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:: A constitutional law blog by Scalia/Thomas fan David M. Wagner, M.A., J.D., Research Fellow, National Legal Foundation, and Teacher, Veritas Preparatory Academy. Opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not reflect those of the NLF or Veritas.
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:: Thursday, December 14, 2006 ::
CRIMINAL LAW EXAM Q&A -- Your questions answered!
Professor Wagner~In general, no case names. The exceptions would be those few rules that we covered that are known by their case name (e.g. the "Redline rule," the "M'Naghten test"). There weren't many of those.
Could you give our class some idea of what the final will be like? Will we need to know case names, names of specific rules/tests, or just criminal law rules applied to facts? Any insight you could give would be much appreciated. Thanks!
Prof. Wagner:They're accomplices to the crimes they did not directly commit. Remember, we're doing without "degrees" of complicity. (Of murder, yes; but not of complicity).
When an individual is actually an actor (active participant) in a crime, is it true that they are not liable as an accomplice, but rather as a principle in the 1st degree? Consider the following: A and B enter a house for the purpose of killing everyone insider. A enters the room of the children and kills them both, B enters the room of the parents and kills them both. In this hypo, is it true that A and B are liable for 1st degree murder of the respective victims, but also guilty under accomplice liability for the murder of the victims to which they didn't pull the trigger?Or is this simply felony murder to the victims to which they didn't pull the trigger?
I'm having a hard time drawing a distinction between when the liability of the "accomplice" is cut off for acts by the principle in the 1st. For example, if A goes into the bank to rob the bank, and B sits outside to drive the get-a-way car, it seems that if A kills someone while inside, both could be guilty of felony murder. However, what if A, finding the teller attractive, decides to rape her after robbing her. It seems as though B would not be liable as an accomplice to the rape, only the robbery b/c he didn't intend the rape. Is this correct?
If I get more, I'll answer them.
:: David M. Wagner 3:32 PM [+] ::