Have A Lawyer's Mind? Solve These Crimes And Find Out!

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Have A Lawyers Mind? Solve These Crimes And Find Out! - Quiz

Following are some instances and cases of crime, in each question, you will be given a detailed description of the crime scene. You have to decode the information and find out who is the killer. Take this quiz to see if you have the mind of a lawyer!


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    Mark is standing out at the school bus stop with his child, waiting for his daughter to be picked up.  Usually, he talks to the other parents who are present, but today he is the only adult there.  The kids waiting for the bus are talking and playing, and two are playing catch along the curb.  Mark knows this is dangerous, and decides to seize this teachable moment and tell his daughter what not to do.  “See, Nancy?  Those kids are playing ball close to the street, and if they accidently run off the curb, they could get hit,” he says.  Just as he says this, one of the kids misses a catch, and the ball goes into the street near Mark’s feet; the kids runs after it, within a six inches of Mark and Nancy, and is hit by a passing car. “See what I mean, Nancy? You have to be safe,” Mark says.  The prosecutor charges Mark with endangering the child who was hit, because he did not stop the child from running into the street. The jury should:

    • A.

      Find Mark guilty, because he could have grabbed the child when the child ran by him without any risk to his (Mark’s) own safety

    • B.

      Find Mark not guilty, because Mark was not actually aware of the risk to the child

    • C.

      Find Mark not guilty, because it was someone else’s child

    • D.

      Find Mark guilty, because as the only adult on the scene, the child was his responsibility.

    Correct Answer
    C. Find Mark not guilty, because it was someone else’s child
    Explanation
    Explanation: The correct answer is c. Guilt for failing to do something (omission) requires the presence of a legal duty. Mark would have a legal duty to keep his own child safe, because he has a parental duty to her. But because he does not have a legal duty to other children, Answer a is wrong, even if he could have done this without risk. Answer d is wrong because being the only adult does not create a duty. Answer b is wrong because Mark was aware of the risk, as we can see from his comments to Nancy, but even being aware of the risk is not enough if there is no duty.

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  • 2. 

    Bob came home very late, and went into his apartment building.  He went up to the second floor, where his apartment is located.  Bob was not paying close attention, and mistakenly went to the wrong apartment door, which happened to be unlocked when he turned the door handle.  The apartment was also dark, and when he went inside and flipped on the light, he woke up the apartment’s tenant, who screamed.  Bob left immediately and found his own apartment and went inside.  The other tenant called the police, who arrested Bob for burglary.  This common law jurisdiction defines burglary as breaking and entering the home of another, with intent to commit a crime.  At trial, Bob tells the jury that he thought he was entering his own apartment.  The jury should:

    • A.

      Find Bob guilty, because entering the apartment was a result of his own lack of attention, and ignorance is no excuse

    • B.

      Find Bob guilty, because while the jury believed that Bob really had thought he was entering into his own apartment, no reasonable person would have made that mistake

    • C.

      Find Bob not guilty, because his mistake was reasonable.

    • D.

      Find Bob not guilty, as long as the jury believed that Bob really thought he entered his own apartment

    Correct Answer
    D. Find Bob not guilty, as long as the jury believed that Bob really thought he entered his own apartment
    Explanation
    Explanation: The correct answer is d. Answer a does not accurately state the common law rule on mistake of fact. Answer b is incorrect, because it implies that the mistake must be reasonable, when that is not required here. Answer c is incorrect for the same reason as b. Answer d is correct, because in a common law jurisdiction, under a specific intent offense, the mistake need only be honestly made by Bob; it does not have to be reasonable. If the jury believes Bob, that makes it an honestly made mistake (sometimes called a good faith mistake), and that is all that is required.

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  • 3. 

    One morning, Barbara woke up, and went down to the kitchen to have breakfast.  When she got there, she opened the refrigerator and found that all of the orange juice had been consumed and the carton left on the counter.  A new package of donuts had been opened, and four of the dozen donuts were gone.  Barbara didn’t know what to make of this; it seemed unlikely that a thief would only consume food and drink, and would also leave the packaging out to be found.  So Barbara set up a webcam in the kitchen before going to bed that night.  The next morning, Barbara reviewed the webcam video, and there was her neighbor, Paolo, shuffling slowly into the kitchen, taking orange juice out of the refrigerator, and taking out a big piece of birthday cake out and eating that, too.  When finished, Paolo left the orange juice container and the rest of the cake on the counter and shuffled toward the front door, and went out, all with his head down and his eyes seemingly closed.  Paulo is charged with theft.  At his trial, Paolo says he was sleepwalking and did not know what he was doing.  Paolo’s doctor testifies that Paolo has had sleepwalking episodes in the last five years, including five in the last two months.  The jury should:

    • A.

      Find Paolo guilty, because his mistake was not reasonable

    • B.

      Find Paolo not guilty, because he lacked the necessary mens rea.

    • C.

      Find Paolo not guilty, because he did not commit the actus reus of the crime

    • D.

