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Criminal Law

Exam 4
30 minutes

Fact Pattern

A, a law student, is shopping at the grocery store with his six-month-old baby, who is sleeping in a green stroller. A stops at the dairy aisle and places the stroller next to him. As A stares at cartons of milk, his thoughts begin to drift away to his class assignments. In the meantime, another parent, B, is also shopping the dairy aisle with a six-month-old baby. B parks the blue stroller, in which B’s own baby is sleeping, next to A’s green stroller. B’s blue stroller is a different model and shape from A’s green stroller. A returns to reality from his daydream, picks up a carton of milk, and grabs the blue stroller with B’s baby in it. A, because of his absentmindedness, fails to realize that the stroller he took is carrying B’s baby, not his own.

A leaves the grocery store, with B’s stroller in hand, and is arrested in the parking lot. A is ultimately charged with child abduction. In this Model Penal Code jurisdiction, child abduction is defined as “taking or enticing any child under the age of 18 from the custody of its parent.” Child abduction is punishable by imprisonment of up to fifteen years.

Assume the prosecution could prove the above facts at A’s trial.


Questions

  1. Is A liable for child abduction in a Model Penal Code jurisdiction? Explain, identifying A’s specific mens rea with respect to each actus reus element in the criminal statute, but do not consider A’s liability for any other crime.

  2. Would A have a valid mistake-of-fact defense to criminal liability for child abduction if this were a common-law jurisdiction? Explain, assuming that child abduction is a general-intent offense.

Question 1

Is A liable for child abduction in a Model Penal Code jurisdiction? Explain, identifying A’s specific mens rea with respect to each actus reus element in the criminal statute, but do not consider A’s liability for any other crime.

Question 2

Would A have a valid mistake-of-fact defense to criminal liability for child abduction if this were a common-law jurisdiction? Explain, assuming that child abduction is a general-intent offense.

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