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October 23, 2013

Any lingering/burning questions about homicide (e.g., how would Joe Shooter be prosecuted)?

Especially because lots of additional doctrines and ideas are going to come at you fast over the next few weeks, right now would be an especially good time to review the doctrines and lessons of the homicide unit that has occupied our energies over the last few weeks.  Folks with any burning questions or concerns can bring them up in the comments to this post (or, of course, contact me in person).

Among the ways students might very usefully review this until would be to go back to the Joe Shooter facts and imagine how they would respond to those facts on an exam if I were to ask what possible charges might be brought against Shooter by an Ohio and/or Oliwood prosecutor and what challenges would such a prosecutor face in making various charges "stick."

October 23, 2013 in Class reflections, Preparing for the final | Permalink


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I had one question related to causation which, sort of, winds itself into our murder unit:

Section 2.03.2(a) (causation) of the Model Penal code states:

"the actual result differs from that designed or contemplated..."

Isn't this language substantially similar to Common Law terminology regarding mens rea? The purposeful language in MPC is that of "conscious object(s)" and "awareness" and "hope" that "circumstances...exist". Why does the mpc switch up the lingo here? Is it addressing common law issues? Or just expanding the scope of the mpc conduct and results coverage?

Posted by: Christopher Sponseller | Oct 27, 2013 4:15:52 PM

The MPC causation terminology is trying to pick up, I believe, the concept of foreseeability without either using that term or replicating the language of mens rea/culpability. The key point --- which is itself quite challenging and nuanced --- is that causation is a different (but related) essential component of criminal liability when a crime is defined in terms of causing a particular result.

Does that help?

Posted by: Doug B. | Oct 28, 2013 11:04:35 AM

I see what you're saying. That does help. I was hung up on the uniformity between the language of the separate components. This formation does distinguish different and essential components more clearly, as separate from mens rea. The related language just threw me.


Posted by: Christopher Sponseller | Oct 28, 2013 2:06:47 PM

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