      Find Paolo guilty, because the prosecutor can prove everything necessary for the crime

    Correct Answer
    C. Find Paolo not guilty, because he did not commit the actus reus of the crime
    Explanation
    The correct answer is c, because sleepwalking would make the actions Paolo took involuntary: they were not willed or the product of human will. Answer d is wrong, because if the actus reus voluntariness requirement is not met, the prosecutor can’t prove everything necessary for the crime. Answer a is incorrect, because the reasonableness of the mistake is not relevant to the issue of voluntariness raised by sleepwalking. Answer b is incorrect, because unconscious actions like sleepwalking affect the presence or absence of voluntary action, not mens rea.

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  • 4. 

    Michelle was a race car driver.  She was very experienced, and she was in fact an excellent driver.  Don, a fellow racer, offered her a bet: If she could drive down Forbes Avenue from Craft Avenue to Bigelow Boulevard at noon at 90 miles an hour without hitting another vehicle, disregarding all traffic signals, he would pay her $1000.  Michelle knows she’s the best, and she’s very confident.  “Hey, Don, if you really want me to take your money, sure, it’s a bet.  Better take it out of your wallet right now. I’ve had some close calls but never had an accident, and I’ve been racing for 14 years.”  Michelle gets in her car, pulls onto Forbes, and speeds toward Bigelow.  Unfortunately, she loses the bet when she strikes a pedestrian at Forbes and Bouquet, killing him.  Michelle is charged with homicide.  Under the Model Penal Code, with what mens rea did Michelle act?

    • A.

      Purposefully, because it was her conscious object to accept the bet and win it

    • B.

      Knowingly, because it was practically certain that Michelle would kill someone

    • C.

      Recklessly, because Michelle knew there was a risk and decided to take it anyway

    • D.

      Negligently, because Michelle did not know there was a risk, but she should have

    Correct Answer
    C. Recklessly, because Michelle knew there was a risk and decided to take it anyway
    Explanation
    Answer c is correct, because Michelle, as a racer, knows there is a risk in high-speed driving; she talks about her prowess in avoiding accidents, but admits she’s had close calls. She also knows that Forbes Ave. at noon is not a racetrack but a heavily traveled urban street, with cars, buses, trucks, and pedestrians crossing, which makes the risk substantial, and she is only trying to win a bet and not perform some act of social utility like driving someone rapidly to the hospital. Since she knows there’s a risk and takes it anyway, she’s reckless, and since the risk is known, she is not negligent (didn’t know but should have) and Answer d is wrong. Answer a is wrong because the question is whether the death of the pedestrian, not winning the bet, is her conscious object. Answer b is wrong because while risky, it is not a practical certainty the Michelle would kill someone; while the road is crowded and dangerous, Michelle is a highly skilled professional driver.

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  • 5. 

    Don and Dan are roommates.  Don beats Dan, breaking his nose and jaw, and forces Dan to leave their apartment at gunpoint.  Dan goes to the emergency room at the hospital down the street for his wounds.  While there, Dan is treated by Doc, the emergency room physician.  Dan catches a cold from Doc.  Because of his weakened state from the loss of blood from his nose, the cold gets very severe, and Dan dies four days later.  Don is charged with homicide in the death of Dan.  The jury should:

    • A.

      Find Don guilty, because Doc’s emergency treatment of Dan is a responsive intervening cause and illness transmitted to the patient does not break the chain

    • B.

      Find Don not guilty, because his actions did not kill Dan and only put Dan in the wrong place at the wrong time

    • C.

      Don guilty, because but for his actions, Dan would not have seen Doc for treatment, would not have caught the flu, and would still be alive

    • D.

      Find Don guilty, because the actor must take his victim as he finds him, and Dan was more susceptible to the cold

    Correct Answer
    A. Find Don guilty, because Doc’s emergency treatment of Dan is a responsive intervening cause and illness transmitted to the patient does not break the chain
    Explanation
    The correct answer is a – medical treatment for injuries inflicted by a defendant is always considered a response, and therefore foreseeable, and this is not changed by the fact that Doc was sick and gave Dan a cold. A cold would almost never kill anyone, which means that even if Doc should have stayed home from work when he had a cold, working when one has a cold would not be gross negligence. See Bush, the “doctor with scarlet fever” case; a doctor working while he is contagious with a potentially lethal disease would be grossly negligent, and therefore unforeseeable. Answer b is incorrect, because it describes a coincidental intervening response, and this intervening cause is a response. Answer c is incorrect, because it only describes actual cause, and the question here is proximate cause. Answer d is a possible rule for a different situation, such as Blaue, the Jehovah’s witness/blood transfusion case.

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  • 6. 

    A state statute provides: “Aggravated robbery of the elderly consists of robbery committed against a victim who is 65 years of age or older.” Another state statute provides that when a criminal statute does not designate a necessary mental state,the mental state required is recklessness.  A third state statute provides that a person acts recklessly if the person “consciously disregards a substantial and unjustified risk that the material element exists or will result from the person’s conduct.”  The evidence at a criminal trial showed that the defendant robbed a 66-year-old man outside a senior citizens’center. The defendant testified truthfully that the robbery had occurred on a dark night,that she had had no idea how old the victim was and had not cared how old the victim was, and that she had intended to rob whomever she encountered.  Could the defendant properly be convicted of aggravated robbery of the elderly?

