In this paper I will be discussing whether the court was correct in dismissing the attempted murder charge. I will describe the elements of a criminal act and address impossibility and distinguish if it is a complete or incomplete attempt. I think that the courts were wrong in dismissing the charges against Jack in the attempted murder of Bert. As the textbook states a criminal intent involves a dual intent: * An individual must intentionally perform acts that are proximate to the completion of a crime.
An individual must possess the specific intent or purpose to achieve a criminal objective. To be charged with attempt there are three legal tests for the actus reus. All three ask whether an individual’s actions clearly indicate intent to commit a crime. (Lippman, M. 2007). Physical Proximity to the commission of a crime. Defendant’s actions are close to completing the crime. The focus is on the remaining steps required to complete the crime. (Lippman, M. 2007).
I believe that Jack's actions of pointing the gun and pulling the trigger at Bert are the remaining step in completing the attempted murder of Bert. Whether he achieved his goal or not his intent was shown that he wanted to kill Bert. Unequivocally or clarity of purpose to commit a crime. An ordinary person looking at the defendant’s acts would conclude without a doubt that he or she intended to commit the crime without any other information. (Lippman, M. 2007).
From the information provided “Jack attempted to fire again at Bert, but his gun jammed and would not fire. ” This would give an ordinary person enough information to be certain without a doubt that Jack did have the intent to murder Bert; the gun jamming prevented Jack, not repentant intentions on Jack’s part. Model Penal Code or the Substantial Step toward the Commission of a Crime. The defendant’s acts are sufficient to clearly indicate that he or she possesses intent to commit the crime. (Lippman, M. 2007).
Jack’s actions of pointing the gun at Bert and pulling the trigger at him indicates these actions could be considered the last step approach that provided the attempt had occurred for the commission of a crime. In attempted murder, Jack must have pulled the trigger only to have missed his initial target or to find the gun was not loaded. Jack fired the gun twice the first time missing his intended target, Bert, and in this attempt he killed Pratt, then firing again at Bert with the intention of murdering him he pulled the trigger and the gun jammed which saved the life of Bert.
I also think his actions resulted in an incomplete attempt by his mistake in trying to shoot Bert. The defense of Impossibility is whether the defendant should be held liable for an attempted offense. Factual impossibility is not a defense to an attempt to commit a crime. The factual circumstance that prevents an individual from actually completing the offense is referred to in some states statues as an extraneous factor, or an event or force outside of the individual’s person’s control.
The defense of inherent impossibility occurs in those rare situations in which a defendant could not have possibly achieved the desired result (Lippman, M. 2007). The defendant’s lawyer has moved to dismiss the charges of attempted murder of Bert on the grounds that Jack could not have killed Bert due to the malfunctioning of his gun. My personal opinion would be not to dismiss the charges against Jack, all three legal steps for the attempt are present in this case, Jack’s actions of pointing the gun and pulling the trigger satisfies the physical proximity to the commission of a crime.
Jack firing the gun and killing Pratt than attempting to fire again at Bert, but his gun jammed and would not fire, satisfies the unequivocally or clarity of purpose to commit a crime. To satisfy the model penal code or substantial step toward the commission of a crime would be Jack aiming the gun at Bert than pulling the trigger only to discover the gun was jammed and if the gun did not jam than Jack would have murdered Bert because all steps were taken in the attempt to commit the murder of Bert.
The malfunction of the gun is not a defense of impossibility because Jack believed that the gun would fire and kill Bert just as it did minutes before when he killed Pratt. To allow Jack to get away with attempting to murder Bert is allowing in a way the window for someone else to get away with murder. In this paper I have discussed rather the court was correct in dismissing the attempted murder charge. I have described the elements of a criminal act and address impossibility and distinguish if it is a complete or incomplete attempt.