AJ 4 Lecture 19: AJ 4 - Criminal Law - 19

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Jeff Koo
AJ 4
Criminal Law
Fall 2018
4 Units
Accomplice Liability
Modern Categories;
Accessory before the fact = aided/counseled in commission of crime, but was not
Accessory after the fact = knows of principal’s guilt and helps him avoid getting
Generally, accessories can only be charged in the jurisdiction where they acted,
not where crime occurred (if they are different); today, this charge is usually
“hindering prosecution” – a lesser offense;
Derivative Liability secondary/accomplice liability is derivative it is by virtue of
contributing to the primary actor’s conduct that the liability arises; a relationship between
the two is insufficient; the secondary person has to actually do something;
State v. Ward, 1978 (33) see elements above;
State v. Hoselton, 1988 (34) D is convicted as an accomplice even though he
didn’t know his friends were going to break into a storage unit; state pegs him as a
lookout because he did not do anything to stop the crime, but court finds this is
insufficient evidence that he shared same specific intent to commit a crime as the
other defendants;
Riley v. State, 2002 (34) 2Ds convicted on accomplice theory for firing into
crowd, even though it was impossible to decide who was the principal and who
was the accomplice;
Court notes that many illogical conclusions can be reached if accomplice
liability is so narrowly interpreted; adopts MPC view that accomplice
mental state is to be interpreted separately from any other defendant’s
mental state;
State v. Linscott, 1987 (34) D agrees to rob another with co-Ds, but is convicted
for murder when it goes wrong; Court upholds conviction on basis that knowingly
promoting a primary crime” (here, robbery) is sufficient to transfer liability for a
secondary crime (here, murder);
Criminal Defenses
Chart: List of Defenses;
Failure of proof = negate an element of the crime;
Offense modification = concede all elements are present, but
contend that actor has not caused the harm intended to be
prevented by the statute;
Justification = harm is outweighed by the need to avoid a greater
harm or to further an important societal interest;
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