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Extending the Defense of Renunciation

59 Pages Posted: 29 May 2010  

Daniel Moriarty

Albany Law School

Date Written: 1989


Renunciation allows a person who has committed a crime to abandon or renounce the criminal enterprise and thereby extinguish criminal liability. It generally only applies to inchoate crimes and complicity. This article argues that the renunciation defense deserves to be extended. This argument is based on the history of the defense and its purpose. It then explores the issues that arise in applying the defense, such as: whether the abandonment is voluntary, burden of proof, and harm to the victim. Last, it considers the degree of expansion, to all crimes, or still confined to particular instances, based on the merits and consequences of each.

Keywords: Renunciation

Suggested Citation

Moriarty, Daniel, Extending the Defense of Renunciation (1989). Temple Law Review, Vol. 62, No. 1, 1989; Albany Law School Research Paper, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN:

Daniel Moriarty (Contact Author)

Albany Law School ( email )

80 New Scotland Avenue
Albany, NY 12208
United States

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