Trying by Asking: Solicitation as Attempt

Gideon Yaffe

in Attempts

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199590667
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595530 | DOI:
Trying by Asking: Solicitation as Attempt

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The crime of asking another to commit a crime—solicitation—is punished less than attempt. But are solicitations, themselves, attempts to commit the crimes solicited? When the defendant asks an undercover detective to commit murder, has the defendant attempted murder? This chapter argues that whether a solicitor has the intention needed for an attempt turns on the nature of the completed crime. A solicitor does not attempt if completion would require the solicited party to perform an act, since the solicitor lacks an intention to perform that act. However, if completion only requires the solicited party to cause a result, then the solicitor may attempt since he intends that the result comes to pass. Defense of this position requires discussion of the “voluntary intervention principle”, according to which a party does not cause a result when he causes another to voluntarily bring it about.

Keywords: attempt; solicitation; acts; results; voluntary intervention

Chapter.  10920 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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