The suggested case describing the plan to commit a crime of bank robbery is characterized by several elements that are commonly identified in crime attempts. Firstly, the two friends engaged in the planning, which implies their clear intent to commit a crime. Indeed, they found and studied the plan of the building to identify where the safes and counters are. Also, they borrowed a car and found a gun to threaten the employees of the bank and intended transportation of the stolen money. The note for a hold-up also indicates the intent to commit a crime. Secondly, both individuals arrived at the scene; one of the friends took the note and a gun inside the bank and interacted with the employee. Although no actual robbery was committed, these actions demonstrate the individual’s performance of an action that leads to crime commitment. Finally, one of the friends fails to rob the bank, which is another element of the attempt. He does not threaten anyone and does not display harmful intentions in public but decides to terminate the implementation of the planned actions.
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In the presented case, the two friends committed an attempt at a bank robbery. In the criminal justice discourse, it is stated that the identification of an attempt is particularly difficult due to the implicit nature of the intent and the concealed information about the crime that had been planned but not accomplished (Kukhianidze, 2017). However, when addressed from the perspective of the theory of intent, the friends are guilty of attempting a bank robbery that involved the utilization of firearms, a plan of the bank’s building, a note for a hold-up, and a borrowed car (Kukhianidze, 2017). According to the United States Department of Justice Archives (2020), in Title 18, section 2113 of the United States Code, it is stated that “the taking or attempted taking by force, intimidation, or extortion, of any property, money or any other thing of value belonging to … any bank” is prohibited (para. 2). If a person enters or attempts to enter a building to commit a robbery, they should be considered guilty and subjected “to a fine, twenty years imprisonment or both” (The United States Department of Justice Archives, 2020, para. 2). Thus, the two friends have committed attempted bank robbery.
In addition to the commitment of attempted bank robbery that is characterized by clearly identifiable elements of attempt, it is necessary to consider whether the second friend might be convicted of a felony. Indeed, according to the United States Department of Justice Archives (2020), the law “makes it a crime to knowingly receive, possess, conceal, store, barter, sell or dispose of any property, money, or anything of value which has been taken or stolen from a bank” (para. 4). However, no possessions were robbed, and the second friend did not receive, possess, or conceal any material goods that belonged to the bank. At the same time, the second friend might be reported as an accessory to the attempted crime.
Since the individual who entered the bank with a gun and an intention to rob it might be convicted of committing an attempted bank robbery, they might use several defense strategies. For example, the voluntary abandonment strategy should be used as the basis for legal defense. Since the person willingly and voluntarily terminated the planned actions without committing unlawful deeds, there is no ground for formal conviction.
Kukhianidze, L. (2017). Peculiarities of criminal liability for attempted crime through omission. In 7th Eurasian Multidisciplinary Forum (pp. 296-302). Web.
The United States Department of Justice Archives. (2020). 1349. Bank robbery – general overview [Data set]. Web.