    • A.

      No, because the only evidence on the issue showed that the defendant did not know, nor could she reasonably have known, the victim’s age

    • B.

      No, because there was no evidence of a substantial risk that the victim was age 65 or older

    • C.

      Yes, because the evidence was clear that the victim was 66 years old, and the statute is designed to protect the elderly

    • D.

      Yes, because the jury could find that there was no justification for the defendant’s conduct and that she was willing to take the risk that the victim was age 65 or older.

    Correct Answer
    D. Yes, because the jury could find that there was no justification for the defendant’s conduct and that she was willing to take the risk that the victim was age 65 or older.
    Explanation
    Answer d is correct, because the mens res required under the statute is recklessness, conscious disregard of a substantial and unjustifiable risk. The robber was outside a senior center, intending to rob anyone she encountered. There was therefore a risk the person would be elderly. Answer a is incorrect, because given the location (senior center) and the expressed willing to rob whoever happened along, she was taking a risk, and so it is not a should have known situation. Answer b is incorrect, because the facts do show evidence of a substantial risk that the victim was elderly: senior center, etc. Answer c is incorrect – the answer is right but the reasoning is wrong. It is not sufficient that the victim in fact was at least 65 years old or that the statute was intended to protect the elderly; there must be a risk that the victim is elderly.

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  • 7. 

    A woman told a man to go into her friend’s unlocked barn and retrieve an expensive black saddle that she said she had loaned to the friend.  The man went to the friend’s barn, opened the door, found a black saddle, and took it back to the woman’s house.  The friend had in fact not borrowed a saddle from the woman, and when the friend discovered her black saddle missing,she suspected that the woman was the thief.  The friend used a screw driver to break into the woman’s house to find the saddle.  Upon discovering the saddle on the woman’s table,the friend took it back and called the police.  The jurisdiction defines burglary as the unlawful entry of a dwelling or outbuilding owned by another with the purpose of committing a crime.  Using that definition, which,if any, of these individuals is guilty of burglary?

    • A.

      All of them

    • B.

      Only the friend

    • C.

      Only the man

    • D.

      Only the woman

    Correct Answer
    D. Only the woman
    Explanation
    Answer d is correct, because only the woman had the required mens rea. Burglary in this jurisdiction requires unlawful entry with intent to commit a crime (here, the crime would be larceny or theft). Persons who take back their own property (like the friend, who was taking back her saddle) or who take property in the honest but mistaken belief that the property belongs to someone who has authorized them to take it back (like the man, who was asked to take what he was told was someone else’s property) do not have the mens rea required for larceny or theft (e.g., intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property. Answer a is incorrect, because only the woman had the required mens rea, as just explained. Answer c is incorrect, because the man lacked the required criminal intent to commit a crime (in this case,larceny or theft); he thought he was retrieving the woman’s property. Someone who takes property in the honest but mistaken belief that the property belongs to them or to someone who has authorized them to take it lacks the specific intent for larceny. Answer b is incorrect, because the friend lacked the required mens rea to commit a crime. Someone taking property in the honest belief that the property belongs to them lacks the mens rea for larceny.

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  • 8. 

    A man decided to steal a car he saw parked on a hill.  When he got in and started the engine, the car began rolling down the hill.  The man quickly discovered that the car’s brakes did not work.  He crashed through the window of a store at the bottom of the hill.  The man was charged with larceny of the car (larceny is defined as taking and carrying away the personal property of another with intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property) and with the crime of knowingly damaging the store’s property.  At trial, the judge instructed the jury that if the jury found both that the man was guilty of larceny of the car and that the damage to the store was the result of that larceny, then it should also find him guilty of malicious damage of property.  The man was convicted on both counts.  On appeal, he argued that the conviction for malicious damage of property should be reversed because the instruction was not a correct statement of the law.  Should the man’s conviction be upheld by the appeals court?

    • A.

      Yes, because his intent to steal the car provides the necessary mental element

    • B.

      Yes, because he was committing a felony

    • C.

      No, because the instruction wrongly described the necessary mens rea

    • D.

      No, because it would violate double jeopardy to convict the man of two crimes for a single act.

    Correct Answer
    C. No, because the instruction wrongly described the necessary mens rea
    Explanation
    Answer C is correct. The instruction was wrong because to have acted knowingly, the man must have been practically certain that his conduct would result in damage to the store. That isn’t the case just because the thief had the necessary mens reas to commit larceny, which requires the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property. Answer d is incorrect, because double jeopardy does not prohibit conviction for two distinct crimes. Answer b is incorrect, because the fact that the man was in the process of committing some other felony does not prove that the man knowingly damaged the store. Answer a is incorrect, because intent to steal the car does not prove that the man damaged the car knowingly.

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  • 9. 

    The following facts apply to Questions 1 and 2. Don, an avid fan of his hometown football team, shot at the leg of Vernon, a star player for a rival team, intending to injure Vernon's leg enough to hospitalize him for a few weeks, but not to kill him. Vernon died from loss of blood. The prosecution now wants to convict Don for the most serious offense possible. Question 1) The best choice as the most serious common law homicide offense for which Don could be properly convicted is:

    • A.

