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Flashcards in common law final exam Deck (93)
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actus reus

voluntary act


what kind of acts are NEVER blameworthy?

involuntary acts


are voluntary acts blameworthy?

no always, it's necessary but not sufficient for criminal liability


what is the broad conception of mens rea?

if you are malicious you may be liable for an offense


what is the modern conception of mens rea?

limited list of mens rea states, each elements of an offense requires one of the limited list


what are the characteristics of the prevailing approach of malice aforethought? (2)

1) malice = foresight of prohibited consequences (recklessness)
2) D had to be subjectively aware his actions posed a substantial risk of causing the prohibited harm but proceeded anyway


what is the minority view of malice aforethought?

malice = "intentional and willful"


what are types of mens rea?

1) knowledge
2) general intent
3) specific intent


how is knowledge defined?

courts interpret it as sometimes only requiring an awareness of the facts, not necessarily knowledge as to the meaning of the law


how is general intent defined?

generally that the crime is committed with some culpable mental state (MR)


how is specific intent defined?

generally a crime is committed with a specific purpose (of committing a felony) within a statute/law (can also mean knowledge of AC)


what is the majority view of when willful blindness can satisfy knowledge?

if lack of knowledge is solely b/c of a conscious purpose to avoid the truth, this is sufficient for knowledge regardless of probability


what is the minority view of when willful blindness can satisfy knowledge?

actual (subjective belief) is required for knowledge, regardless of probability


what is the default mens rea rule?

recklessness (Cunningham and Faulkner - minimum culpable mental state)


when does a person have a duty to act?

1) statute
2) status (contractual obligation to act/protect)
3 )contract (status relationship - parent/child)
4) voluntary assumption - D controls and secludes victim such that other cannot aid
5) creation of peril (push someone into water that can't swim)
6) control (business owner)
7) landowner (theater must have adequate emergency exits)


is there misprision of felony for failure to report?

no but the exception allows liability where there is intent to cause death


when is a person punished for mistake of fact?

if it's an unreasonable mistake


can mistake of fact be a defense?



what doesn't mistake of fact apply to?

rape (SL) (No mens rea required regarding age)


when is mistake of fact a defense?

if it negates a required mens rea


what are the strict liability requirements?

1) regulatory offenses
2) SI resisted for non-regal. offenses with moral opporbrium


what is the lesser crime argument?

Olsen example - child was 13, lesser crime would be if she were 14-18


even if a D believes they are committing a lesser crime are they still guilty of the greater crime and why?

yes b/c it's morally wrong


is mistake of law a defense?



what are the exception to make mistake of law a defense? (5)

1) reliance on an official statement of law that is later found to be erroneous
2) mistake regarding legal element of the crime that negates MR
3) make a mistake about very law vilated/legal element which negates MR
4) wholly impassive and innocent conduct, lack of intent
5) no knowledge of existing law


when is the defense for MOF or MOL not available?

if the D would be guilty of another offense had there been no MOL


what is the MR for intentional murder?

P/K w/ malice aforethought


what is express malice

deliberate intention


what is implied malice

no considerable provocation


what does 1st degree murder consist of?

willful(purpose), deliberate (careful thought and consideration) and premeditated (had time to think or plan)