The level of culpability for an inchoate offense will vary depending on the jurisdiction and may be higher for more extended degrees of involvement toward completion of a criminal offense. You will recall that an attempt to commit an intended offense is often what we refer to as a lesser included offense. In such instances the actor cannot help but commit the intended offense without also committing the lesser-included offense to attempt to commit the intended offense. When the offenses merge into a completed offense, an accused is only sentenced on one charge. Also, the degree of the offense charged can also be affected by the greater degree of potential harm that occurs often. For instance, the person who shoots and misses the intended victim will be treated more harshly than the person who sits in a tavern trying to hire a hit man to murder his wife.
In this discussion, consider the crime of attempt and accomplice liability when answering the following in your main post:
- Explain whether you believe the crime of attempt should carry the same punishment as the related substantive offense.
- Evaluate whether the same punishment as the substantive offense should be applied when it comes to an accomplice to a crime.
- Articulate whether the intent of an accomplice in assisting in the commission of a crime is a necessary element.
- Explore the criminal liability of an accomplice if the accomplice has a duty to prevent a crime, but fails to use reasonable efforts to do so.