      1st Degree Involuntary Manslaughter: Reckless Killing

    • B.

      2nd Degree Murder: Depraved heart theory

    • C.

      2nd Degree Involuntary Manslaughter: Negligent Killing

    • D.

      2nd degree murder committed with intent to cause great bodily harm, death resulting

    Correct Answer
    D. 2nd degree murder committed with intent to cause great bodily harm, death resulting
    Explanation
    The correct answer is d, second degree murder committed with intent to cause great bodily harm, death resulting. This is a better answer than b, because using the depraved heart theory would be harder to prove - there is no social utility and there is a base anti-social motive; however, the prosecution would have to prove that there was a high probability that Don's actions would result in death. Since Don shot Vernon in the leg, instead of a part of the body containing vital organs, the probability of death may not be substantial enough to prove the case on this theory. Answer a is not correct, because while Don's conduct was reckless, a more serious conviction is possible under second degree/Int. GBH theory. Answer c is not correct because this was not unconscious risk taking; Don knew he was taking a risk. Also, no facts indicate that a reasonable person would have known that Vernon *would* die.

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  • 10. 

    The following facts apply to Questions 1 and 2. Don, an avid fan of his hometown football team, shot at the leg of Vernon, a star player for a rival team, intending to injure Vernon's leg enough to hospitalize him for a few weeks, but not to kill him. Vernon died from loss of blood. The prosecution now wants to convict Don for the most serious offense possible. Question 2: The best choice as the most serious Model Penal Code homicide offense for which Don could be properly convicted is:

    • A.

      Manslaughter: Recklessly

    • B.

      Negligent Homicide

    • C.

      Murder: Recklessly under circumstances exhibiting extreme indifference to human life

    • D.

      Murder: Knowingly

    Correct Answer
    C. Murder: Recklessly under circumstances exhibiting extreme indifference to human life
    Explanation
    The correct answer is c, because Don has consciously taken the risk (recklessness), and he has shown extreme indifference to the value of human life - he could have disabled Vernon by hitting him in the knee with a stick or a club, but instead he shot him, and shooting someone, even in the leg, includes a risk of death. It may not be that likely since he was shot in the leg, but even with nonlethal gunshot wounds, people can die of blood loss, infections, etc. That shows Don's extreme indifference. Answer a is wrong because while Don's conduct is reckless, for the reasons just explained, it's possible to get a conviction to a more serious crime - murder, instead of manslaughter. Answer b is wrong, because this was not unconscious risk taking; Don knew he was taking a risk. Also, no facts indicate that a reasonable person would have known that Vernon *would* die. Answer d is wrong, because it is not practically certain that Vernon would die from a gunshot wound to the leg.

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  • 11. 

    Diane, whose closest friend, Vivian, was dying slowly and painfully from cancer, sat at her friend Vivian's bedside. Vivian, who could no longer move, begged her friend to give her a specified amount of her medicine, which she said would kill her, in order to end her suffering. Diane responded to her friend's pleas and gave her the overdose of medicine. Vivian died from the overdose. The best choice as the most serious Model Penal Code homicide offense for which Diane could be properly convicted is:

    • A.

      Recklessly under circumstances exhibiting extreme indifference to human life

    • B.

      Manslaughter: Recklessly

    • C.

      Murder: Purposely/Knowingly

    • D.

      Negligent Homicide

    Correct Answer
    C. Murder: Purposely/Knowingly
    Explanation
    Correct: The correct answer is c, because Diane wanted to grant her friend's request and therefore gave Vivian the medicine to kill her. It was her conscious object to achieve Vivian's death, and she did. Answer b spells out the theory of recklessness correctly, but Diane did more here than take a risk - she wanted to kill Vivian, took the necessary action that Vivian requested, and she got what she wanted. Thus recklessness manslaughter is not the most serious crime of which Diane can be convicted. Answer a is not correct, because Vivian told Diane that the overdose amount would kill her. It wasn't just a risk; it was a known outcome. Answer d is wrong for the same reason. Diane wasn't unaware of a risk; she knew she was going to kill Vivian.

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  • 12. 

    Questions 4 and 5 are based on the following facts. Dorothy planned to kill rich Aunt Violet by putting poison in her morning coffee. Aunt Violet slept late on the fatal day and her maid, Virginia, drank the coffee instead, instantly expiring. Question 4: The best choice as the most serious common law homicide offense for which Dorothy could be properly convicted is:

    • A.

      1st Degree Involuntary Manslaughter: Reckless Killing

    • B.

      1st Degree Murder

    • C.

      Not guilty, did not have specific intent for crime

    • D.

      Intentional killing without premeditation/deliberation

    Correct Answer
    B. 1st Degree Murder
    Explanation
    The correct answer is b, because Dorothy's planning shows premeditation and deliberation, and under the common law, intent will transfer from victim to victim of the same crime (but not from one crime to a different one). Answer a is wrong, because Dorothy did more than take a risk; she wanted Aunt Violet dead, and took action that would make it happen; she didn't just take a risk that it would happen. Answer c is wrong, because these facts do not raise the specific intent issue. Answer d is wrong, because Dorothy's planning did show the presence of premeditation and deliberation.

