Elements of a Criminal Act

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For this assignment, read the following scenario and then in a 2–3-page paper, answer the questions presented.


Patrice wanted to kill her mother-in-law, Kayla, so she hid behind a building and waited for her to get off the bus. When Kayla got off the bus, Patrice shot at her with her rifle, but missed and killed Angela, who was behind her. Patrice attempted to fire again at Kayla, but her rifle jammed and Patrice ran off.

Patrice’s attorney moved to dismiss the charge of the attempted murder of Kayla on the ground that Patrice could not have killed Kayla due to the malfunctioning of her rifle. The court granted the motion.


Was the court correct in dismissing the attempted murder charge? Be sure to identify and describe the elements of a criminal act (at least three) and address impossibility and distinguish if it is a complete or incomplete attempt.

Also address any ethical or moralistic concerns associated with allowing a criminal defendant to avoid criminal responsibility by successfully asserting a legal defense such as impossibility.

Answer the questions above in a 2–3-page paper (excluding cover and reference pages) in APA format.

Note: This Assignment will require outside research. Use at least two credible sources beyond the text material and discuss how you evaluated the credibility of the resources used. You may consult the Library, the Internet, the textbook, other course materials, and any other outside resources in supporting your task, using proper citations in APA style.

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