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Criminal Law

Exam 26
30 minutes

Fact Pattern

A meets some friends at a bar to watch a sports game involving their favorite team. An hour later, the friends talk A into heading out to a stretch of road infamous for drag racing. The road is in an abandoned industrial area, which is typically deserted at night.

The drag racing event is underway by the time A and his friends arrive. A watches a few races and asks, “Is it dangerous?” Someone hired to promote the illegal gambling for the event tells A the racing is “ totally safe.” A decides to race, even though he realizes he is still a bit intoxicated.

A’s car is an eight-year-old minivan with a history of brake problems. A starts the race and accelerates to 120 miles-per-hour, when a pedestrian suddenly appears in the road. A slams on his brakes. However, the brakes malfunction, and the van hits the pedestrian. A immediately hops out of the car and runs to the pedestrian, asking “Are you okay?” Unfortunately, the pedestrian is dead.

In a common-law jurisdiction, A is arrested and charged with depraved heart murder and involuntary manslaughter. Assume the prosecution can prove the above facts at A’s trial. Assume also that A does not have a valid intoxication defense.


Questions

  1. Is A liable for depraved heart murder or involuntary manslaughter?Explain, applying the common law and analyzing each charge separately, but do not analyze any other crimes, do not apply the Model Penal Code, and do not analyze whether an involuntary manslaughter conviction would merge into a depraved heart murder conviction.

Question 1

Is A liable for depraved heart murder or involuntary manslaughter?Explain, applying the common law and analyzing each charge separately, but do not analyze any other crimes, do not apply the Model Penal Code, and do not analyze whether an involuntary manslaughter conviction would merge into a depraved heart murder conviction.

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