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Unit 4: Project: Jack, Bert, and Pratt Patricia Oviatt Kaplan University Criminal Law for Criminal Justice CJ230 Daniel Maloney January 05, 2011

Unit 4: Project: Jack, Bert, and Pratt I believe that the courts were not correct in dismissing the charges against Jack in the attempted murder of Bert. As per Chapter Seven a criminal intent involves a dual intent: 1. An individual must intentionally perform acts that are proximate to the completion of a crime. 2. An individual must possess the specific intent or purpose to achieve a criminal objective. To be charged with attempt there are three legal tests for the actus reus. All three ask whether an individuals actions clearly indicate intent to commit a crime. (Lippman, M. 2007). 1. Physical Proximity to the commission of a crime. Defendants acts are close to completing the crime. The focus is on the remaining steps required to complete the crime. (Lippman, M. 2007). I believe that Jacks actions of pointing the gun and pulling the trigger at Bret are the remaining step in completing the attempted murder of Bret. 2. Unequivocality or clarity of purpose to commit a crime. An ordinary person looking at the defendants acts would conclude without a doubt that he or she intends to commit the crime without any other information. (Lippman, M. 2007). From the information provided Jack attempted to fire again at Bert, but his gun jammed and would not fire. This would give an ordinary person enough information to be certain without a doubt that Jack did have the intent to murder Bret. 3. Model Penal Code or Substantial Step toward the Commission of a Crime. The defendants acts are sufficient to clearly indicate that he or she possesses intent to commit the crime. (Lippman, M. 2007). Jacks actions of aiming the gun and pulling the trigger at Bret,

these actions could be considered the last step approach that provided the attempt had occurred for the commission of a crime. In attempted murder, Jack must have pulled the trigger only to have missed the target or to find the gun was not loaded. Jack fired the gun twice the first time missing his intended target Bret and mistakenly killing Pratt, than firing again at Bret with the intent of killing him, he pulled the trigger and the gun jammed, having saved the life of Bret. The defense of Impossibility is whether the defendant should be held liable for an attempted offense. Factual impossibility is not a defense to an attempt to commit a crime. The factual circumstance that prevents an individual from actually completing the offense is referred to in some states statues as an extraneous factor, or an event outside of an individuals control. The defense of inherent impossibility occurs in those rear situations in which a defendant could not possibly achieve the desired result (Lippman, M. 2007). The defendants lawyer has moved to dismiss the charges of attempted murder of Bret on the grounds that Jack could not have killed Bret due to the malfunctioning of his gun. My personal opinion would be not to dismiss the charges against Jack, all three legal steps for attempt are present in this case, Jacks actions of pointing the gun and pulling the trigger satisfies the physical proximity to the commission of a crime, Jack firing the gun and killing Pratt than attempted to fire again at Bert, but his gun jammed and would not fire, satisfies the unequivocality or clarity of purpose to commit a crime, to satisfy the model penal code or substantial step toward the commission of a crime would be Jack aiming the gun at Bret than pulling the trigger only to discover the gun was jammed, if the gun did not jam than Jack would have murdered Bret because all steps were taken in the attempt to commit the murder of Bret. The malfunction of the gun is not a defense of impossibility because Jack believed that the gun would fire and kill Bret just as it did minutes before killing Prett, achieving his desire to kill Bret.

Lippman, M. (2007). Contemporary Criminal Law Concepts, Cases, and Controversies. United States: Sage Publications.