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  • 13. 

    Questions 4 and 5 are based on the following facts. Dorothy planned to kill rich Aunt Violet by putting poison in her morning coffee. Aunt Violet slept late on the fatal day and her maid, Virginia, drank the coffee instead, instantly expiring. Question 5) The best choice as the most serious Model Penal Code homicide offense for which Dorothy could be properly convicted is:

    • A.

      Murder - objective killing

    • B.

      Manslaughter: recklessly

    • C.

      Murder - transferred intent

    • D.

      Felony-Murder

    Correct Answer
    A. Murder - objective killing
    Explanation
    The correct answer is a, because it was objective - i.e., conscious object to kill a human being, and she did so. Under the MPC, it doesn't matter which human being she actually killed. Answer c is wrong, because the Model Penal Code does not use transferred intent. Answer b is wrong, because there is nothing to indicate that Dorothy was practically certain the maid would die. Answer d is wrong, because use of poison is not on the Model Penal Code's felony murder "list."

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  • 14. 

    Questions 6 and 7 are based on the following facts. Daisy's boyfriend, Dan, dropped her and married her "best friend," Victoria. Six months later, Daisy saw Victoria on the street. Daisy ran up to Victoria and choked her to death. 6) The best choice as the most serious common law homicide offense for which Daisy could be properly convicted is:

    • A.

      First Degree Murder

    • B.

      Option 2

    • C.

      Depraved Heart Murder

    • D.

      Failed Manslaughter: Second-Degree Murder

    Correct Answer
    A. First Degree Murder
    Explanation
    The correct answer is d, because the facts show a "failed manslaughter" - a spontaneous crime when the defendant is in the grip of passion, but doesn't qualify for manslaughter (here, because six months have gone by since the provocation). It is also not first degree murder because there's no evidence of any premeditation and deliberation and no evidence of "waiting for her chance" - just a spontaneous reaction. So both a and b are wrong. Answer c is wrong because it's an intentional killing, and because depraved heart isn't about the loss of ability to control oneself; it's about taking very foolish risks for the heck of it.

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  • 15. 

    Questions 6 and 7 are based on the following facts. Daisy's boyfriend, Dan, dropped her and married her "best friend," Victoria. Six months later, Daisy saw Victoria on the street. Daisy ran up to Victoria and choked her to death. Question 7) The best choice as the most serious Model Penal Code homicide offense for which Daisy could be properly convicted is:

    • A.

      Murder: purposely/knowingly

    • B.

      EMED

    • C.

      Option 3

    • D.

      Failed Manslaughter - no cooling off period

    Correct Answer
    D. Failed Manslaughter - no cooling off period
    Explanation
    The correct answer is b, because it correctly characterizes the facts and uses the applicable rule. The fact that the incident took place 6 months after the provocation could be allowed under the MPC (it wouldn't be under the CL). Answer a is wrong, because the facts fit the EMED/reasonable excuse idea, and there's no evidence that Daisy had made some kind of plan or had wanted to kill Victoria. Answer c is wrong for the same reasons. Answer d is wrong because the MPC does not have any rule requiring that the action come before a cooling off period.

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  • 16. 

    Questions 8 and 9 are based on the following facts. Dave, an avid pilot and experienced aviation stuntman, flew his small plane under several bridges. Under one of the bridges, there was a small boat with people in it. The boat saw Dave coming and tried to avoid him, but in doing so the boat capsized. Two passengers on the boat drowned. Question 8) The best choice as the most serious common law homicide offense for which Dave could be properly convicted is:

    • A.

      Depraved Heart Murder

    • B.

      2nd Degree Involuntary Manslaughter: Negligently

    • C.

      1st Degree Involuntary Manslaughter: Recklessly

    • D.

      1st Degree Murder

    Correct Answer
    C. 1st Degree Involuntary Manslaughter: Recklessly
    Explanation
    The correct answer is c, because Dave, as an experienced and avid pilot and stuntman, is taking a risk, but not one with a high probability of death, given his high level of skill. For that reason, b is not correct. Answer a is not correct, because Dave was not unaware of the risk; he is an experienced stuntman, so he knows this sort of thing is risky. And d is not correct because we have nothing in the question that would substantiate the assumption that Dave planned this out. Be careful not to assume things into the problem that are not there.

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  • 17. 

    Questions 8 and 9 are based on the following facts. Dave, an avid pilot and experienced aviation stuntman, flew his small plane under several bridges. Under one of the bridges, there was a small boat with people in it. The boat saw Dave coming and tried to avoid him, but in doing so the boat capsized. Two passengers on the boat drowned. Question 9) The best choice as the most serious Model Penal Code homicide offense for which Daisy could be properly convicted is:

    • A.

      Murder: Knowingly

    • B.

      Recklessly under circumstances exhibiting extreme indifference to human life

    • C.

      Negligent Homicide

    • D.

