Chapter

The Act in Attempt

Gideon Yaffe

in Attempts

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199590667
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595530 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199590667.003.0011
The Act in Attempt

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When has one done enough to warrant guilt for an attempted crime? Different jurisdictions employ different “tests” for determining if the defendant's conduct suffices. Some tests involve determining “how far” down the road to completion the defendant traveled. Others focus instead on the degree to which the act is expressive of a criminal intention. It is argued here that when we distill what is right in each approach they converge on the following position: a defendant has done enough for attempt if he is rational and capable of recognizing what he needs to do to reach his end and has performed any act at all in furtherance of his intention, or he is not but has performed an act that would suffice for completion without further conduct on his part. Thus, the correct view is a hybrid of two extreme positions: the “first act” test and the “last act” test.

Keywords: attempt; act element; rationality; first act; last act

Chapter.  15510 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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