The Theory Of
The standard cases of criminal liability are those in which an individual violates a prohibitory norm, with neither justification nor excuse. He may act in concert with others, but his conduct is assessed on its own terms. The crime perpetrated might take a variety of forms. It might be an act of causing harm, such as homicide, or an inchoate offense, such as conspiracy or possession of contraband. It might be an affirmative act or a failure to act, as in the failure to file an income tax form or the failure to answer a question before a congressional hearing. The standard form of perpetration is readily adapted to all of these variations in the form of criminal conduct.
There are two species of criminal liability that fall outside the standard cases of perpetration. The first is failing to intervene to prevent a harm that the law seeks to prevent. Someone fails to render aid to a stricken party and the latter dies. Depending on the circumstances and the relationship between the parties, the party who fails to intervene might be liable for criminal homicide. This form of liability is often called "commission by omission." The