CJS 303 Chpt. 4-5


A person voluntarily gave up in their attempt to commit a crime before the crime was committed.


An intent to commit a crime, combined with an act that falls short of accomplishment of the thing intended.


Combination or agreement between two or more persons to harm some individual, class, or the public at large.

Extraneous Intervening Factors

Some outside variable that causes the abandonment of the final execution of a crime. This negates "abandonment" as a defense.

Factual Impossibility

When a defendant attempts to commit a crime, does everything to execute this crime, and yet is stopped from commission by some fact of life which makes committing the crime impossible. Is never a defense.

Legal Impossibility

A defense used when a defendant's actions, if fully performed, would not constitute a crime.

Overt Act

An element of attempt, a concrete act.

Pinkerton Rule

Co-conspirators are culpable for all foreseeable acts in furtherance of the conspiracy that are committed by any one of the co-conspirators.


The act by which a person abandons a right acquired without transferring it to another.


The offense of asking or enticing another to engage in illegal conduct for hire.

Specific Intent

The intent to commit the actus reus and intent to cause the result. In other words, "to violate the law".

Substantial Step

Conduct that strongly supports the existence of the defendant's criminal intent; a test to determine if attempt has occurred.

Wharton Rule

Crimes that require two people: such as bigamy, adultery, and incest, a conspiracy charge cannot be based solely on the agreement of only the two people necessarily involved in the crime. Has been rejected in recent law.

Tests for Overt Act

Tests to prove the existence of the concrete act which is an element of a crime. The "any act" test is the easiest to prove. The "substantial step" test is the most common. "Act beyond mere preparation." "All but the last act test" is the hardest to prove

Specific Intent can be inferred by:

Circumstantial Evidence.

Hybrid Legal Impossibility

In attempting to commit a crime, the defendant is correct in their belief that the act is against the law but incorrect as to an essential element of the law. Situational example: a person is smuggling cocaine but it turns out to be baking powder.

State v. Miller

Defendant snuck up behind and shot the victim in the head, ran away without taking any money. Convicted of murder and attempted armed robbery. Robbery appealed. Claimed "abandonment". Prior statements of desiring to rob the victim, in addition to his acti

People v. Ritson

Defendant convicted of attempted kidnapping. After two young boys refused his sexual advances in a park, the defendant drove to a shopping center and told a boy to "get the hell in the car". Boy ran. Convicted of attempted kidnapping despite appeal.

State v. Green

Defendant picked out a woman at random. Hid inside her van. Planned to stab her and "drink her blood". She found him and angrily threw him out. He docilely left. Passersby restrained him. Appellate Court disagreed that he had not taken a substantial step

People v. Sabo

Defendant hired a hit man who instead went to the police. Recorded conversations about the solicitation to murder. New York did not recognize factual or legal impossibility despite the hit man being a police officer. Said that Sabo came "dangerously close

Moran v. Schwarz

Defendant solicited two men to kill Thomas Susman. Appealed conviction of criminal solicitation based on abandonment. In Nevada, the harm is "in the asking".

Withdrawal as a Defense

Traditionally has not constituted a defense to criminal conspiracy. After the 1981 case of U.S. v. Bradsby in the 7th Court of Appeals, due process is that the government must disprove this by beyond a reasonable doubt.

Sawyer v. State

The FBI offered to buy property as long as there were no zoning issues. Defendant knew a person who could fix the denied zoning variance. Paid $1,000 for his part. Acquitted of the bribery charge, as the person who could "fix" it was not a public servant.


The removal of things from one place to another; the carrying away of goods; one of the circumstances requisite to constitute the offense of larceny.


Attempting to cause or purposefully, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to another, or negligently causing bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon, or attempting by physical menace to put another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury

Assisted Suicide

Purposely aiding or soliciting another to commit suicide.


An unlawful touching, beating, wounding, or laying hold, however trifling, of another's person or clothes without his or her consent.

Depraved Heart Murder

Not intentional murder, but second-degree murder that stems from performing an act that had an almost certainty of causing serious injury or death.

Excusable Homicide

The killing of a human being, either my misadventure or in self-defense.

Felony Murder Doctrine/Rule

Rule developed originally in England stating that any death that occurs in the perpetration of an inherently dangerous felony could be prosecuted as murder.


