Since John did no physical act which enabled Tom to bring about Vanney’s death, he did not aid or abet him in bringing it about. B is, therefore, incorrect. C is incorrect because the principle of vicarious liability as explained above makes it unnecessary for John to physically participate in the commission of the crime with which he is charged. One who effectively withdraws from a conspiracy before its goal is accomplished may avoid vicarious guilt for the substantive crime, although not for the crime of conspiracy. In order for a withdrawal to be effective, however, the withdrawing conspirator must at least do something which places his co-conspirator on notice of his withdrawal. Since John did not do so, he has not effectively withdrawn from the conspiracy, and D is incorrect.
4.D In the absence of special circumstances, no person is under a legal duty to render aid to another. Since a failure to act can lead to criminal responsibility only in the face of a duty to act, Watcher’s failure to rescue Susan was not a crime.
This is true even though she could have saved Susan without risk to herself, even though she knew that there was no one else who could rescue the child, and even if she was related to Susan. A, B and C are, therefore, incorrect.
5.D Self defense is a privilege to use reasonable force to protect oneself against aggression. In determining whether force was reasonable, courts usually balance the danger likely to result from its use against the benefit of using it. If the benefit which would be apparent to the reasonable person in the defendant’s situation outweighs the danger which would be apparent to the reasonable person in defendant’s situation, the force which the defendant used was reasonable. Since it is generally understood that the reasonable person would consider the benefit of saving her own life to be of greater weight than the danger of killing an assailant, it is usually held that lethal force (i.e., force likely to kill or do serious bodily harm) is reasonable if used by a person who reasonably believes that she is being attacked with lethal force. Thus, if it was reasonable for Diller to believe that her life was in danger, it was probably reasonable for her to use lethal force to protect it.
A is incorrect because Diller was attempting to protect herself rather than the cocaine. Even if Gunn was actually unarmed, Diller’s reasonable belief that he had a pistol might have privileged her use of lethal force in self defense. B is, therefore, incorrect. A person who is committing a crime has no right to defend herself against a lawful arrest. Since Gunn was not attempting to arrest Diller, however, the fact that she was committing a crime at the time of his attack is irrelevant. C is, therefore, incorrect.