Friday, October 12, 2012

Booth v. State case brief

Booth v. State398 P.2d 863 (Okla. Crim. App. 1964)

-A man stole a coat and was going to sell it to a guy.
-The police caught him after he stole the coat and told him to call the guy he was going to sell it to and encouraged him to deliver the stolen coat to the guy who wanted it.
-The thief delivered it, the guy bought the coat and then the police went to his house with a warrant, found the coat, and arrested him.
-The trial judge said that once stolen goods are recovered by the police they are no longer stolen.
-He instructed the jury that Booth could be convicted of attempt to receive stolen property if they found an intent to commit the crime and an act in furtherance of the crime.

Issue: If a defendant cannot be convicted of the substantive crime, is it possible for him to be convicted of an attempt (at this point he was not receiving stolen goods, because the police recovered the coat before he took it)

Holding: No.


-Goods must retain their stolen character in order to be considered stolen—in this case did not retain stolen character, because the police recovered the goods

v. Collin says that a charge of attempt can only be allowed to stand when if the defendant had not been interrupted, he would have committed the complete felony

-Courts have held that a legal impossibility excuses an attempt, but a factual impossibility does not.

-Here there was a legal impossibility—once the goods were recovered by the police, they were no longer stolen, so it was legally impossible for man to receive it as stolen property.

-There has to be a criminal mind and a criminal act
-In this case, there was a criminal mind, but no criminal act—same situation as if the thief came by the goods honestly and the man receiving just believed they were stolen—NO CRIME

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