I am looking for a good way to explain the difference between knowingly and recklessly. Anyone have something that they have found useful?
My law school professor used to say this... although it may seem a little macabre for this day and age:
Knave of hearts wants to assassinate the king as the king and queen of hearts drive along the parade route waiving to the locals. King and Queen rife side-by-side, and the locals get as close to the carriage as they can to waive and throw flowers, etc.
Knave throws a bomb into the carriage. It goes off, killing the king, the queen, and five bystanders watching along the parade route.
He intentionally killed the king. That's why he threw the bomb in the first place.
He knowingly killed the queen. It wasn't why he threw the bomb, but he knew that she'd die along with the king if he did it.
He recklessly killed the bystanders. He didn't know if they'd die or not, he didn't want to kill any of them, but he knew there was a chance they'd die if he threw that bomb and he disregarded that risk for no good reason.
The knowingly example I use is from a real case I tried. Guy kills his pregnant girlfriend, knowing that she's pregnant. He INTENTIONALLY killed the girlfriend, but in doing so, he also KNOWINGLY kills the baby.
For reckless I simply use DWI. Does the intoxicated driver INTEND to hurt anyone? No. Is he reasonably certain that he will hurt or kill someone? No. But does he, as all of us, know that by driving intoxicated he runs the risk of hurting someone? Yes. When he chooses to drive anyway, that's reckless.
I know that legally Intox Man/Assault don't have a required mental state but it makes for a simple, easy-to-understand example.
I had an assault case where D threw a stick into a crowd and hit a lady in the eye. She didn't target anyone in particular, she just grabbed a stick when a brawl broke out at cookout, and by all accounts threw it in anger. It was dark outside at the time, with floodlights 50 or so yards away providing intermittent light (hard to see who was who and where people were).
She did not intend to hit any one person. But she still threw the stick - Not intentional
It was dark so she did not know that the area towards which she was throwing was densely packed with people or not. So she didn't necessarily do it knowingly.
But, she knew people had been in that area moments before and were in the general vicinity, and yet she still through the stick. She was indifferent whether or not she hit anyone i.e. she was reckless.
While typing out the above, it made me think of something I should have used back in that case --> shooting a gun: at a specific target (assassination = intentional), into a crowd from a moving car (drive by = no intended target, but still knowingly) or up in the air in celebration (4th of July style = no intended target, and no awareness that conduct will cause person to be hit with bullet, but still reckless). So in hindsight I would've used assassination - drive by - up in the air
|Powered by Social Strata|
© TDCAA, 2001. All Rights Reserved.