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The Actus Reus Requirement Chapter 3 The anatomy of a chain! 1.

A voluntary act (or omission where there is a duty to act) that results in some kind of social harm (actus reus) 2. A prohibited mental state (mens rea or guilty mind) 3. A chain of causation that links the defendant's actions with the social harm. 4. Concurrence between the mens rea and the actus reus. Defendant cant be solely convicted on thoughts but also must have done something that caused some sort of social harm The act must have not been compelled or committed by the government Defendant acts must be voluntary There can be no criminal liability for an omission unless the person who failed to act had a legal duty to act. Status crimes are unconstitutional: people should only be criminally punished for their conduct, not simply for being a certain kind of person.

The Mens Rea Requirement Chapter 4 Mere often mens rea in the criminal law context refers to the particular mental state provide for the definition of the offense. The normal definition of mens rea is referred to as the intent requirement. CL traditional developed a distinction between specific intent and general intent. MPC in contrast recognizes 4 mental states Purposely Knowingly Recklessly Negligently Modern Common law intent is defined in 2 ways. One acts with the requisite mens rea if it is his or her conscious object purpose to cause a certain result or to engage in certain prohibited conduct. Alternative, one intends a particular social harm if one knows to a virtual certainty that ones action will cause that social harm: Because of difficulties in proving intent, when absolute proof of intent is lacking; intent can be inferred For Example: One such inference can be made through the natural and probable consequence. Such intent may be deduced from all the surrounding circumstances including the instrument used to product death and the manner of inflicting a total wound.

Knowledge Another mens rea term used in both common law and model penal code is knowledge Under common law a person knows of a fact if he either is aware of that fact or correctly believes that fact exists. Another way of proving knowledge, is involving a willful blindness in deliberate ignorance.

Mistake and Ignorance

As a general rule mistake is the flip side of mens rea Mistakes of Fact Common law rules regarding mistakes of fact turn on the distinction between specific intent and general intent. If one is charged with a specific intent crime an honest mistake that negates the specific intent required for commission of the offense is a complete defense. The mistake need not be reasonable, as long as it is in good faith. General intent crime, a mistake of fact that negates an element of the crime must be both honest and reasonable to exculpate.

Mistake of Law Under both the common law and the model penal code he general rule regarding mistake of law is that ignorance of the law is no excuse. example in limited circumstances Reasonable rely on official interpretation of the law If knowledge that the prohibited conduct is unlawful is an element of the crime. Person who lacks fair notice.

Chapter 7: Criminal Homicide Criminal homicide encompasses a host of different crimes, all involving the unlawful killing of a human being by another human being Criminal homicide can be divided in two 2 main categories: Murder: Unlawful killing of a person with malice aforethought Manslaughter: Is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice aforethought. Under the common law murder is an unlawful killing of a human being is committed with malice aforethought when anyone of four conditions are present An intent to kill An intent to commit serious bodily injury An abandoned or malignant heart or depraved heart The Felony Murder Rule Applies If the defendant intends to kill, he acts with express malice. If malice aforethought is shown in any other way, it is considered implied malice. Intent to kill may be inferred from circumstantial evidence In common law can infer intent to kill through the deadly weapon rule, which permits the jury to infer intent to kill when the defendant has used a deadly weapon aimed at a vital part of the body. It can also infer by relying on the natural and probable consequences. Manslaughter under common there are two types of manslaughter Voluntary Manslaughter Involuntary manslaughter Voluntary Manslaughter: The more serious type of manslaughter is an intentional killing that would normally qualify as second degree murder, but which is reduced to the less crime of voluntary manslaughter through the application of a partial defense, such as provocation (known as heat of passion)

Generally speaking, a defendant may be charged with involuntary manslaughter if he or she brought about the death of another human being through criminal negligence. Model Penal Code defines criminal homicide as the purposeful, knowing, reckless or negligent death of another human being. Criminal homicide is a murder when it is committed purposefully or knowing or when it is committed recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life. This reckless and indifference is presumed if the actor is engaged in or is an accomplice to the commission of attempt to commit or then after committing or attempting to commit certain other crimes.

