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Criminal Law

Exam 5
30 minutes

Fact Pattern

A decides to rob a local bank. To that end, she scouts the bank for a few weeks, identifies the weaknesses in its security, and puts together a plan to safely complete the robbery. Her goal is to execute the perfect robbery—to quickly steal all of the cash in the bank, without hurting any of the bank’s customers or employees. A also buys a handgun to use in the course of the robbery, but only to scare anyone who might stand in her way. A has neither used a handgun nor committed a robbery before.

A walks into the bank with her handgun visible, and with several empty bags to carry the money she is about to steal. She yells, “Everybody be cool! This is a robbery! If you refuse to comply with my orders, I’ll kill you!” She then walks to the back of the bank, towards the area where the tellers sit. The tellers hand A all the money in their registers, which A promptly places into her bags.

As A turns to leave, a locker in the back of the bank catches A’s attention. The locker is protected by a simple padlock, so A believes there may be additional valuables in the locker. She demands that the bank’s employees open the locker, but they claim they don’t know the combination to the padlock.

As a result, A decides to take matters into her own hands. Having watched several movies where a gunman “shoots out” a padlock, A is confident that she can break the padlock by shooting it. A also believes that if she shoots the lock, she won’t cause any harm to the customers or the employees. This is because the locker is placed directly in front of a concrete wall, and there are no people standing behind it. A aims her handgun at the padlock from 10 feet away and fires. The bullet misses the locker, strikes the concrete wall behind the locker, unexpectedly ricochets off the wall, and strikes B (a bank employee) in the chest. B dies instantly.

In a Model Penal Code jurisdiction, A is arrested and charged with homicide. Assume the prosecution could prove the above facts at A’s trial.


Questions

  1. Of what type of homicide, if any, is A guilty? Explain, considering all forms of possible homicide liability under the Model Penal Code.

Question 1

Of what type of homicide, if any, is A guilty? Explain, considering all forms of possible homicide liability under the Model Penal Code.

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