Jack, Bert and Pratt

Topics: Criminal law, Crime, Kill Pages: 2 (588 words) Published: April 2, 2012
Running Head: Criminal Law for Criminal Justice

Unit 4 Project: Jack, Bert, and Pratt
Criminal Law for Criminal Justice CJ230-01

In the situation to be discussed Jack tried to kill Bert but instead killed Pratt. He then tried again to kill Bert but his weapon suffered a malfunction and he got into his car, put the gun in the glove compartment and disappeared from the scene. After reading the textbook, I understood that an attempt is a failure, according to Professor George Fletcher. There are three elements that comprise a criminal attempt; an intent or purpose to commit a crime, an act or acts toward the commission of the crime, and a failure to commit the crime. In the case, the court dismissed the charge of the attempt of murder of Bert because Jack could not have killed Bert due to the malfunction of his gun. The court was not right by dismissing the attempt murder charge because he had the intent to kill Bert and he even fired his weapon towards him but ended up killing Pratt. All the tree elements of an attempt were present plus it also meets the mens rea of attempt. It meets the mens rea because Jack intentionally performed an act that was proximate to the completion of a crime, and by possessing the intent or purpose to achieve a criminal objective. In addition meets the actus reus of attempt because he came extremely close to the commission of the crime. In addition he killed Pratt while pointing the gun at Bert with the intent to kill him. In the other hand, the lawyer presented a factual circumstance that prevented Jack from actually completing the offense, which in some states statutes is called an extraneous factor or an event outside the individual’s control. Therefore the lawyer presented a factual impossibility argument due to the fact that the gun suffered a malfunction and even though it is not a defense to an attempt to commit a crime, the charge was dropped.

This scenario, to me, shows a complete attempt due to the fact that a...

References: Lippman, M. (2007). Contemporary criminal law: Concepts, cases, and controversies (1st ed.).
Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
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