This is an extract of our Blackmail Mpc And Non Mpc Approaches document, which we sell as part of our Criminal Law Outlines collection written by the top tier of New York University School Of Law students.
The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Criminal Law Outlines. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:
Common Law - look at statute (no usual MR, if no MR, read it in)
3 questions when analyzing a statute:
(1) what threats are covered (accuse of crime, reveal secret, commit violence)
(2) to obtain what (property/something of value/act against another's will)
(3) is there a claim-of-right defense (defense saying that the thing to be obtained is rightfully owned) (in statute or interpreted by courts)
MPC 223.4 approach
(1) inflict injury/other crim offense - "inflict bodily injury on anyone or commit any other criminal offense"
(2) accuse of crime - "accuse anyone of a criminal offense"
(3) expose secret - "expose any secret tending to subject any person to hatred,
contempt or ridicule, or to impair his credit or business repute"
(4) take/withhold action as official - "take or withhold action as an official, or cause an official to take or withhold action"
(5) start/continue strike - "bring about/continue a strike if the property is not demanded/received for the benefit of the group"
(6) testify/withold testimony - "testify or withhold testimony with respect to another's case"
(7) catch-all/harm not beneficial - "inflict any other harm which would not benefit the actor"
Note: should interpret benefit narrowly to exclude psychic/cathartic benefit o
Obtain property only o
Affirmative claim-of-right defense for threats 2,3,4 (accuse crime, expose secret, take act as an official)
Property obtained by threat is honestly (subjective) claimed as restitution or indemnification for harm done
Two examples of statutes
Example of statute - VT statute o
(1) Maliciously (2) Threaten to accuse of crime or offense OR cause injury to person or property (3) with intent to extort property or act against the will o
No claim-of-right defense o
Harrington: attorney "maliciously" arranged for woman to sleep with client's husband,
wrote letter threatening to accuse him of adultery (and possibly cause injury to his person due to reputational harm) in order to extort money in the form of settlement in the divorce action
Because no claim-of-right defense, cannot entertain argument that he was merely trying to get what his client rightfully deserved
Convicted of blackmail
Example of statute - NY/no claim of right defense o
Fichtner: even though store managers were trying to get man to pay the value of what was thought to be stolen, no defense and convicted
POLICY: Why punish?
Wrongful to make someone do or give up something against their will > reduces human autonomy
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