An Interpretation of the Case Presented

An Interpretation of the Case Presented
The matter presented here is an interesting one. On one hand, both
Bob and Jack had equal goals and equal intentions. But, only Jack was
successful, but does that really make a difference? Should one be
punished more simply because the other is a bad shot? Is intent alone
grounds for the same level punishment? Should one be held just as
liable even though their action wasn?t completely fulfilled? This
dilemma is an interesting one to examine and can be approached from
different perspectives.
This isn?t a cut and dry matter. Generally to be convicted of murder one must have either acted with intent to kill or have exhibited extreme disregard for human life (Adams387). Yet, the common law position has been for lesser punishments for unsuccessful crimes (Adams389). That alone seems to contradict one another. Should tradition hold more weight or should we use ?evolving standards of decency?? These are all factors that must be considered. Liability can come in three forms with regards to attempt. What sort of intention must be proved to establish an attempt? This establishes the fault involved. Second, is the matter of proximity. This handles the question as to when an act goes from merely being thought of to actually happening. Finally, if one?s conduct completely carried out wouldn?t be a crime what circumstances would? In this case Bob definitely had the intension to kill Leroy, and he took the shot so proximity is not an issue either. Most of all since he took the shot it definitely was possible and would have been a murder if he connected. In terms of the law it can be further simplified to focus on fault and conduct. All this brings into account the principle of causation. Causation has its origin in a norm; man?s interpretation of nature has a normative juristic character, and has its beginnings in 19th century (Kelsen47). And from that we add to its relation to the law. Law is concentrated on the application of fundamental ideas, personified in the language of statutes, legislation and decisions, to particular situations. This involves, first, a conception of what a cause is outside the law. To this a variety of answers both observed and metaphysical have been given and each has its contemporary supporters. Part of this is the belief by Emanuel Kant that cause and effect are on the same level (Cohen126). Again, this brings about more questions as should morals be taken into account as Kant suggests? Overall it doesn?t. The law doesn?t make a fetish of ?causation?; it avoids age old philosophical controversies over the nature and existence of causation by basing judgments of liability on social rather than philosophical considerations (Posner 397). As a result people who have their plans interrupted before they can commit a crime are regularly punished for conspiracy. Which brings about the questions as to why Bob wasn?t charged with conspiracy to commit murder? But the fact remains that to some intent and causation should be viewed as one and the same (Posner 398). To cause harm to another is also not enough condition of legal responsibility, even in the eyes of those, who would in general favor making those strictly liable for the harm they cause. For a person to be legally responsible for causing harm to another requires, apart from a number of conditions relating to jurisdiction, procedure and proof, that the conduct should be of the sort that the law designates as unlawful or as a potential source of liability (Davidson). It also requires that the purpose of the law should include harm of the sort for which a remedy is sought. Thus, in some contexts only physical, not economic or psychological harm grounds a legal remedy. Moreover considerations of morality must not rule out liability, as they well might if, for example, a burglar were to claim compensation for an injury suffered while breaking a window in order to enter the victim?s house. There is also a complication concerning the items between which causal connection must in law be shown to exist. The inquiries with which law is concerned relate to particular events. Did one action, event, cause another? The link that must be established in legal proceedings between events is of a special type. A person?s conduct or a natural event or process can always be described in a number of different ways, but only certain descriptions of an alleged cause are crucial in legal proceedings. Though it is controversial whether causal connection is to be conceived as a relation between events or facts (Davidson), in law both are relevant. The events in issue must be identified from the point of view of the time, place and persons involved, but the aspect of the events between which a causal link must be shown has to be specified in such a way as to show that it falls within the relevant legal categories. Although the case here is simpler, these facts still remain present. The but-for theory, legitimated by many legal and philosophical theorists has the advantage that a simple and often reliable way of ruling out the existence of causal connection between person and harm is to ask whether the harm would in the circumstances have occurred in the absence of the person. If the harm would have occurred in any event the person is probably not its cause or one of its causes. If it would not have occurred in the absence of the person the person will be a causally relevant condition or, if one endorses causal minimalism, a cause-in-fact of the harm (Davidson). In this case however, it isn?t an issue. There are however cases in which the but-for test is difficult to relate with our perceptive judgments of responsibility. If two hunters independently but simultaneously shoot and kill a third person it is naturally clear that each should be held responsible for the death. Yet in interpreting the but-for test one can draw the conclusion that neither has caused the harm. Many reasons bear on the decisions we make. Sometimes it is not possible to be sure that in the absence of one of them the decision would have been different. In conclusion we can see that even though the intent, and apparent wrongful acts were the same for both Bob and Jack, and the element of danger was equally present, the causation is different for Jack; his bullet was the ?proximate cause? of Leroy?s death. This resulted in Jack committing a completed crime while Bob?s was unrealized. Due to Bob being a poor shot we can only hypothesize that he wanted to kill Leroy. Personally, this is a matter that as a whole needs to be addressed on a case by case basis. In this case however, it?s clear that Bob deserves equal punishment, the end result doesn?t matter. The law of attempt should not be too swift to criminalize conduct; at the same time, the law of attempt should not hinder prosecution of those whose conduct, under slightly different circumstances, would cause the very harm criminal prohibitions are directed at, or who simply didn?t create a crime do to a technicality. Furthermore, because the difference between an attempt and a completed offence is often an object of legislative definition or judicial interpretation; i.e. ?use?, it is desirable that the theoretical structure of attempts not differ too greatly from the conceptual structure of completed offences. Why not develop a test for the matter to avoid controversies. We already have many ?reasonable person applying standards? tests, why not apply one here? Otherwise a constant dilemma will be present. As for a firm decision, I would hold Bob just as liable as Jack. Just because he missed doesn?t excuse him he set out to do it and must face the consequences regardless of the fact that he can?t shoot.

An Interpretation of the Case Presented 8.2 of 10 on the basis of 4479 Review.