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UI LAW 8022 - Crim Law Section 4 weeks 3 thru 4

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Criminal Law Section 4Weeks 3 and 4I. Actus Reus (review)a. Will not punish someone for a statusb. Timeline arguments: at what time do actions stop being voluntary? How far back do we look for a voluntary act that lead to the crime (State v. Decina, Martin). c. Omissions: you are only responsible for failing to act when you have a duty to act. II. Model Penal Codea. A creation of law professors who see the mess of statutes and common law and sigh. b. The Model Penal Code is similar to the restatements: it is out there and influential, but not necessarily the law. It is an attempt to create a uniform code that makes crim law more consistent and easier to understand. III. The Mens Rea Requirementa. Broad sense: culpability generally. Are they responsible? (not really a definition). b. Narrow definition: the particular mental state provided for in the definition of the offense.i. Common law: a plethora of various “mens reas” that are not consistently defined. ii. Model Penal Code (MPC): purposely, knowingly, recklessly, and negligently. 1. Purposely: with intent. Meant to do what they did, perhaps planned it out. 2. Knowingly: with knowledge of what they were doing, or an intentional blind eye to avoid culpability. 3. Recklessly: consciously disregarding an unjustifiable and substantial risk, acting without concern for an obvious negative result4. Negligently: failure to meet a duty of care, reasonable person standard. c. Protection for those accused of a crimei. Federal constitution: the floor. This is the minimum amount of protection needed. ii. State constitutions: can protect an individual more than federal constitution, butnot less. iii. Legislation: protects individuals by providing a list of elements necessary to convict of a certain crime, mental state is an important one of those. d. Regina v. Carringtoni. Defendant takes the gas meter out of his cellar, accidentally leaves the gas open which partially suffocates plaintiff mother in law in the next apartment. Criminal culpability? “Whosoever shall knowingly administer to or cause to be administered to or taken by any other person any poison or other destructive or noxious thing…” ii. MPC hypotheticals: what if the defendant had been charged under the mens readefinitions in the MPC? 1. Purposely: a. Was it his conscious object in his behavior to cause his mother in law to inhale gas? Or was he aware of the attendant circumstances of his conduct?b. Obviously not, his intent was to take off the gas meter, but that intent does not transfer to the mother. 2. Negligentlya. A person acts negligently when he should be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the material element exists…should he have been aware that taking the meter off wasa substantial and unjustifiable risk? b. Yeah, even if he was not aware he should have been. (probably).3. Knowinglya. Did he know that his conduct or the nature of the circumstanceswould result in poisoning his mother in law, or was it practically certain that this result would occur?b. There were no facts to show that he knew this would cause gas to leak. 4. Recklesslya. Did he consciously disregard a substantial and unjustifiable risk? b. There is no evidence that he knew it was likely to leak and decided to pull the meter off the wall anyways. He would have to know of the nature of the risk and not carec. Different from knowledge: you know what will happen vs. you don’t care what will happen. e. United States v. Yermian, 468 U.S. 63 (1984)i. Yermian was applying for a job. He lied on his application, then he lied on his security clearance in order to make it consistent with his application. ii. Fraudulent misrepresentation: “Whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction ofany department or agency of the United States knowingly and willfully…makes any false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements or representations…shall be fined.”iii. Basis for appeal: statutory interpretation. Yermian argues that he did not know he was within the jurisdiction of any federal agency, and that the statute interpreted correctly requires knowledge of both the lie and the jurisdiction. iv. Nope. f. State v. Fugatei. The defendant was robbing a convenience store with a gun, and took the victim into the basement and shot him, after hitting him with the gun multiple times. Defendant did not testify, appeals on the sufficiency of the evidence. Was intent to kill sufficiently proved?ii. Held, you can prove intent from the surrounding circumstances based on the reasonable certainty that something would result from the defendant’s actions. iii. You can also consider the manner of inflicting the wounds – how could Fugate’s actions really be considered accidental? iv. How to prove intent? Order of preference1. The defendant admits intent2. Eye/ear witness states they heard him say he intended to kill3. Defendant’s actions can indicate purposea. Did he plan ahead?b. Did he bring a deadly weapon? Was is sufficiently prepared (i.e., loaded and working)c. Were his actions deliberate or intentional? v. Defense attorney can take the same evidence and try to put a positive spin on it1. The gun wasn’t working, he just wanted to use it to scare2. Wasn’t premeditated, things got out of hands. vi. Prima facie evidence: something that, on its own, will sufficiently establish a factto prove an element unless contrary evidence was produced. g. United States v. Jeweli. Federal Case, drug trafficking. Defendant/appellant entered the United States driving an automobile with 110 pounds of marijuana hidden in a secret compartment. The defendant had knowledge of the hidden compartment, but never checked to see what was in it, somewhat preserving knowledge. ii. Defendant’s theory was that he had no positive knowledge that there was marijuana in the car. Based on the entirety of the record, the jury really could’ve determined that he did. Regardless, the conscious choice to avoid positive knowledge in the face of information that he is committing a crime is the same as knowledge under the law. iii. Under the British common law, such actions were seen as willful blindness or connivance. iv. Statute: allows conviction for knowingly or intentionally importing. Willful blindness can be seen as intentional. v. There is also substantive justification: to act knowingly is to act with an awareness of the high probability of the existence of the fact. The model penal code’s definition agrees. vi. It’s


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