Attempted Murder and Criminal Acts

1039 Words5 Pages
In this essay, I will describe the elements of a criminal act, address the law of factual impossibility, the law of legal impossibility, and distinguish whether the alleged crime in the scenario is a complete but imperfect attempt or an incomplete attempt. I will address the ethical or moralistic concerns associated with allowing a criminal defendant to avoid criminal responsibility by successfully asserting a legal defense such as impossibility. The court was clearly wrong to dismiss the charge against Jack of attempted murder of Bert.
A crime consists of an actus reus and a mens rea, in order to obtain a conviction of a criminal charge there must be a concurrence between the actus reus and mens rea. The elements of a criminal act (actus reus) are: act, cause, social harm or omission condemned under a criminal statute (Lippman, 2012). The elements of mens rea: purposely, knowingly, recklessly, and negligently (Lippman, 2012). Attempted murder is the failed attempt to kill another human being deliberately, intentionally or recklessly (USLegal, 2014). “Georgia Code Title 16, Section 16-4-1: A person commits the offense of criminal attempt when, with intent to commit a specific crime, he performs any act which constitutes a substantial step toward the commission of that crime. Section 16-4-2: A person may be convicted of the offense of criminal attempt if the crime attempted was actually committed in pursuance of the attempt but may not be convicted of both the criminal attempt and the completed crime….” (Young, 2014, para. 1-2).
Attempted murder, involved the voluntary act of Jack pointing a gun and firing it (act) at Bert that resulted in (causation) death of Pratt (social harm), which proves the elements of actus reus. ...

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...ttempted jmurder of Bert should not be dismissed. The court was clearly wrong to dismiss the charge of attempted murder of Bert on the ground that Jack could not have killed Bert due to the malfunctioning of his gun.

Works Cited

Lippman, M. (2012). Contemporary Criminal Law Concepts, Cases and Controversies (3rd ed.). [Vitalsouce Bookshelf version]. Retrieved from
National Paralegal College. (2014). Transferred Intent. Retrieved May 11, 2014, from
USLegal. (2014). Attempted Murder Law & Legal Definition. Retrieved May 11, 2014, from
Young, E. H. (2014). The Crime of Attempt. Retrieved May 11, 2014, from
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