The Nature and Justifiability of Nonconsummate Offenses*

Douglas Husak

in The Philosophy of Criminal Law

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780199585038
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191723476 | DOI:
 							The Nature and Justifiability of Nonconsummate Offenses*

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This chapter shows that an offense is consummate if the conduct it proscribes causes harm on each occasion on which it is performed. The paradigm, ‘core’ examples of crimes in any jurisdiction, satisfies this description. But some offenses proscribe conduct that does not cause harm on each occasion in which it is performed. Such offenses are called nonconsummate (or anticipatory or inchoate). Statutes that proscribe drug possession are examples of nonconsummate offenses. The chapter tries to make some headway in identifying the moral limits of the criminal law in creating and enforcing nonconsummate offenses.

Keywords: criminalization; attempts; possession; conspiracy; solicitation; punishment

Chapter.  19773 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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