Glossary of Criminal Law (SJCL)
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- What is Voluntary Manslaughter?
- The unlawful killing of a human being by another human being without malice aforethought with legally adequate provocation and with no cooling off period.
- For second degree murder, does the activity have to be inheritly dangerous?
- yes, the activity must constitute a danger to human
- What is the second degree felony murder rule?
- A homicide that isa direct causal result of the commission of a felony inherently dangerous to human life.
- What are the six felonies enumerated in the Penal Code to constitute first degree murder?
- murder by poison, lying in wait, imprisonment, starving, or by any willful, deliberate and premeditated killing, or in the commission of , or attempt to commit, arson, rape, robbery, or burglary, is murder of the first degree.
- Does implied malice have a physical and mental component?
- The physical component is satisfied by the performance of an "act, the natural consequences of which are dangerous to life. The mental component is the requirement that the defendant "knows that his conduct endangers the life of another and acts with a conscious disregard for life.
- When is a felony complete?
- When the parties who committed the crime reach a point of safety. This would break the chain of events.
- Define premeditated and delibrate murder.
- "All murder which is perpetrated by any kind of willful, deliberate and premeditated killing with express malice aforethought is murder of the first degree.
- What is murder?
- The unlawful killing a human being, or a fetu, with malice aforethought.
- What does willful mean?
- what does deliberate mean?
- Means formed or arrived at or determined upon as a result of careful throught and weighing of considerations for and against the proposed course of action. The word "premeditated" means considered beforehand.
- What are three categories of evidence pertinent to the determination of premeditatin and deliberation?
- 1. Planning activity to the determination of premeditation and deliberation
3. Manner of killing
- What crimes are inherently dangerous?
- 1. burning a car
2. supplies heroin
4. supplying alcohol to a drunk
- what crimes are not inherently dangerous?
- 1. conspiracy to possess drugs
2. grand theft
3. possession of firearm by ex-felon
4. possession of sawed off shotgun
5. possession of medicine without a license.
- What is the Independent-Felony (merger) limitation
- The felony-murder rule does not apply if the underlying felony is an offense that is an "integral part" or is "included in fact" in the homicide itself, ie the felony is not sufficiently independent of the death and the felony disappears, subsumed by the homicide.
- What does Furman state in regards tothe Death Penalty?
- Death Penalty must be applied fair and consistently. All mitigating circumstances must be heard.
- For manslaughter, do you still have to have inten to kill?
- What is involuntary manslaughter?
- Involuntary manslaughter consists of death resulting through wanton or reckless conduct.
- What is misdemeanor involuntary manslaughter?
- A homicide occuring in the course of a misdemeanor only if the offense is malum in se.
- What is "heat of passon" in regards to voluntary manslaughter?
- Means any intense or vehement emotional excitement of the kind prompting violent and aggressive action, such as rage, ange, hared, furious resentment, fright or terror. Such emotional state of mind must be of such a degree as would cause an ordinary man to act on impulse without reflection.
- What is provocation?
- It is adequate if it is calculated to deprive a reasonable man of self-control and to cause him to act out of passion rather than reason.
- What are the two kinds of malice in california?
- 1. express malice
2. implied malice
- What is express malice?
- manifest and deliberate intent unlawfully to take like.
- what is implied malice?
- Wanton recklessness disregard, awareness of extremely high risk, intention to cause serious bodily injury, intention to commit a felony.
- What is first degree murder?
- willful, deliberate, premediated lying in wait, a serious felony.
- what is second degree murder?
- All other murders that do not qualify for first degree murder.
- What is lying in wait?
- Concealment and watchful waiting. Mere watching and waiting is not enough. Concealment does not have to be for a particular period of time, just long enough to show state of mind.
- what is killing by torture?
- intent to cause cruel pain and suffering?
- What is deliberation?
- to measure and evaluate the major facets of a choice or problem. The process of determining upon a course of action to kill as a result of through, including weighing the reasons for and against the action and considering the consequences of the action.
- What is premediation?
- To think beforehand, Defendant gave thought before acting to the idea of taking a human life and reached a definite decision to kill.
- What are the three different types of manslaughter?
- 1. voluntary manslaughter
2. involuntary manslaughter
3. misdemanor manslaughter
- what are the elements of provocation?
- 1. legally adequat provocation
2. subjective in nature/actual
3. the provocation has to cause the person to be acting from passon.
4. no reasonable period or actual opportunity to cool-off.
- what are some of the things at common law considered legally adequate provocation?
- 1. serious battery, unprivileged physical attack
2. mutual combat
3. extreme cases of physical attack
4. maybe unlawful arrest
5. witnessing or learning of adultry
- Is mistake in provication a mitigation?
- mistake of fact in profication is not a complete defense, but a mitigation.
- What are the two types of manslaughter?
