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Inchoate Criminality

  • Andrew CornfordEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

Law-makers in many jurisdictions have recently created a range of new inchoate crimes: offenses that aim to prevent an ultimate harm by criminalizing conduct prior to the actual causing of that harm. Many observers have been worried by this development. They worry that these offenses criminalize conduct that does not deserve conviction and punishment; that they are disproportionate in their impact on citizens and their liberties; and that their preventive aims would be better pursued outside the criminal law. This chapter asks whether these worries are persuasive. It does so by examining a range of inchoate crimes, including offenses of attempt, endangerment, preparation, possession, and assistance and encouragement. It concludes that, while law-makers should be appropriately cautious about creating any criminal offense, there is no case for blanket skepticism about inchoate crimes.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of EdinburghEdinburghUK

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