Patrice wanted to kill her mother-in-law, Kayla, so she hid behind a building and waited for her to get off the bus. When Kayla got off the bus, Patrice shot at her with her rifle, but missed and killed Angela, who was behind her. Patrice attempted to fire again at Kayla, but her rifle jammed and Patrice ran off.
Patrice’s attorney moved to dismiss the charge of the attempted murder of Kayla on the ground that Patrice could not have killed Kayla due to the malfunctioning of her rifle. The court granted the motion.
Was the court correct in dismissing the attempted murder charge? Be sure to identify and describe the elements of a criminal act (at least three) and address impossibility and distinguish if it is a complete or incomplete attempt.
Also address any ethical or moralistic concerns associated with allowing a criminal defendant to avoid criminal responsibility by successfully asserting a legal defense such as impossibility.
Answer the questions above in a 2–3-page paper (excluding cover and reference pages) in APA format.
Elements of a Criminal Act
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Elements of a Criminal Act
The elements of a criminal act are a criminal act. Criminal intent, concurrence, causation, harm, and attendant circumstances. A criminal act is described as any movement of the body that is illegal as defined by the statutes or as described by the judicial jurisdiction that analyzes the common-law crimes. The criminal act to be considered illegal must be voluntary from the suspect and does not depend on the sole status of the defendant or the thoughts of the defendant. By voluntary, it means the defendant must have the ability to control the action. The acts as described by the Model Penal Code are involuntary and therefore not criminal include convulsions, bodily movements during unconsciousness or sleep and reflexes. When an involuntary act follows a voluntary, the court can access the circumstance to impose criminal liability. Criminal intent is another element of a crime that is considered by the criminal act.
The court was incorrect to dismiss the charge of an attempt for murder on Kayla. Understanding the Model Penal Code, the elements of the criminal act. Patrice committed the criminal act and had criminal intent. The criminal act can be confirmed by the fact that she fired the first shot that she unluckily, miss and hit another person, Angela. The fired shot is proof of criminal intent on the side of Patrice. In this case, the defense of impossibility cannot be used to defend the attempt to murder. Patrice had all the ability to shot Kayla in the first attempt which is missed and hit another person. This is a complete attempt for murder since the defendant, Patrice, had the criminal intent and the Patrice committed a clear criminal act which was voluntary. Generally, it was a wrong decision by the court according to the Criminal law.
The ethical and moral concerns involve beneficence, justice, veracity, and fidelity in the legal sector. The defense attorney will compromise the principles of morality such as justice and veracity. When a criminal defendant uses a legal defense such as an impossibility, they compromise the principles on justice, which is equitability, fairness, and truthfulness to all which is expected from a professional legal person. The defense attorney may defend the accused by the use of all acceptable and allowed lawful means.
According to the perspective of the defendant attorney, all objective honest means can be used to avert the verdict of guilty, even when the accused committed the crime which is charged in the court. The defense attorney enters a contract with the client who is accused to defend him by the devotion of his skills and knowledge averting the verdict of guilt. As the law, requires that the accused to be innocent until proven guilty. Therefore, the use of legal defense to avert criminal responsibility for the defendant holds the attorney accountable for failing to uphold veracity, justice, and beneficence.
The attorney performs the actions consciously and voluntarily with the proper understanding of the moral and ethical effects on the society and the individuals involved in the case. The attorney chooses to abandon their integrity, professional justice and submit to the client contract to avert the court’s decision in all means possible without regard to the moral and ethical effects of the actions. It is unethical and immoral for the defense attorney in the moral and ethical understanding of the societal principles of equality and fairness at all times.
Evans, S. A. (2017). Punishing Criminals for Their Conduct: A Return to Reason for the Armed Career Criminal Act. Okla. L. Rev., 70, 623.
Holleran, L. B. (2017). Mitigation Evidence and the Ethical Role of a Defense Attorney in a Capital Case. Criminal Justice Ethics, 36(1), 97-110.
Kola, H. Z. V., & Ghodsi, S. E. (2016). Studding attempt in Islamic criminal Act 2013. International Journal of Humanities and Cultural Studies (IJHCS) ISSN 2356-5926, 1(1), 456-464.