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Flashcards in Defenses Deck (34):
1

Defenses

1. Justification
2. Excuse

= Precludes D from being liable while acknowledging D committed crime with culpable mental state

2

EXCUSE
Definition

Condoned by society

3

JUSTIFICATION
Definition

Encouraged by society

4

DEFENSES
Justification/Excuse under MPC

- Abandons distinction between justification and excuse
- Focus = society recognizes certain acts under certain conditions do not merit criminal sanctions

5

JUSTIFICATION
Self-Defense - Nondeadly Force

Individual
1. Who is WITHOUT FAULT
2. May use such force as she REASONABLY believes
3. Is NECESSARY
4. To protect herself from IMMINENT use of
5. UNLAWFUL force upon herself

**No duty to retreat when using nondeadly force**

6

JUSTIFICATION
Defensive force under MPC

1. Honest belief that (More subjective)
2. Proportionate (broader, includes kidnapping and rape)
3. Force is immediately (Relaxed immediacy requirement, no longer imminent)
4. Necessary
5. Cannot otherwise retreat (Duty to retreat unless in home, at work, or public officer in official capacity)
6. Wasn't initial aggressor

7

JUSTIFICATION
Self-Defense - Deadly Force

A person may use deadly force in self-defense if she is
1. Without fault (not initial aggressor)
2. Confront with unlawful force (criminal or tortious) AND
3. Reasonably believes she is threatened
4. With imminent death or great bodily harm (Threats of future harm or attacker has no present ability to carry out threat = not enough)

**Majority = stand your ground
Minority = duty to retreat unless retreat cannot be made safely and at home or during lawful arrest or during robbery**

8

JUSTIFICATION
Types

1. Defensive Force
2. Necessity

9

EXCUSE
Types

1. Duress
2. Mistake/Ignorance of Fact
3. Mistake/Ignorance of Law
4. Entrapment
5. Insanity
6. Intoxication

10

JUSTIFICATION
Initial Aggressor Rule

One who is at fault for starting a confrontation = no right to use force in her own defense during confrontation UNLESS
1. Withdrawal/retreat by attempting to remove herself and communicating that desire OR
2. Sudden escalation into deadly force without giving aggressor chance to withdraw/retreat

11

JUSTIFICATION
Defense of Property - Deadly Force

Deadly force never justified for defense of property alone

12

JUSTIFICATION
Use of Deadly Force to Effectuate Arrest

Reasonable only when
1. Felon
2. Threatens death or serious bodily harm AND
3. Deadly force is necessary to prevent his escape

13

JUSTIFICATION
Necessity

Justifies conduct if D
1. Reasonably believed
2. That the conduct was necessary
3. To avoid some harm to society
4. Which is of greater harm that the harm caused by conduct

OBJECTIVE = good faith belief in necessity is insufficient

**CANNOT BE USED TO JUSTIFY HOMICIDE**

14

JUSTIFICATION
Choice between Two Evils

- No defense of necessity available if D is at fault in creating situation
- @ Common Law = necessity arose from natural forces
- MPC/Modern Trend = do not require necessity arise from natural forces

15

EXCUSE
Duress

Liability for otherwise criminal act (other than intentional homicide) is excused if
1. Reasonably believes
2. Death or great bodily harm will be inflicted
3. On himself, his immediate family, or 3P present at crime (property doesn't suffice)
4. If he does not perform
5. This threat = human

16

EXCUSE
Mistake/Ignorance of Fact

Only a defense if mistake
1. Negates required intent
2. Is reasonable (not required for specific intent crimes)

17

EXCUSE
Mistake/Ignorance of Law

D was unaware her acts were prohibited by criminal law or believed they were not prohibited = NO DEFENSE, unless ignorance of some aspect of the elements of the crime (rather than the existence of the statute)

18

EXCUSE
Mistake/Ignorance of Law - Exceptions

1. Statute not reasonably available
2. Reasonable reliance on statute or judicial decision
3. Reasonable reliance on official interpretation or advice

19

EXCUSE
Entrapment - Majority View

VALID DEFENSE if
1. D actually induced by law enforcement AND
2. D did not have intent or predisposition to commit crime until induced

SUBJECTIVE: evaluation of D's intent

20

EXCUSE
Entrapment - Minority View

VALID DEFENSE if
Government’s tactics were of such a nature that they would have induced an innocent person to commit a crime

OBJECTIVE: evaluation of the government's tactics

21

EXCUSE
Entrapment - Private Inducements

NOT ENTRAPMENT
Cannot be entrapped by private citizen, only by officer of government or one working for him/under his control

22

EXCUSE
Entrapment - Provision of Material for Crime by Government Agent

NOT ENTRAPMENT
Entrapment defense cannot be based solely upon the fact that a government agent provided material for commission of the crime, even if contraband

23

EXCUSE
Insanity - M'Naghten Rule

D is entitled to acquittal if he proves
1. @ TIME OF CRIME
2. D was laboring under DEFECT OF REASON
3. Arising from a MENTAL DISEASE
4. Such that D LACKED ABILITY to either
a. KNOW WRONGFULNESS of his actions OR
b. UNDERSTAND NATURE/QUALITY of his actions

24

EXCUSE
Competent to Stand Trial - Overview

- Distinct from insanity defense = evaluation of mental capacity at time of trial, NOT time of crime
- Required by due process
- Pretty rare
- Judge and prosecutor are obligated to raise issue

25

EXCUSE
Competency to Stand Trial - Requirements

D is incompetent if
1. Lacks capacity to consult with attorney to a reasonable degree of rational understanding.
(not able to make critical decisions)
2. Lacks a rational as well as factual understanding of the proceedings

26

EXCUSE
NGI

Not guilty by reason of insanity = acquitted and civilly committed

27

EXCUSE
Insanity Tests

1. M'Naghten Rule
2. Irresistible Impulse Test
3. Durham (NH) Test
4. ALI (MPC) Test

28

EXCUSE
M'Naghten Rule - Application to D with Delusions

If the facts had been as D believed them to be, would actions be criminal?
Yes = no insanity defense
No = valid insanity defense

29

EXCUSE
M'Naghten Rule - Application to D's Belief that Acts Are Morally Right

Not enough for insanity defense unless D lost capacity to recognize that acts are regarded by society as wrong

30

EXCUSE
M'Naghten Rule - Application to D's Inability to Control Oneself

No defense, irrelevant that D may have been unable to control himself

COGNITIVE INCAPACITY

31

EXCUSE
Irresistible Impulse Test

D is entitled to an acquittal if the proof establishes that because of mental illness
1. D was unable to control his actions OR
2. To conform his conduct to the law

VOLITIONAL INCAPACITY

32

EXCUSE
Durham (NH) Test

D is entitled to an acquittal if the proof establishes
that crime was the “product of mental disease or defect” (would not have been committed but for the disease)

- ONLY FOLLOWED IN NH
- Broader than M'Naghten or Irresistible Impulse test

33

EXCUSE
ALI (MPC) Test

D is entitled to an acquittal if the proof establishes he
1. Suffered from a mental disease or defect and
2. As a result lacked substantial capacity to
either:
a. Appreciate the criminality (wrongfulness) of his conduct OR
2. Conform his conduct to the requirements of law

BOTH COGNITIVE AND VOLITIONAL INCAPACITY

34

EXCUSE
GBMI

Guilty but mentally ill
- Sentenced as if guilty
- Sent to mental institution until cured, then serves rest of sentence in prison