"[T]o make a complete crime, cognizable by human laws, there must be both a will and an act.., an unwarrantable act without a vicious will is no crime at all. "I The term "vicious will" illustrates the relationship between blameworthiness and punishment; the foundation of all criminal law, and the justification for the doctrine of complicity liability. The Colorado Supreme Court recently granted certiorari review of People v. Childress, a case in which the Court of Appeals held that one cannot be complicit in a strict liability crime. This holding is difficult to reconcile with Colorado's application of the complicity doctrine to crimes of recklessness and negligence. The Childress case presents an issue of first impression and illustrates the logical inconsistencies in the current approach to complicity liability in Colorado. For these reasons, the case provides a good vehicle for the Colorado Supreme Court to clarify the law and resolve the potential for injustice inherent in the current approach. This Note focuses on the importance of reconciling the inconsistencies in the current approach and proposes a potential way in which this can be done.
Complicity and Strict Liability: A Logical Inconsistency?,
U. Colo. L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholar.law.colorado.edu/lawreview/vol86/iss2/6