      Manslaughter: Recklessly

    Correct Answer
    D. Manslaughter: Recklessly
    Explanation
    The correct answer is d. Dave consciously took the risk (so c is wrong), because he is experience at aviation stunts and he knows they are risky. Answer a is wrong, because it was not practically certain that the boaters would die; boats capsize all the time and people survive. Answer b is wrong because it requires extreme indifference to life. Since Dave is very experienced, he would not feel that the degree of risk of this trick is that high. After all, in his line of work, he's done lots of risky stunts and no one has been killed or injured, which would give him confidence that, while risky, this trick isn't so risky that he'd be indifferent to whether others lived or died.

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  • 18. 

    Dana had crash dieted for several days, and although feeling weak from hunger, drove in heavy traffic and bad weather to a ballgame. Dana lost control of the car and collided with another vehicle, killing the driver. 10) The best choice as the most serious common law homicide offense for which Dana could be properly convicted is:

    • A.

      Recklessly under circumstances exhibiting extreme indifference to human life

    • B.

      Manslaughter

    • C.

      Negligent Homicide

    • D.

      No crime

    Correct Answer
    D. No crime
    Explanation
    The correct answer is d. We cannot tell from these facts whether the accident was caused by Dana's hunger, by the bad traffic or weather conditions, or by something else entirely. All we know is that she lost control of the car. She may have been negligent, but we have no evidence of gross negligence. Thus we cannot tell whether this was anything except a genuine accident, without any criminal fault. For these reasons, we cannot say that driving while hungry and weak was a conscious risk taking (b), much less whether it was a conscious risk taking with a high probability of death (a). Those are therefore both wrong. Since we don't know whether the Dana was even negligent, c is wrong too.

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  • 19. 

    Chris is out walking with her spouse, Pat, on Main Street in their town. As they pass the bank, a rough-looking character jumps out from behind a bush and grabs Pat. Holding a gun to Pat's head, he says to Chris, "Do exactly as I say, or I'll shoot. Take this note and this duffel bag. Go into the bank and go to the teller window and hand them the note and then the bag. Come directly back out with the bag when it's full and drop it right here, or I swear I'll pull the trigger. Go! Now!" Chris does as instructed, and hands the teller the note. It reads, "This is a robbery. Don't let on. I have a bomb wired to the bank and I have the remote in my pocket. Fill this bag with money - no dye packs! Don't make a sound or hit an alarm, or I'll blow this whole place to bits." When the bag is full, Chris brings it outside and drops it as instructed. The man runs off with it. While Chris and Pat comfort each other after their horrible ordeal, the police come and arrest Chris for bank robbery. Under the common law, Chris's best defense is:

    • A.

      Defense of Others

    • B.

      Option 2

    • C.

      Necessity

    • D.

      Duress

    Correct Answer
    A. Defense of Others
    Explanation
    The correct answer is d, because the duress defense applies when the deadly threat originates with a human being. Necessity applies when the threat comes from other-than-human forces, so c is incorrect. Defense of others applies when one must kill to defend another person; since Chris did not kill to defend Pat, both a and b are incorrect.

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  • 20. 

    Questions 2 and 3 are based upon the following facts. The Insane Unknowns are the most feared and lethal street gang in the city; they are well known for cruel indiscriminate violence against anyone who stands in the way of their illegal activities, and especially against anyone who they think is a snitch or a police informant. When Dan is out walking one day, a car pulls up next to him. Dan doesn't know the driver or the man in the passenger seat, but it's obvious they are members of the Insane Unknowns: they both have the gang's distinctive patch on the back of their jackets, and they are wearing the gang's colors. The man in the front passenger seat, an immense guy with neck, face, and arms covered with tattoos, gets out and approaches Dan. "Get in. You're driving." Dan doesn't want to go, but he knows that if he refuses he'll have trouble with these guys and their fellow gang members. He does as he is told, getting into the driver's seat. The passenger gets back in his seat, and the man who had been driving gets in the back. The man in the front passenger seat says, "drive to the South Side." Dan begins driving, taking the shortest way he knows to the South Side. Passenger says to him, "here's the way it is. We're gonna pay a visit to a guy who has been talking to the wrong people about us. You're going to drive us there, stop where we tell you, wait there for us, and drive us away. If you don't, or if you do anything other than what I tell you to do, you are going to wind up dead next to that red-haired girlfriend of yours and that new baby the two of you just had." In fact, Dan has a girlfriend with red hair, and they just had a baby two weeks ago. Dan does as he is told; he is afraid for himself, and terrified that something will happen to his loved ones if he does not follow instructions. When he gets to the South Side, the passenger directs him to a parking lot in the back of a commercial building. "Stop the car. Leave it running, and wait right here. Don't even think of moving. We know where you live, over on Dover Street." Dover is the street Dan lives on. The two men get out of the car; one is carrying a long object inside a rolled up rug, and they disappear around the front of the building. Dan waits as instructed. After about two minutes, Dan hears two distinctive blasts of a shotgun. The two men come back around the building; one puts the shotgun in the trunk. Both get into the car and slouch way down, so they cannot be seen. Passenger says, "go back, nice and steady, exactly the way you came, to the same spot where we picked you up." Dan again does as he is told. When they arrive, the men order him out of the car. "You remember what I said about you and your family. You open your mouth about this, you and your family are as good as dead," Passenger says. The car drives away. A day later, Dan learns that the men killed a man who was at work in the building, because he was suspected of being a police informant. Dan was seen driving the car away from the scene, and he is identified by the police and charged with assisting in the murder. Question 2 Under the common law, Dan can:

    • A.