- 1. involuntary manslaughter
2. misdemeanor manslaughter
- what is misdemeanor manslaughter?
- The unintentional killing of a human being resulting from the perpetration or attempted perpertration of an unlawful act that does not amount to a dangerous felony.
- In regards to misdemeanor manslaughter, what is the difference between the C/L and Modernly?
- C/L- any commission of a misdemeanor which results in death is actionable.
Modernly: we look at relation to culpability. Look at nexus between the act and the death.
- What is the barf of the felony murder rule C/L?
- a person is guilty of murder if he kills another person during the commission or attempted commission of any felony.
- What is the barf for the felony-murder rule (modern)
- a death that results from the perpetration or the attempted perpretration of an enumerated, inherently dangerous felony (arson, rape, robbery, burglary) is first degree murder.
- In regards to the Felony murder rule, does the intent to commit the felony constitute the implied malice required?
- yes, it works for both modernly and for the common law
- Does the felony murder rule extend to accomplises in the commission of a felony?
- What is an inherently dangerous felony?
- it looks at the offense in the abstract, one that carries thesubstantial risk that the felonious conduct will result in the death to an innocent person.
- What are crimes that are inherently dangerous?
- 1. burning a car
2. suppling heroin
4. supplying alcohol to a drunk
- What are some crimes that are not inherently dangerous?
- 1. conspiracy to possess drugs
2. grand theft
3. possession of firearm by ex-felon
4. possession of saw off shotgun
5. possession of medicine without a license.
- What is he Independent-Felony (merger) Limitation
- The felony-murder rule does not apply if the underlying felony is an offense that is an "integral part" or is "included in fact" in the homicide itself.
- what is the two components of the Res Gestae Requirement in regards tothe Felony Murder Rule?
- 1. Temporal and geographic proximity
2. A causal requirement- The but for test.
- what is a felony?
- any crimes punishable by death or imprisonment exceeding one year
- what is a misdemeanor?
- all crimes punishable by imprisonmet for less than one year or by a fine only.
- at commonlaw, which felonies which crimes were felonies?
- 1. murder
all other crimes were considered misemeanors
- what is malum in se?
- a crime that is wrong in itself.
- what is malum prohibitum?
- a crime that is only wrong only because it is prohibited by legislation.
- At commonlaw, if a person engaged in conduct constituting both a felony and a misdemeanor, could she be convicted of both?
- no, the misdemeanor was regarded as merged into the felony.
- What is merger of solicitation or attempt into a completed crime?
- one who solicits another to commit a crime (where solicitation itself is a crime) cannot be convicted of both the solicitation and the completed crime (if the person solicited does complete it).
- what are the essential elements of a crime?
- 1. actus reus- the physicial act (or unlawful ommission by the defendant)
2. Mens Rea- (guilty mind) the state of mind or intent of the defendant at the time of his act.
3. Concurrance: The physicial act and the mental state existed at the same time and,
4. Harmful result and causation- A haremful result caused (both factually and proximately) by the defendants act.
- What is the barf for a physicial act?
- For there to be criminal liability, the defendant must have either performed a voluntary physical act or failed to act under circumstances imposing a legal duty to act. For this purpose, an act is defined as a bodily movement.
- What is the purpose of the mens reas requirement?
- The reason that the mens req is normally required is to distinguish between inadvertent or accidental acts and acts performed by one wth a "guilty mind" The later type of act is more blameworty and arguably, can be deterred. However, in some cases (strict liability crimes) mens rea is not required.
- What is specific intent?
- If the definition of a crime requires not only the doing of an act, but the doing of it with a specific intent or objective, the crime is a "specific intent" crime.
- Why is it significant to identify specific intent?
- There are two reasons
1. need for proof- the existence of a specific intent cannot be inferred from the doing of the act. if the prosecution must produce evidence tending to prove the existence of the specific intent.
2. applicability of certain defenses
-some defenses such as voluntary intoxication and unreasonable mistake of fact, apply only to specific intent crimes.
- What is transferred intent?
- If a defendant intended a harmful result to a particular person or object and in trying to carry out that intent, cause a similar harmful result to another person or object, her intent will be transferred from the intended person or object to the one actually harmed. Any defenses or mitigating circumstances that the defendant could have asserted against the intended victim (self defense, provication) will also be transferred in most cases. This doctrine most commonly applies to homicide, battery, and arson. It does not apply to attempt.
- What is a strict liability offense?
- a strict liabilty offense is one that dos not require awareness of all of the factors constituting the crime. Generally, the requirement of a state of mind is not abandoned with respect to all elements of the offense, but only with regard to one of some of the elements. The major significance of a strict liability offense is that certain defenses, such as mistake of fact, are not available.
- What is the barf for strict liability offenses?