Destruction of the fetus; the act by which criminal abortion is produced.

Hate Crime

Certain specified illegal acts such as murder, assault, vandalism, and kidnapping that are committed against specific victims who are members of protected groups.


Committing an act that results in the death of a human being; usually defined by various state statutes.

Involuntary Manslaughter

The unlawful and unintentional killing of a human being, directly and proximately resulting from the commission of an unlawful act.

Justifiable Homicide

May be committed intentionally, but without any evil design, and under such circumstances of necessity or duty as to render the act legal and not criminal.


The forcible abduction or carrying away of a person from his or her domicile, parents, or legal protector through force or coercion with evil intent. Statutes may define this differently.

Malice Aforethought

A pre-determination to commit an act without legal justification or excuse. A mens rea with no uniform definition. Common Law terminology, "abandoned and malignant heart," "willful or reckless," "intent to inflict grievous bodily harm.


At common law, the deprivation of a member of the body proper for defense in a fight such as an arm, leg, eye, or other appendage.


The willful killing of a human being with malice aforethought, either express or implied.

Negligent Homicide

The criminal offense committed by one whose negligence is the direct and proximate cause of another's death.


Designed or intended idea formed to commit a crime or do an act before it is done.


The act of inciting another to do a particular deed because of aroused rage, resentment, or fury in the latter against the former.

Transferred Intent

Doctrine holding that if the defendant shoots or strikes at A, intending to wound or kill him or her, and unforeseeably hits B instead, the defendant is guilty of the originally intended crime.

Unlawful Imprisonment

An element of kidnapping under the common law and some statutes. Is the unlawful restraining, removing, or confining of a person against their will. Knowingly and unlawfully restraining another, under circumstances that expose the victim to a risk of phys

Voluntary Manslaughter

A homicide in which the intent to kill was present in the mind of the offender, but malice was lacking. Most commonly used to describe homicides in which the offender was provoked or otherwise acted in the heat of passion.

Year-and-a-Day Rule

If death did not take place within a year and a day of the time of receiving the wound, the law draws the conclusion that it was not the cause of death; and neither the court nor jury can draw a contrary one.

In Flagrante Delicto

In the very act of committing a crime. In Latin it translates to "while the crime is blazing.

State v. Orrell

1826 case where the definition of the year-and-a-day rule is found.

Type of Homicide

Is determined by the mens rea.

State v. Hefler

The Supreme Court of North Carolina found that the year-and-a-day rule is an anachronism.


A thing belonging or appropriate to a period other than that in which it exists, especially a thing that is conspicuously old-fashioned.

Rogers v. Tennessee

Defendant stabbed the victim in the heart, who died 15 months later from a kidney infection. Supreme Court held that the year-and-a-day rule did not apply even though it was still on the books because "it was not unexpected that the rule would be abandone

In Re Welfare

Court case title of cases that settle disputes as to if the child may gain rights to themselves. Termination of parental rights to a child before the age of legal adulthood due to reasons of abuse of some kind.

Terry Schiavo Case

Female athlete in a vegetative state for 15 years. Now divorced husband who had been married to her at the time of entering the vegetative state had the authority to remove her from life support despite being contested by her birth family.

New York v. Latham

Defendant pleaded guilty to attempted murder of his ex-fiancee, who was paralyzed from a stroke resulting from the stabbing. Post conviction, defendant was indicted of depraved indifference murder, due to her death. Courts okay'd a "delayed death" excepti

First Degree Murder

Is aggravated or premeditated. Requires an unlawful killing, of one person by another, with malice aforethought, and with deliberation, purpose, design, or premeditation. A specific intent crime.

Second Degree Murder

Requires an unlawful killing, of one person by another, with malice aforethought. A general intent crime.

Felony Murder

Requires an unlawful killing, of one person by another or foreseeable cause, during an inherently dangerous felony.

Heat of Passion

Provocation caused by a situation that would inflame the passion of a reasonable person to the extent that it would cause that person to momentarily act out of passion rather than reason and commit murder.

Misdemeanor Manslaughter

Requires an unlawful killing, of one person by another, during an unlawful act or lawful act done in a criminally negligent manner.

Purposeful Murders

Murders that are premeditated and with specific intent. Is part of the requirements for a conviction of murder in the first degree.