gross recklessness
mere fact that a death occurs during the during a felony can be a predicate for
commission of a felony will not necessarily felony M.
subject the felon to felony M.

The central issue is the foreseeable risk of


death. In most jurisdictions, no felony M if
the person who commits the homicide is a
non-felon who is resisting the felony.

A few states apply a proximate causation test


which holds a felon responsible for the killing
by a non-felon if the felon proximately caused
the death / set in motion the events that lead to
the death.

Suicide Exception - if the co-felon shoots


himself, it is not homicide at all, but a suicide
2. MANSLAUGHTER
COMMON LAW MPC DIFFERENCES
Voluntary MS – homicide without malice Reckless - unlike reckless M, here the
aforethought conduct, although reckless, does not
manifest an extreme indifference to the
"Heat of passion" - Intentional killing value of human life
committed in response to legally adequate
provocation Extreme Mental or Emotional
Disturbance (EMED)
Imperfect justification – A killing that is the
result of an act, lawful in itself, but done in an
unlawful manner.

Involuntary MS – unintended killing

Criminal Negligence – Killing resulting from


gross negligence. (This would include MPC
recklessness as well)

Unlawful Act “Misdemeanor manslaughter” -


an unintentional killing that occurs during the
commission of an unlawful act. Includes
malum in se (wrong in itself) felonies and
misdemeanors.
3. NEGLIGENT HOMICIDE
COMMON LAW MPC DIFFERENCES
None A criminally negligent killing Equivalent to involuntary MS
under the Common Law

VI. DEFENSES
A. JUSTIFICATION - conduct that is otherwise criminal, but that here is either "right" or "not wrong" under the circumstances.
1. SELF DEFENSE
COMMON LAW MPC DIFFERENCES
∆ if not the aggressor is justified in using ∆ if not the aggressor is justified in MPC looks at the ∆ 's
force if using (deadly) force if subjective belief, the belief need
not be reasonable.
∆ reasonably believes it is necessary to ∆ honestly believes such force is If ∆ 's belief was negligently or
defend ∆ ’s person immediately necessary to protect ∆ ’s recklessly formed, one can be
∆ must be threatened with a physical harm person liable for reckless or negligent
∆ reasonably believed the threatened harm is harm is unlawful use of deadly force
unlawful
The force used must be proportional. Deadly force is justified if one faces a MPC replaces imminence with
threat of death, GBH, forcible rape, or the phrase "immediately
Deadly force must additionally show kidnapping. A threat without that necessary" so that one may use
reasonable belief ∆ is imminently facing purpose is not deadly force, even if a force sooner under than CL.
deadly force. weapon backs up the threat.
∆ had no opportunity to retreat (Old common MPC - deadly force is more
law standard) If ∆ know/realizes he can be broad than CL one who acts
completely safe by retreating ∆ must with the purpose causing death
or GBH qualifies
∆ may always use non-deadly force to protect
oneself against an unlawful aggressor. if ∆ unlawfully starts a non-lethal
conflict, he does not lose his privilege In CL force not likely to cause
of self-defense if V escalates it into a death or GBH is not deadly
When ∆ is the aggressor, he loses his right to
use force. ∆ may purge himself of his status lethal assault. force even if it was the ∆ 's
as the aggressor and regain his right to self- Retreat is required within one's home or purpose to kill.
defense by removing himself from the fray office if the actor was the initial
and successfully communicating that fact. aggressor and he wishes to regain his MPC does not include the non-
right to self-defense or even if he was deadly aggressor
If ∆ , as the aggressor uses non-deadly force, not the aggressor
and victim responds with deadly force, ∆ ∆ no duty to retreat from home, even
may immediately regain his right to self- from a co-dweller.
defense.

∆ does not have to retreat within ∆ 's own


dwelling even if one could do so in complete
safety.
2. NECESSITY
COMMON LAW MPC DIFFERENCES
∆ is justified if he reasonably believes that he ∆ is not justified unless ∆ not only MPC requires that ∆ 's
is avoiding the greater evil. reasonably believe that ∆ is avoiding reasonable belief actually be
Balance of evils must be positive. the greater harm, but ∆ is actually true.
There must not be an alternative. avoiding the greater harm. MPC does not have an
The harm must be imminent. Balance of evils must be positive. immediacy requirement.
∆ may not have created the necessity. There is no immediacy requirement a MPC if ∆ caused it
∆ can never take another's life out of ∆ may not have intentionally caused accidentally, he can still claim
necessity. the necessity. necessity though if he recklessly
∆ se only applies when a natural force created ∆ may take a life if the balance of or negligently created the
the necessity. evils is positive. ∆ se may apply in necessity, he may be held for
When the balance of evils is negative, ∆ may homicide cases crimes of recklessness and
be held strictly liable. This ∆ se applies but not limited to negligence.
emergencies created by natural forces, MPC allows ∆ se in cases
nor is limited to physical harm to where a natural force did not
persons or property. create the necessity.
If ∆ 's belief is mistaken, can be held
for crime requiring either negligence or
recklessness.
If ∆ negligently or recklessly caused
the necessity, he may be held for
crimes of negligence and recklessness.

