Holloway v. United States

526 U.S. 1, 119 S. Ct. 966, 143 L. Ed. 2d 1, 1999 U.S. LEXIS 1708, 67 U.S.L.W. 4148, 99 Cal. Daily Op. Service 1548, 99 Daily Journal DAR 1979, 1999 Colo. J. C.A.R. 1119, 12 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 134

 

RULE:

A specific intent to commit an act can be found even where the intent is conditioned on the victim failing to comply with the defendant’s instructions.

FACTS:

This case involved an armed carjacking where the defendant threatened to harm or kill the driver if the car was not turned over.

ISSUE:

Does the phrase “carjacking with the intent to cause death or serious bodily harm” merely require proof that the defendant has an intent to kill or harm if necessary to effect a carjacking? or does the phrase require proof that the defendant had an unconditional intent to kill or harm in all events? 

ANSWER:

No.

CONCLUSION:

The phrase merely requires proof of the intent to kill or harm if necessary to affect a carjacking.
A specific intent to harm can be found when a defendant threatens to harm the victim if he or she fails to comply and requires the victim to comply with a condition that the defendant has no right to impose. Where specific intent is an element of an offense, a defendant cannot negate the existence of specific intent by conditioning the prohibited act on the victim’s failure to comply with the defendant’s requests. The court follows the majority conclusion that Congress intended to criminalize the typical carjacking whereby the carjacker steals the car by way of a threat of harm to the driver.

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