February 19, 2016

People v. Dlugash | Case Brief- 41 NY2d 725 (1977) - Court of Appeals of New York

FACTS: Defendant, Bush, and Geller had been out drinking and returned to Geller's apt.. Geller had earlier demanded that Bush pay $100 towards the rent b/c Bush had been staying there all week..Bush then shot Geller and after that Defendant walked over and fired 5 more shots into the face of the Geller.  this occurred 2-5 minutes after Bush initially shot.

HISTORY: Jury found Defendant guilty of murder.  Appellate Division reversed saying the "people failed to prove Geller was alive at the time he was shot by D."

ISSUE: May the defendant be held for attempted murder though someone else succeeded in killing the victim?

HOLDING: Yes

RATIONALE:  The MPC approach is "that what was in the actor's own mind should be the standard for determining his dangerousness to society and hence his liability for attempted criminal conduct."

"Thus is D believed the victim to be alive at the time of the shooting, it is no defense to the charge of attempted murder that the victim may have been dead."