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United States v. Mandujano

    Brief Fact Summary. No facts are addressed in the opinion excerpted.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law. While it is clear that the crime of attempt requires more than mere preparation, the distinction between preparation and attempt is not clear. A “frequently approved” test is that attempt requires some “appreciable fragment” of the crime be committed.

    Facts. The facts of the case are not set forth in the textbook. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals discusses the definition of “attempt.” While it is clear that mere preparation is not sufficient to constitute the crime of attempt, this Court has not established a distinction between preparation and attempt.

    Issue. What activity causes mere preparation for a crime to rise to the offense of attempt?

    Held. The Court notes the “frequently approved” test that “Preparation alone is not enough, there must be some appreciable fragment of the crime committed, it must be in such progress that it will be consummated unless interrupted by circumstances independent of the will of the attempter, and the act must not be equivocal in nature.”

    Discussion. The Court has not set forth the specific acts that cause preparation to rise to the level of the crime of attempt, but the Court approves of a specific test, which provides that the unequivocal act of the attempter must be such that the crime will be committed if not interrupted by forces independent of the will of the attempter.


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