A Failure to Prevent Crime -- Should it Be Criminal?
Criminal Justice Ethics; Summer 2001; 20, 2
28 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2016
Date Written: August 1, 2001
The paper examines how can one explain and justify the existence of offenses like "misprision of felony", that impose a duty to inform, or to take other reasonable measures, upon any person who knows of a plan to commit a felony, even when that person is in no other way connected to the situation. In order to explain the existence of such offense the paper presents historical and comparative overview. Following the result of the overview, the paper discusses possible justifications of the offenses. The paper concludes that there is a strong justification to impose a duty upon anyone present at the place when a serious crime, like murder, is being committed. Expending the duty to an earlier stage, when the serious crime is only being planned, raises substantial difficulties. To overcome these difficulties exemptions in situations in which it would be unfair to expect a person to obey the duty should be granted.
Keywords: misprison of felony, duty to inform crimes. Good Samaritan
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