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Thread: A hypothetical criminal law case: Who has the right answer?

  1. #10
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    Dear Elisa:

    Say Nicholas struggled and Trotsky hit him to the side of his head to calm him down but Nicholqas died. Then, your version of felony murder would apply, according to my sources (Multistate bar exam materials)

  2. #11
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    It's a controversial rule. Proponents of felony-murder might say that, if not for Trotsky's participation in a bad act, the robbery would not have occurred, and Nicholas would still be alive. So Trotsky should pay too.

  3. #12

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    After working in the Public Defenders' Office in North Carolina, I've seen pretty much everything, from people being charged with trespassing on a public street (go figure) the whole way up to Capital Murder. I've seen District Attorneys charge people with higher class felonies, hoping for the conviction in front of a jury, but who would also settle for a lesser felony if they had to.

  4. #13
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    Big, re-read your sources. I don't think you're giving it to us straight.

  5. #14
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    Here is the official answer:

    No. Trotsky could only be an accomplice to the crime he had the intent to commit. He did not have the mens rea necessary for conviction as an accomplice in Nicholas' death, since he only intended to aid in a robbery.

  6. #15
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    Elisa, I very much appreciate your valuable expertise on this thread. A lot of what you have posted here is very true.

  7. #16
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    Big, are you studying for the bar, studying for the LSAT, or just studying because you're curious about law?

  8. #17

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    I'm curious if you're asking if he could be charged with first degree murder or if he could be charged with any of the lesser charges, for example manslaughter? The less serious offense of manslaughter, is the taking of human life but in a manner considered by law as less culpable than murder. Manslaughter is usually broken down into voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter, distinguished by mens rea, or the state of mind. So I believe that Trotsky could be charged with manslaughter... I may be wrong though.

    I've seen so many cases where a group of kids go into a convenience store to rob it and one pulls a gun and kills the clerk, yet all are charged with murder... so I'm curious what the difference would be?
    Last edited by Elisa; 04-13-2007 at 05:08 PM.

  9. #18
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    Elisa,

    I believe manslaughter is just killing someone without the intent to actually kill that person. Voluntary manslaughter would be killing someone in a fight while involuntary means something like hitting them with a car and killing them by accident.

    matclone, I am just curious about the law.

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