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The following questions were asked on various Harvard Law School First-Year Criminal Law examinations. The questions are reproduced as they actually appeared, with only slight modifications. The sample answers are not “official” and represent merely one approach to handling the questions.


QUESTION 1: Sapo and Crapaud agreed to commit a holdup at the First County Bank, in which Badger worked as a teller. They obtained her cooperation in the plan. The three of them agreed that Sapo and Crapaud would enter the bank and carry out the “holdup” at Badger’s window. She would give them the money, apparently under the threat of the holdup. Later the three of them would meet and divide up the money. It was agreed that the plan would be carried out on January 12.

On January 9, Badger became frightened. After thinking about it, she called the apartment where Sapo and Crapaud lived together. Someone who was cleaning the apartment answered and said that neither Sapo nor Crapaud was at home. Badger asked the person to leave a message for them saying, “Can’t go through with it. Sorry. Badger.” The person on the telephone misunderstood (!) and left a note saying that someone had called and left the message, “Aunt Flo threw a fit. Sorry. Alger.” When Sapo and Crapaud came home, they saw the message, concluded that someone was playing some sort of silly joke, and thought no more about it.

On January 12, as planned, Sapo and Crapaud went on foot to the bank and entered, brandishing guns. Sapo ordered everyone to stand still. Crapaud went to Badger’s window and, pointing a gun at her, demanded money. As he did so, he winked at her. Startled that the “holdup” was taking place despite her message and frightened that her part in the plan would be discovered, Badger passed over the money. Crapaud grabbed it and he and Sapo ran out of the bank. Badger fainted.

As they ran onto the street, Sapo bumped into Wale (who knew nothing about the holdup) and knocked him to the sidewalk. Sapo and Crapaud kept running. Furious at Sapo’s rudeness, Wale pulled out a gun and fired. The shot hit Sapo in the heart and killed him instantly.

Crapaud kept running and turned a corner. He bumped into Gark who had heard the shots (but knew nothing about the holdup). “What’s the matter, friend?” Gark shouted.

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