Degrees of Murder In some jurisdictions a murder charge will be raised to first degree murder upon proof that 1. The murder involved premeditation and deliberation 2. The murder was committed using a means specified in the first degree murder statute such as lying in wait, poison, or torture, 3. The murder occurred during the commission or attempted commission of an enumerated felony (rape, robbery, burglary, or arson). Premeditation generally means that the killer must have reflected upon and thought about killing in advance. No particular length of time is required for premeditation. Deliberation refers to the quality of the accusers thoughts processes In general, a killing that is deliberate is one that is undertaken without a cool head. The doctrine of provocation (voluntary manslaughter) Ones of the ways an intentional killing can be mitigated from murder to voluntary manslaughter are through the doctrine of provocation also known as the heat of passion defense. Under this doctrine, one who kills in response to legally adequate provocation is treated as having acted with malice aforethought, the means rea required for murder. The provocation defense is often described as concession to human weakness. Early Common Law Categorical Approach to provocation Under this approach, one could claim that provocation mitigation if and only if one killed in response to An aggravated assault or battery The observation of a serious crime against a close relative An illegal arrest Mutual combat.

Modern Reasonable Test Under the modern test, for provocation in certain jurisdictions that apply the common-law the court must find

1. The defendant acted in a heat of passion 2. The heat of passion was provoked by an act or even that would provoke a reasonable person in the defendants shoes to lose control. 3. The defendant did not have sufficient time to cool off between the provocative act and event of the killing. 4. A reasonable person in the defendants sues would not have had sufficient time to cool off 5. Additionally there must be a causal link between the killing and provocation. The MPC Extreme Emotional Disturbance Test The MPC provocation doctrine a murder would or could be reduced to manslaughter when it is committed under the influence of extreme mental or emotional disturbance for which there is reason. This provision further provides that the reasonableness of such explanation or excuses shall be determined from the view point of a person in the actors situation under the circumstances as he believes them to be. [ Subjective Test] This test is brooder than the heat of passion doctrine. A spontaneous explosion is not required. A significant mental trauma could have affected a defendant for a substantial period of time simmering in the known subconscious explicably coming to force. Depraved Heart Murder Malice may be express or implied. It is express when there is manifested a deliberate intention unlawful to take away the life of a human being. It is implied when no considerable provocation appears or when the circumstances attending the killing shows an abandoned or maligant heart. The common law malice will be implied in a homicide case if it can be shown that the defendant acted gross recklessness and an extreme indifference to human life meaning that the defendant realized that his actions created a substantial and unjustified risk of death and yet went ahead and committed the actions anyways Homicide that involved a depraved heart can be punished as second degree murder. Homicide the involves only gross negligence or simple recklessness can only be punished as involuntary manslaughter. The Definition of second degree murder reuqires that one subjectively knows based on everything, that the conduct that the or she is about to engage in has a high probability of death of another human being. Thomas Test: Malice is implied when the defendant for a base, antisocial motive and with wanton disregard for human life, does not involves a high degree of probability that it will result in death. Phillips Test: malice is implied when killing is proximately caused by an act, the natural consequences of which are dangerous to life, which act was deliberately performed by a

person who knows that this conduct endangers the life of another or who acts with conscious disregard for life. INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER Generally speaking, there are 2 ways a prosecutor can secure an involuntary manslaughter conviction. Can try to prove defendant had requisite mens reaps for involuntary manslaughter r Many jurisdiction use the term criminal negligence to described the mens rea for involuntary manslaughter. The state of mind is sometimes described as gross negligence and sometimes even recklessness. Second way one can be convicted of involuntary manslaughter is through application of the misdemeanor manslaughter rule. This doctrine can be seen as a mini FMR.