Criminal Law and Philosophy, Forthcoming
30 Pages Posted: 8 May 2013
Date Written: May 7, 2013
In his recent book Attempts, Gideon Yaffe suggests that attempts should be criminalized because of a principle he dubs the "Transfer Principle." This principle holds that if a particular form of conduct is legitimately criminalized, then the attempt to engage in that form of conduct is also legitimately criminalized. Although Yaffe provides a powerful defense of the Transfer Principle, in this paper I argue that Yaffe’s argument for it ultimately does not succeed. In particular, I formulate two objections to Yaffe’s argument for the Transfer Principle. First, I argue that a basic assumption about criminalization, on which Yaffe’s argument crucially depends, is incomplete, and Yaffe’s own attempt to supplement it undermines his argument for the Transfer Principle. Second, I argue that Yaffe’s argument does not properly account for the fact that those who merely attempt a crime and those who complete it might sometimes be responding to reasons in different ways. Accordingly, I conclude that Yaffe has not succeeded in establishing the truth of the Transfer Principle.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Sarch, Alex F., Two Objections to Yaffe on the Criminalization of Attempts (May 7, 2013). Criminal Law and Philosophy, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2261988 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2261988