I look at the case and I look at the statute, but I still do not quite understand. For the other three culpable mental states, if I prove a higher state, then I have established the lower as well, right?
While I have never been fond of the criminal negligence language because it at least sounds harder to prove than "knowing," I do not understand why proof of a higher degree of culpability would not include the lower. I do not disagree that there were better things to charge the defendant with, but if he actually knew what the circumstances surrounding his conduct were (the court said he acted knowingly), why can we not infer that he also ought to have known those circumstances?
Is the court saying that the statute requires us to prove actual ignorance of the circumstances? I see us having a problem proving a negative for something like this. Unless a PDR is in the works, we should anticipate working on a legislative fix next session.
To the commentor on cases:
I wondered about this before, obviously no one but the prosecutors involved (by the way, thanks for filing the motion for rehearing) seemed interested in what was clearly a bizarre opinion.
The state proved that the defendant's actions were knowing at least, but the court tossed the case because they did not show his actions were criminally negligent.
Proof of a higher degree of culpability than that charged constitutes proof of the culpability charged - PC 6.02(e)
While this may not have been the best charge to file on this guy (to that extent I did agree with the original commentary sent out), the court's job (unlike ours) is law not justice, and they were clearly wrong on the law. I am just glad they had the good sense to fix it.
Well, the court did fix it. But they also buried their mistake by entering an unusual order granting rehearing (unpublished) and an opinion affirming (published). Seems they aren't too proud of their original work, either.
|Powered by Social Strata|
© TDCAA, 2001. All Rights Reserved.