CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Otey on Motive and Transferred Intent

Melvin Otey (Faulkner University - Thomas Goode Jones School of Law) has posted Does Motive Also Follow the Bullet? Transferred Intent and Violent Crimes in Aid of Racketeering (Tennessee Law Review, Vol. 89, No. 2, 2022) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
This article evaluates the propriety of transferring motive in the context of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1959, the “Violent Crimes in Aid of Racketeering Activity” statute, and concludes that transferring motive offers either unnecessary or untenable given the scope of the transferred intent doctrine. Section 1959 is a good context for examining the appropriateness of extending the traditional doctrine to envelop an actor’s animating drives in order to punish him specifically for motive-based crimes. VICAR convictions, particularly murder convictions, carry substantial sentences. In fact, the only sentencing options for VICAR murder are life imprisonment and death. While violent crimes in aid of racketeering are serious offenses and potentially merit substantial prison terms, the ramifications of this evaluation are far broader than the statute itself. All motive-based crimes, including those defined by recently enacted hate crime statutes, are necessarily implicated.

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