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Vol 21 No 11 Nov/Dec 2016

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Attempts: In the Philosophy of Action and the Criminal Law


ISBN13: 9780199664641
Published: November 2012
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Paperback
Price: £23.99



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Gideon Yaffe presents a ground-breaking work which demonstrates the importance of philosophy of action for the law. Many people are serving sentences not for completing crimes, but for trying to. So the law governing attempted crimes is of practical as well as theoretical importance.

Questions arising in the adjudication of attempts intersect with questions in the philosophy of action, such as what intention a person must have, if any, and what a person must do, if anything, to be trying to act. Yaffe offers solutions to the difficult problems courts face in the adjudication of attempted crimes.

He argues that the problems courts face admit of principled solution through reflection either on what it is to try to do something; or on what evidence is required for someone to be shown to have tried to do something; or on what sentence for an attempt is fair given the close relation between attempts and completions.

The book argues that to try to do something is to be committed by one's intention to each of the components of success and to be guided by those commitments. Recognizing the implications of this simple and plausible position helps us to identify principled grounds on which the courts ought to distinguish between defendants charged with attempted crimes.

Subjects:
Criminal Law
Contents:
Introduction

PART 1: WHAT ARE ATTEMPTS AND WHY DO WE CRIMINALIZE THEM?
1. Rationalizing the Criminalization of Attempt
2. The Need for an Intention
3. The Nature of Trying
Appendix: A Competing Conception of Trying

PART 2: THE ELEMENTAL CONCEPTION OF THE INTENTION IN ATTEMPT AND ITS IMPLICATIONS
4. The Intention in Attempt
5. Circumstances and "Impossibility"
Appendix: Lady Eldon and Her Children, Mr. Fact and Mr. Law
6. If it Can't be Done Intentionally Can it be Tried?
7. Trying by Asking: Solicitation as Attempt

PART 3: THE EVIDENTIAL CONCEPTION OF THE ACT ELEMENT AND ITS IMPLICATIONS
8. The Need for an Act
9. Stupid Plans and Inherent Impossibility
10. The Act in Attempt

PART 4: SENTENCING ATTEMPTS
11. Abandonment and Change of Mind
12. Is it Unfair to Punish Completed Crimes More than Attempts?

Bibliography