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NCJ Number: 47763 Find in a Library
Title: CRIMES OF CARELESSNESS IN THE UNITED STATES
Author(s): P H ROBINSON
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 17
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE CRIMINALIZATION OF RECKLESS AND NEGLIGENT CONDUCT IN THE UNITED STATES AND PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES OF SENTENCING AND CORRECTIONS WITH REGARD TO CRIMES OF CARELESSNESS ARE DISCUSSED.
Abstract: THERE HAS BEEN A TREND TOWARD USE OF THE FOUR-TIERED SYSTEM OF CULPABLE STATES OF MIND -- PURPOSELY OF INTENTIONALLY, KNOWINGLY, RECKLESSLY, AND NEGLIGENTLY -- PROPOSED IN 1962 BY THE AMERICAN LAW INSTITUTE IN ITS MODEL PENAL CODE. NEGLIGENCE IS FAILURE TO BE AWARE OF A RISK THAT ONE OUGHT TO HAVE BEEN AWARE OF AND RECKLESSNESS IS CONSCIOUS DISREGARD OF RISK. THE COMMON DENOMINATOR -- AND THE PERTINENT ELEMENT OF CARELESSNESS -- IS EXISTENCE OF A RISK. A REVIEW OF STATE CRIMINAL CODES REVEALS TWO TENDENCIES: WHEN A DEATH OCCURS, APPARENTLY UNIQUE PRINCIPLES APPLY TO EXPAND ASSIGNMENT OF CRIMINAL LIABILITY BEYOND THAT NORMALLY APPLIED IN NONHOMICIDAL OFFENSES OF SIMILAR CULPABILITY; AND, IN NONHOMICIDAL CASES, THERE IS AN APPARENT RELUCTANCE TO ASSIGN CRIMINAL LIABILITY ON THE BASIS OF ANYTHING LESS THAN RECKLESSNESS. VARYING DEGREES OF CARELESSNESS IN CAUSING DEATH (RECKLESSNESS AND NEGLIGENCE, FELONY-MURDER AND MISDEMEANOR-MANSLAUGHTER), AND CULPABILITY LESS THAN RECKLESSNESS (NEGLIGENCE AS A BASIS FOR CRIMINAL LIABILITY, STRICT LIABILITY) ARE DISCUSSED. TWO PARADOXES ARE POINTED OUT: (1) WHILE IT OFTEN IS CLAIMED THAT RECKLESSNESS WAS THE COMMON LAW'S LOWEST ACCEPTABLE LEVEL OF CRIMINAL CULPABILITY AND THE FORESIGHT OF CONSEQUENCES WAS REQUIRED, HISTORICAL EVIDENCE IS TO THE CONTRARY; AND (2) WHILE NEGLIGENCE IS VIEWED WITH DISTRUST AS A GROUNDS FOR CRIMINAL LIABILITY, THE CONCEPT OF STRICT OR ABSOLUTE LIABILITY IS COMMON. GENERALIZATIONS CONCERNING HOW OFFENDERS IN CRIMES OF CARELESSNESS ARE SENTENCED DIFFERENTLY FROM OTHER OFFENDERS ARE OFFERED IN LIGHT OF THE LACK OF A SPECIAL SENTENCING OR CORRECTIONAL SYSTEM FOR SUCH CRIMES. NOTES ARE INCLUDED. (LKM)
Index Term(s): Criminal codes; Criminal responsibility; Sentencing/Sanctions; State laws
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=47763

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