- strict liability offenses also known as public welfare offense, are generally regulatory offenses. They generally involve a relately low penalty and are not regarded by the community as involving significant moral inpropriety.
- What is the mpC code analysis of fault?
- It advocatesthe elimination of the ambiguous common law distinction between general and specifc intent. Instead it proposes four categories into which the mental component of a criminal offense can be characterized.
- What is purposely?
- Purposely- a person acts purposely with respet to his conduct when it is his conscious object to engage in certain conduct or cause a certain result. (ie burglary)
- What is knowingly?
- Knowingly- A person acts knowingly with repect to the nature of his conduct when he is aware that his conduct is of that nature or that certain circumstances exists. He acts knowingly with respect to the result of his conduct when he knows that his conduct will necessarily or very likely cause such a result.
- What is recklessly
- Recklessly- a person acts recklessly when he consciously disregards a substantial or unjustifiable risk that circumstances exist or that is a prohibited result will follow, and this disregard constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would exercise in this situation.
- What is negligence?
- Negligence- A person acts negligently when he fails to be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that circumstances exist or a result will follow, and such failure constitute a substantial deviation from the standard of care a reasonable person would exercise under the circumstances. To determine whether a person acted negligently, an objective standard is used.
- What is vicarious liability?
- Vicarious liability offenses- A vicarious liability offense is one in which a person w/o personal fault may nevertheless be held vicariously liable for the criminal conduct of another. Because of the imposition of criminal liability for faultless conduct is contrary to the basic premise of criminal justice that crime requires fault on the part of the accused, some jurisdictions have held that imprisonment in such cases violates the due process guarantees of the state constitution. The current trend in legislatures is to limit vicarious liability to regulatory crimes and to limit punishment to fines.
- What is enterprise liability under the commonlaw?
- At commonlaw, a corporation could not commit a crime because it was unable to form the necessary criminal intent.
- What is enterprise liability modernly?
- Modernly- statutes often provide for the liability of corporations and sometimes even unincorporated associates (eg partnerships). Under such provisions, corporations may be held liable under the following conditions: acts done by agents of the corporation acting on half of the corporation and W/I the scope of his office or employment, or under the Superior Agent rule, that criminal liability is imposed in situations in which the conduct is performed or participated in by agents sufficiently high in the corporate hierarchy to presume that their acts reflect corporate policy.
- What are the four types of accomplice liability pursuant to the commonlaw?
- 1. principals in the 1st degree
2. principals in the 2nd degree
3. accessories before the fact
4. and accessories after the fact.
- What is a principal in the first degree?
- persons who actually engage in the act or ommission that constitutes the criminal offense.(c/l)
- what is principals in the second degree?
- persons who aid, command, or encourage the principal and are present at the crime (c/l)
- What are accessories before the fact?
- persons who aid, abet, or encourage the principal but are not present at the crime.(c/l)
- What are accessories after the fact?
- persons who assist the principal after the crime (c/l)
- Modernly, in regards to accomplice liability,what is a principal?
- one who, with the requisite mental state, actually engages in the act or ommission that causes the criminal result.
- Modernly, in regards to accomplice liability, what is an accomplice?
- one who, with the intent that the crime be committed, aids, counsels, or encourages the principal before or during the commission of the crime.
- Modernly, in regards to accomplice liability, what an accessory after the fact?
- one who receives, relieves, comforts, or assists another, knowing that he had committed a felony, in order to help the felon escape arrest, trial, or conviction. The crime committed by the principal must be a felony and it must be completed at the time the aid is rendered.
- To be convicted as an accomplice under the prevailing common law rule, must a person have given aid, counsel, or encouragement with the intent to aid or encourage the principal in the commission of the crime charged?
- What is an accomplice scope of liability?
- an accomplice is responsible for the crimes he did or counseled and for any other crimes committed in the course of committing the crime contemplated, as long as the other crimes were probable or foreseeable.
- What is an inchoate offense?
- it is one committed prior to and in prepraration for what may be a more serious offense. It is a complete offense in itself, even though the act to be done may not have been completed.
- What are the elements of solicitation?
- the inciting, counseling, advising, inducing, urging, or commanding another to commit a felony with the specific intent that the person solicited commit the crime.
- What defenses are applicable to solicitation?
- Impossibility and withdrawal is no defense. However, exemption from intended crime is a defense.
- What is the barf for conspiracy?
- conspiracy is an agreement to commit a crime with an overt act.
- Must a conspiracy have a requirement of two or more parties?
- yes, a conspiracy must invole a "meeting of the minds" between at least two independent persons. Therefore, if one person in a two party conspiracy is only feigning agreement (eg undercover police officer, the other person cannot be convicted of conspiracy.
- What is the Wharton rule?
- Regarding conspiracy, there is no crime of conspiracy unless more parties participate in the agreement than are necessary for the crime. (remember dueling)
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