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State v. Hazelwood

946 P.2d 875 (Alas. 1997)

tl;dr: Due process is nto denied to a defendant who is convicted of criminal negligence under a statute that merely requires the civil negligence standard of care, because reasonable deterrence is the core principle of due process.

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The Supreme Court of Alaska reviewed the case of Joseph Hazelwood, who was convicted of negligent discharge of oil during the Exxon Valdez incident. The Court of Appeals twice reversed the conviction, stating that he should have been tried under a criminal negligence theory rather than the civil negligence standard. However, the Supreme Court of Alaska reversed the decision, stating that criminal negligence requires a greater risk than ordinary negligence and a more culpable mental state. The case highlights the confusion between volition and intent, and the appropriateness of the simple or ordinary negligence standard requires consideration of the reasons that variable levels of mens rea will satisfy due process for different offenses. The court requires clear legislative intent to impose strict liability crimes.

The effectiveness of crimes based on negligence and strict liability is debated among professors. The minimum level of intent for an offense depends on whether it is reasonable to expect the defendant to conform to the regulation. The legislature decides what conduct is inherently wrongful and when strict liability is appropriate. The Michigan Supreme Court has stated that due process is satisfied by the negligence standard in civil proceedings, and the adoption of an ordinary civil negligence standard in a criminal case does not violate due process. The Superior Court's adoption of an ordinary negligence standard was not erroneous, and the Court of Appeals' holding on this issue is reversed. The case is remanded to the Court of Appeals for consideration of any unresolved issues originally raised by Hazelwood on appeal.

The argument presented in favor of the court of appeals' decision opposes the criminalization of civil negligence. It stresses that criminal penalties should only be imposed in cases of gross negligence.

IRACIssue, Rule, Analysis, Conclusion

๐Ÿคฏ High points ๐ŸคฏKey points contributed by students on LSD

Facts & Holding

Facts:The defendant was the captain of an Exxon oil rig...

Holding:The court held that the civil negligence standard was sufficient...

State v. Hazelwood

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