      Self-defense

    • B.

      Duress defense which will not work

    • C.

      Not guilty: was "only driving the car"

    • D.

      Duress defense which will work

    Correct Answer
    B. Duress defense which will not work
    Explanation
    This question resembles the Lynch case, which we discussed in the context of R. v. Howe. The correct answer is b, because while this is a duress situation, the duress defense does not work for murder under the common law. Answer c is wrong, because "only driving the car" makes Dan just as guilty as the shooter, and this argument was repudiated in R. v. Howe. Answer a is wrong because Dan is not participating in the killing of someone who is attacking him, as self-defense requires. Answer d is also incorrect, because this is a duress situation, and with regard to a deadly threat, the common law requires not self-preservation, but self-sacrifice.

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  • 21. 

    Question 4 Dave came home one day to find a thief had broken into his car. He could see the man sitting behind the wheel of Dave's car, which was sitting in his driveway. "Hey, what do you think you're doing?" Dave yelled as he came up to his house, which was connected to the driveway. The thief, hearing Dave, started the car (Dave had left the keys in the ignition), and quickly pulled out of the driveway and started to drive away. Dave pulled out his handgun and fired four times at the fleeing car; the fourth shot killed the thief. (Assume that Dave's possession and carrying of the gun do not violate the law in any way.) The police charge Dave with a homicide crime. Which of the following best describes Dave's situation?

    • A.

      Defense of habitation

    • B.

      Castle Doctrine

    • C.

      Defense of Property

    • D.

      Self-defense, if force was deadly

    Correct Answer
    D. Self-defense, if force was deadly
    Explanation
    Answer d is correct, because Dave cannot assert a self-defense claim to homicide unless he uses deadly force because he himself was under a deadly attack, and he was not. Answer a is incorrect, because Dave is not defending his habitation - his home - from someone trying to enter it. Answer b is also not correct, because the Castle Doctrine relates to one's ability to defend oneself without retreat, in one's own home. Answer c is incorrect because there is no defense of property for which one is entitled to use deadly force, and there is no ability to use deadly force to defend property even if it is necessary to have the property to survive.

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  • 22. 

    Questions 2 and 3 are based upon the following facts. The Insane Unknowns are the most feared and lethal street gang in the city; they are well known for cruel indiscriminate violence against anyone who stands in the way of their illegal activities, and especially against anyone who they think is a snitch or a police informant. When Dan is out walking one day, a car pulls up next to him. Dan doesn't know the driver or the man in the passenger seat, but it's obvious they are members of the Insane Unknowns: they both have the gang's distinctive patch on the back of their jackets, and they are wearing the gang's colors. The man in the front passenger seat, an immense guy with neck, face, and arms covered with tattoos, gets out and approaches Dan. "Get in. You're driving." Dan doesn't want to go, but he knows that if he refuses he'll have trouble with these guys and their fellow gang members. He does as he is told, getting into the driver's seat. The passenger gets back in his seat, and the man who had been driving gets in the back. The man in the front passenger seat says, "drive to the South Side." Dan begins driving, taking the shortest way he knows to the South Side. Passenger says to him, "here's the way it is. We're gonna pay a visit to a guy who has been talking to the wrong people about us. You're going to drive us there, stop where we tell you, wait there for us, and drive us away. If you don't, or if you do anything other than what I tell you to do, you are going to wind up dead next to that red-haired girlfriend of yours and that new baby the two of you just had." In fact, Dan has a girlfriend with red hair, and they just had a baby two weeks ago. Dan does as he is told; he is afraid for himself, and terrified that something will happen to his loved ones if he does not follow instructions. When he gets to the South Side, the passenger directs him to a parking lot in the back of a commercial building. "Stop the car. Leave it running, and wait right here. Don't even think of moving. We know where you live, over on Dover Street." Dover is the street Dan lives on. The two men get out of the car; one is carrying a long object inside a rolled up rug, and they disappear around the front of the building. Dan waits as instructed. After about two minutes, Dan hears two distinctive blasts of a shotgun. The two men come back around the building; one puts the shotgun in the trunk. Both get into the car and slouch way down, so they cannot be seen. Passenger says, "go back, nice and steady, exactly the way you came, to the same spot where we picked you up." Dan again does as he is told. When they arrive, the men order him out of the car. "You remember what I said about you and your family. You open your mouth about this, you and your family are as good as dead," Passenger says. The car drives away. A day later, Dan learns that the men killed a man who was at work in the building, because he was suspected of being a police informant. Dan was seen driving the car away from the scene, and he is identified by the police and charged with assisting in the murder. Question 2 Under MPC, Dan can:

    • A.

      Self-defense

    • B.

      Necessity

    • C.

      Duress

    • D.

