Category: Criminal Law

Criminal Law #24: Necessity (Choice of Lesser Evil)

Another justification in criminal law is that of necessity, often known as the choice of the lesser evil. Under necessity, it is argued that society is actually better off by breaking one law in order to avoid a worse fate. An example of this would be a private bulldozing company destroying a house to stop a fire from spreading.

People v. Unger
Borough of Southwark v. Williams
Commonwealth v. Hutchins
Commonwealth v. Leno
United States v. Schoon
Regina v. Dudley and Stephens

Criminal Law #20: Conspiracy II

Conspiracy generally requires purpose, but there are certain circumstances where purpose can be inferred from knowledge. We will examine these circumstances in this episode, as well as looking at the “geometry” of conspiracies. Finally we will look at some exemptions to prosecution under conspiracy law.

People v. Lauria
United States v. Blankenship
Kotteakos v. United States
Blumenthal v. United States
Anderson v. Superior Court
Gebardi v. United States
Garcia v. State

Criminal Law #19: Conspiracy I

A conspiracy is the agreement between multiple individuals to work together in criminal activity. Such agreements are a separate crime in and of themselves, and bring in significant benefits for prosecutors and risks for criminals. Some of these risks include being charged with crimes committed by other members of the conspiracy.

Krulewitch v. United States
Pinkerton v. United States
State v. Bridges
People v. Brigham
United States v. Alvarez
Interstate Circuit, Inc. v. United States
United States v. Alvarez

Criminal Law #16: Attempt II

We continue our discussion of attempt by shifting to the question of actus reus. At what point do you shift from mere preparation to an actual attempt? The three tests we will look at are dangerous proximity, equivocality, and substantial step.

People v. Rizzo
State v. Duke
United States v. Jackson
United States v. Harper
United States v. Mandujano