CRM/LAW C144 Lecture 12: Attempt, Abandonment, and Impossibility (05/16/17)

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University of California - Irvine
Criminology, Law and Society

LECTURE 12 Tuesday, May 16, 2017 Attempt, Abandonment, and Impossibility Attempt SMALLWOOD V. STATE Defendant was convicted of attempted murder and assault with intent to murder o He knew he was HIV positive and he didnt use a condom The court reversed o Held it wasnt intent to kill because all that was shown was that he was a rapist This was in the early 1990s o AIDS was considered fatal back in those days Need evidence of specific intent o All attempted crimes are specific intent crimes HYPOTHETICAL: Meeker is frustrated because the Chancellor wont rehire Professor Emeritus, so he plans to wreck the Chancellors house, vandalizing via TP o Went to Costco to buy the toilet paper a lot of it Clearly demonstrated that he had the idea o But did he go far enough to constitute attempt? Hes driving up to campus Hes driving to the house if UCIPD picked him up, is it attempt? He drives up to the house, 2 AM on a moonless night, looking at the chancellors house from his truck on the street across from the house o Can UCIPD get him for attempt? Is arriving at the location enough? He has the toilet paper in his hand, standing at the sidewalk before his lawn, tossing the toilet paper up and down, feeling its weight He winds up and hes getting ready to throw o Can you nail him at that point for attempt? o Does he have to be in the process of vandalizing? o Hes done everything but toss it KING V. BARKER More than mere preparation, but it does not have to be the last step Res ipse loquitor o A thing speaks for itself o Youve gone so far along that your actions speak for itself and youve demonstrated that youre a manifest danger to society o The problem is, what is the last unequivocal step? PEOPLE V. BURGER
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