      Option 4

    Correct Answer
    C. Duress
    Explanation
    The correct answer is c, because duress can be a defense to murder under the MPC, as long as a person of reasonable firmness would have made the same choice. Answer b is not correct, because the Model Penal Code does not say that the "harm avoided is greater" can never apply to murder. Answer a is incorrect because even though the MPC does give wider scope to self-defense than the common law, it does not allow a self-defense claim to a murder of a person who is not attacking the defender. Answer d is incorrect because the necessity defense is not available when the force in the situation is human.

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  • 23. 

    Question 5 As Dalton is walking home from the store, he crosses through the park. There he is jumped by Victor, his rival, who begins to beat him up. Dalton fights back, and he begins to get the upper hand on Victor. He punches Victor in the jaw, and Victor falls to the ground, dazed. As Victor, still on the ground, begins to gather his wits, Dalton sees Victor pull a knife out of his pocket. Dalton looks around for a way out, and he sees he can escape easily from Victor, who is still on the ground, if he runs through a pedestrian walkway and out of the park. Instead, Dalton pulls a gun and shoots Victor, killing him. Dalton will:

    • A.

      Castle Doctrine

    • B.

      Must retreat if can

    • C.

      Stand your ground

    • D.

      Option 4

    Correct Answer
    C. Stand your ground
    Explanation
    Answer a is incorrect, because the Castle Doctrine only comes into play when one is attacked in one's own home, and Dalton was attacked outside his home. Answer b is also incorrect, because a state using the retreat rule would have required Dalton to run, since he could have done so in complete safety. Answer d is incorrect, because it just restates the retreat rule, and we can't tell if we are in a retreat rule state from the question. Answer c is the only possible correct answer, because it accurately states that Dalton could have a good self-defense claim if his state has a stand your ground law, which would allow him to meet the threat of deadly force (V pulling the knife) with deadly force of his own in any place he has the right to be, not just in his house.

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  • 24. 

    Question 6 Don is attacked by his enemy, Victoria. Victoria and Don trade punches and kicks, with first one and then the other dominating the fight. When Victoria punches Don hard enough that blood from a cut in his forehead prevents him from seeing out of his right eye, Don pulls a knife and stabs Victoria, killing her. Don is charged with murder.  Which of the following best describes Don's situation?

    • A.

      Stand your ground

    • B.

      Self-defense, will work

    • C.

      Self-defense, will not work

    • D.

      Self-defense, attack was illegal

    Correct Answer
    C. Self-defense, will not work
    Explanation
    Answer c is correct. Don didn't start the fight, but it was not a fight using deadly force until Don took out the knife. Recall that self-defense demands a proportional response; one cannot defend oneself against non-deadly force with deadly force. Thus Don is the aggressor at the level of deadly force. Answer a is incorrect, because even in a stand your ground state, the killer must be under a deadly threat in order to use deadly force. Answer b is not correct, because while Victoria could have killed him - after all, anything is possible - she was not using deadly force, and therefore wouldn't be considered to be in position to kill Don. Answer d is not correct, because Don cannot use deadly force on Victoria even if Victoria's attack on him is illegal, because the attack is with non-deadly force.

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  • 25. 

    Questions 8 and 9 are based on the following facts. One night, Danielle gets very drunk when she consumes three 40 ounce cans of malt liquor, half a bottle of whiskey, and half a dozen shots of something with her friends at a bar. As she staggers toward home, she passes a student apartment building, and in the ground floor unit, she sees through the window a rare Tiffany lamp, just like the one her mother had when she was little. Danielle breaks the glass of the front door with her hand, enabling her to unlock the door, and she goes inside. She sits down on the couch next to the lamp, admiring its beautiful coloring. The next thing she knows, Danielle is being shaken awake, and when her eyes begin to focus she sees the person shaking her is one of several police officers. Danielle has been passed out for several hours, but she has no memory of anything after drinking the three 40 ounce cans of malt liquor. Danielle is charged with aggravated burglary (defined in the statute as "breaking and entering the dwelling of another with the purpose of committing a felony therein") and felony destruction of property, for breaking the door glass (defined in the statute as "intentionally destroying the property of another, when the property has a value of greater than $100"). Question 8 Danielle mounts a defense of voluntary intoxication. Under the common law, her defense will:

    • A.

      Work

    • B.

      Not work

    Correct Answer
    B. Not work
    Explanation
    Answer c is correct, because under the common law, intoxication can be a defense to a specific intent crime (like burglary, which requires "a purpose to commit a felony" in addition to the mens rea necessary to do the actions of the crime), but destruction of property is a general intent crime. In addition, Danielle is intoxicated enough to have no memory of her actions before the early part of her evening, so she would be intoxicated enough to qualify. For the same reason, answer a is incorrect; she is intoxicated enough. Answer b is also incorrect, however, because being intoxicated enough is necessary but not sufficient for an intoxication defense to work - it must also be true that the offense is a specific intent crime. So c is a better answer. Answer d is incorrect, because it states the MPC standard, and the problem asks for an answer under the common law.

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  • Current Version
  • Mar 22, 2023
    Quiz Edited by
    ProProfs Editorial Team
  • Dec 04, 2014
    Quiz Created by
    Gabbymor12
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