Accomplice Liability for Unintentional Crimes: Remaining within the Constraints of Intent
36 Pages Posted: 21 Jan 2009
Date Written: 1998
This Article addresses the issue of the proper extent of a secondary actor's culpability for unintentional crimes committed by another. Part I reviews accomplice liability and its mens rea requirements generally. Part II discusses the history of the application of complicity theory to unintentional crimes. Part III examines whether accomplice liability for unintentional crimes is proper, and concludes that in keeping with complicity's doctrinal requirements, liability is appropriate only when the secondary actor has the intent to aid in the commission of the culpable act that results in unplanned harm. It evaluates whether the various categories of accomplice statutes sufficiently delineate the intent requirement of accomplice liability for unintentional crimes. In addition, Part III suggests that courts generally assess liability for unintentional crimes indiscriminately because they misunderstand the intent requirements of accomplice liability.
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