A LEGAL ANALYSIS OF THE 1990 HOLIDAY CLASSIC, "HOME ALONE"
This is how I am studying for the bar exam during the holidays. This is not a good list I just needed to study today.
- •CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT BURGLARY
- •A conspiracy is an intentional agreement between two or more people to commit a crimeAdditionally, each co-conspirator is liable for all the crimes committed by each other co-conspirator if they were foreseeable and in furtherance of the conspiracy. More on that below.
- •Here, Harry and Marv explicitly agreed to burglarize several houses on the McCallister's street, including The McCallisters.Although the majority rule in most jurisdictions is that some "overt act" is needed in furtherance of the conspiracy, that requirement has clearly been met here, as they actually did commit the burglaries.
- •BURGLARYUnlike other inchoate crimes, one may be charged with both the actual crime and the conspiracy to commit that crime
- •Burglary is the breaking and entering into a dwelling at night with the intent to commit a crime thereinThe "breaking" occurs with the disruption (however slight) of any door or opening into the dwelling. The "entering" is when any body part crosses the threshold into the home. You must have the intention to commit a crime once inside in order to be found guilty of burglary.
- •Here, as discussed above, Harry and Marv specifically intended to break into the McCallister's home with the purpose of committing a larceny therein.A larceny is the wrongful taking and carrying away of another's property with the intent to permanently deprive them of that property.
- •DEFENSE OF PROPERTY/DEFENSE OF SELF
- •Kevin himself commits various torts and crimes against Harry and Marv in his attempt to defend his home (assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, etc.)
- •However, at common law, one is entitled to defend their home and property by the use of reasonable force, but may never use deadly force to do so.However, one may use deadly force to defend their person if they reasonably believe deadly force may be used against them. It should be noted that most jurisdictions do not require you to make an attempt to flee your home if it is under attack
- •Here, Harry and Marv breaking and entering into Kevin's home to commit the burglary would most likely be enough to justify him in using deadly force to defend himself. The situation would be different if he were merely robbed of his property in public, in a less threatening way, etc.
- •ATTEMPTED VOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTERSince Harry and Marv do not actually succeed in killling Kevin, they will only be guilty of the attempted crime.
- •Voluntary manslaughter is the taking of another's life in the heat of passion resulting from an adequate provocation by the victimThe provocation must be one that would anger an ordinary person enough to the point of trying to kill another. The defendant must not have had adequate time to "cool off" before attempting the killing to be found guilty of voluntary manslaughter (a lesser defense homicide than murder).
- •Here, it is likely that Kevin's annoying and, frankly, dangerous boobytraps will be found as adequate provocation. Since Harry and Marv attempted to kill him in the moment, without much time to cool off and reflect on their actions, this element will also likely be met.