short discussion

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Discussion Week 8

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1. Wilbert James is approached by his friend Kevin who tells James he needs some money for Valentine’s Day shopping and intends to burglarize a home that he knows has a small safe with over $5,000 and will give James half if he helps out. James agrees and late that evening the two of them drive to the residence in James’s car. James stays outside with the engine running while Kevin quietly lifts up an unlocked window and enters the home. Kevin goes into the bedroom where he knows the safe is located and attempts to lift the small safe. While doing so, the owner, Mabel, who is sleeping in the bedroom wakes up. Kevin pulls out his replica Smith & Wesson handgun that although appears like a real handgun is not real and points it at the owner and tells her to open the safe. Mabel, who has had heart problems, goes over and opens the safe. Kevin reaches in and grabs the money and runs out of the house and into James’ car. Mabel looks out the window and gets a glimpse of James’s car and then calls 911 and gives a description of the vehicle to the police. She then grabs her chest and collapses. Mabel is later transported by ambulance to the hospital where she receives some improper medical treatment and dies. The death did not result solely from the effects of the improper medical treatment.

While driving away from the home, James hears sirens in the distance and assumes the police are chasing them. He then begins to drive 105 mph in a 40 mph zone and begins passing vehicles on the wrong side of the roadway, causing oncoming vehicles to swerve out of the way. While passing one vehicle on the wrong side of the roadway, James hits an oncoming vehicle head-on that instantly kills the driver, Franco, of that vehicle. Other motorists who saw the accident stop to provide aid to James, Kevin and the other motorist. One motorist, Axel, who had been following James and observed his various violations and had called to 911 to report him, also stops at the scene. Axel sees that the driver of the other vehicle is likely dead and becomes enraged at James and walks over to James’s car and drags him out of the driver’s seat. Axel then begins to repeatedly punch James in the face. Kevin, who is still dazed from the accident, sees the motorist punching James and gets out of the vehicle, approaches the motorist and hits him in the back of the head with the replica Smith & Wesson handgun, killing him.

a. Are James and/or Kevin criminally liable for the death of the homeowner, Mabel? If so, with what crimes will they be charged and under what theory? What is the applicable mens rea? James it matter that his death was partially caused by improper medical treatment? According to what you have learned from your textbook and modules, why or why not?

b. Are James and/or Kevin liable for the death of the motorist, Fanco, driving the vehicle James’s vehicle hit? If so, with what crimes will they be charged and under what theory? What is the applicable mens rea?

c. Is Kevin criminally liable for the death of the motorist, Axel, who was beating James with what crimes will he be charged? Does he have any defenses to those charges? Assuming a jury believed that the motorist was not using deadly force on Doe but that Bobby, intending to cause great bodily harm, used deadly force on the motorist, for what crime would he be convicted?

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