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October 18, 2010

Specifics for (last?) administration of practice exam(s)

I have reserved Room 354  on Tuesday, October 19 starting at 11:00am for another administration of the practice exam. 

I will plan to give to all those students who show up just the "original" practice exam (the one for which there is a memo reviewing the substance).  But anyone who has already taken the original and now would like to take on a different question should let me know ASAP.  I will happily bring an alternative practice question for those who are gluttons for this kind of practice punishment.

October 18, 2010 in Course materials and schedule, Preparing for the final | Permalink


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Don't know if there's a place for us to talk about this, but I'm having a hard time squaring up felony-murder with theories of punishment, but I think that the Negligence/Recklessness continuum has really helped.

What was bugging me was that originally I thought the FM statutes were predominately retrib (b/c these people are morally blame-worthy) but then the counter to that is that retrib would be against over-punishment. At the same time the utilitarian justifications for FM don't seem to work either because I don't believe that punishing felons for this really acts as a successful deterrent. So if neither of these adequately justifies FM, then why do they exist? And why don't I feel like they're unjust?

I think its because the continuum of balancing risk, awareness, and justification illustrates that although the risks might not be large (percentage wise on pg 424), someone who commits the felony is clearly very aware of the risk they have created, and most notably they have the complete absence of a justification (to the contrary they're unjustified in committing a felony). In my opinion this makes the retributivist feel more comfortable than they normally would in giving the higher sentence.

Not sure if any of that is correct, just thinking out loud, anyone else get something more conclusive?

Posted by: JT | Oct 22, 2010 1:13:58 PM

I was thinking that the felony murder statutes seemed to depart from the tradition ideology of retributivist model of punishment as well. The fact that it is a strict liability crime itself makes it difficult to square away with either or both theories perfectly considering that it is unique from the other homicide crimes we have been studying. To me, the interplay of causation, mens rea, and strict liability, among other factors, made it more obscure.

Definitely seems like a question that more input would help clear up. Maybe something for class discussion?

Posted by: Mallika Reddy | Oct 24, 2010 3:29:02 PM


Real life application of Ohio Homicide Law. Man charged with Agg. Murder after allegedly shooting a man [reportedly 6 times] during an argument outside of a convenience store.

Sounds like a purposeful killing, but I'm not seeing purpose plus. Seems like just posturing, getting some leverage to set up a plea bargain.

Posted by: JT | Oct 25, 2010 9:10:16 AM

I agree, JT. From the short Dispatch article, it doesn't seem like they have any reason to bump the charge from murder to agg. murder. Maybe the lady traveling with them stated that he had confided his plans to her in advance, but that seems highly unlikely. After all, if he had planned to shoot his friend all along, why did he do it in broad daylight with witnesses everywhere?

Posted by: Keith Edwards (student) | Oct 25, 2010 3:12:23 PM

I agree, I don't exactly see the "purpose plus" as well, but there might be some prior calculation or design. The big question is, did "the son of a bitch" really "mean to do it" prior to the argument.

I'm curious to see if the shooter will argue that the argument between he and the deceased provoked him into a sudden rage. However, we do have to ask why he was carrying a gun...

Posted by: Justin | Oct 26, 2010 11:42:54 PM

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