.
B. EXCUSE - wrongful conduct, but under the circumstances, D is not morally culpable or blameworthy
1. DURESS
COMMON LAW MPC DIFFERENCES
∆ may be excused if Duress is an affirmative defense to MPC abandons the CL
∆ was threatened with death or GBH (or if a unlawful conduct by ∆ if requirements of deadly force
3rd party is so threatened) by another human ∆ was compelled to commit the offense and immanency in favor of
∆ reasonably believes that the threat is by the use or threatened use of force by excusing ∆ whenever a person
genuine the coercer upon her or another of reasonable firmness would
∆ felt that the threat was "present, imminent, A person of reasonable firmness in ∆ 's also have yielded to coercion;
and impending" at the time of the act situation would (also) have been unable
∆ felt that the only way to avoid the harm to resist the coercion. MPC ∆ se is one of general
was to give in to the threat ∆ se is not available if ∆ recklessly applicability may be used in
∆ was not at fault in exposing himself to the placed herself in the position where she murder cases
threat. would likely be subject to coercion.
MPC does not require that an
If ∆ negligently put herself into such a imperiled party be ∆ s relative.
Duress is not a defense to an intentional position, the ∆ se is available to her for
killing. Some states recognize an imperfect all cases except those in which MPC similar to CL in that ∆ se
defense whereby murder is reduced to negligence suffices to establish is limited to threats or use of
manslaughter. culpability. unlawful force and does not
apply to coercion by natural
sources.

MPC does not recognize ∆ se


when any interest other than
bodily integrity is threatened.
2. INSANITY
COMMON LAW MPC DIFFERENCES
M'Naghten Rule – ∆ is insane if, at the time Substansial capacity- One is not MPC incorporates a revised
of the criminal act, he was laboring under responsible for her criminal conduct if, version of the M'Naghten test +
such a defect of reason, arising from a disease at the time of the act, as a result of a pure cognitive test.
of the mind, that he mental disease or defect:
Did not know the nature and quality of the act ∆ lacked substantial capacity to
he was doing; or Appreciate the
If he did know it, if he did not know that what wrongfulness/criminality of ∆ conduct
he was doing was wrong (i.e. he did not know or
the difference between right and wrong). To conform ∆ conduct to the
Irresistible impulse test - that states that ∆ requirements of the law
was insane if
She acted from an irresistible and
uncontrollable impulse;
She lost the power to choose between right
and wrong and to avoid doing the act in
question, as that her free agency was at the
time destroyed; or
The ∆ 's will … has been otherwise than
voluntarily so completely destroyed that her
actions are not subject to it, but are beyond her
control.
Pure cognitive test concerned with ∆ 's
ability to appreciate the nature and quality of
his conduct. Is the current law
C. GENERAL
1. MISTAKE
A. OF FACT
COMMON LAW MPC DIFFERENCES
Must negate mens rea of the crime charged. . Must negate the mental state required ∆ steals diamonds believing
∆ not guilty if MoF negates the specific to establish any element of the offense. they’re glass - MPC  petty
intent portion of the offense. larceny; CL  grand larceny.
For general intent offenses not guilty if MoF Logical Relevance Test - figure out the ∆ steals glass believing it‘s
was honest and reasonable. Guilty if MoF mens rea for each and every element of diamonds, MPC  petty
was honest, but unreasonable the crime. larceny and attempted grand
Moral Wrong test – If granted MoF, will hold If granted MoF, will hold ∆ for a larceny and CL  petty larceny
∆ for a higher offense when were the lesser offense when were the situation and attempted grand larceny.
situation as he supposed it to be, his conduct as he supposed it to be, his conduct MPC – Look at the world
constituted this lesser offense. constituted this lesser offense.
through the ∆ ’s eyes in a
factual (not legal) manner
MPC/CL - No mistakes get you
off for strict liability.
B. OF LAW
COMMON LAW MPC DIFFERENCES
No defense, but exceptions. MPC does not recognize a defense of CL and MPC approaches are
Exceptions - mistake must be reasonable and mistake of law unless there is express similar. In general, unless
honest. negation falling into a recognized
Collateral Law Specification in Statute that knowledge exception, ignorance of the law
Reliance on Official Statement of law is req’d. is no defense.
No reasonable notification/publishing Collateral Law MPC codifies the CL
Specification in Statute that knowledge of law Reliance on Official Statement reasonable reliance doctrine.
is req’d. No reasonable notification/publishing

2. IMPOSSIBILITY
A. OF FACT
COMMON LAW MPC DIFFERENCES
None; that is, the person who tries to shoot Same as common law.
someone with a water gun, thinking it was a
real gun, would not have a defense of factual
impossibility. If the facts were as he believed
them to be the victim would be dead. Some
cases look like factual impossibility but are
not; ex. man attempts to kill victim with
voodoo doll. While this is impossible, it is
inherently impossible, not per se factually
impossible; in the voodoo case the victim
would still be alive if the facts were as he
supposed them.
B. OF LAW
COMMON LAW MPC DIFFERENCES
Cannot punish for a crime that is not a crime. Same as common law. No Hybrid legal
impossibility. (MPC looks at mens rea)
Hybrid legal impossibility - Where the actors
goal is illegal but impossible due to a factual
mistake of a legal status of an attendant
circumstance. ie. Man has sex with girl
thinking she is 15 when she is really 18.
Some courts recognize this ∆ se