Criminal Justice Final Exam
There are two rationales for the crime of attempt. These are; dangerous acts (actus reus)
and dangerous persons (mens rea). The dangerous acts as a rationale of a crime of attempt try to
look at how close the defendants came to accomplishing the crime. It also pays keen attention on
the objectives to prevent harm from dangerous conduct. In this regard, it is important to use
proximity tests to determine how close the intended crime was so as to make it be counted as a
criminal act. Some of the proximity test used include physical proximity. This shows the
dangerous proximity test 1 . In the dangerous proximity test, there are some elements that must be
determined. For instance, it is vital to find out how dangerously close was criminal to
committing the crime; it also focuses on the exact actions that the criminal have to do in order to
carry out their objective2 .
Dangerous persons as a rationale of crimes of attempt look keenly at how fully
defendants have established their criminal determination. It also aims at neutralizing people.
The indispensable element test determines whether the person has received everything that they
need to order to accomplish the crime. Unequivocality (res ipsa loquiter) test explains that the act
speaks for itself 3 . It should also determine that anyone who saw them were able to determine that
they were preparing to commit a crime. When the defendants have gone too far to committing
the intended crime, they will commit it, and there are very minimal chances that they will turn
back. Under MPC substantial test, actus reus of attempt is checked using two elements; (1) the
significant steps that the criminal has taken towards completing the crime. (2) Steps that toughly
1 JOEL SAMAHA, STUDY G UIDE (Cengage
NICOLA LACEY ET AL., RECONSTRUCTING CRIMINAL LAW: TEXT AND MATERIALS: TEXT AND
MATERIALS (LexisNexis UK, 3d ed. 2003).
incorporate the defendant’s criminal intention 4 . From this, it should be noted that preparation is
not an attempt to commit a crime. This is why most states have already enacted laws that
penalize preparation separately from an attempt to commit a crime.
For example, in the case of People v. Rizzo, it was reported that Rizzo, who was the
defendant and his three friends were driving around the town and looking for someone whom
they could rob but they got arrested. They were tried and charged with attempted robbery. In this
case, this was attempt actus reus because the acts were tending to the execution of the crime. The
crime was so near to being completed because there are very high chances that the crime would
have been committed had they had not been interfered with.
An example of mens rea includes the case of People v. Kimball in which Kimball, the
defendant was working at the Alpine Party Store where he went to women at the cash registry
and demanded money from them. He then claimed it was a joke. When the court did an
investigation on the matter, enough eviden...
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