Criminal Law Keyed to Johnson
Commonwealth v. Henley
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- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
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- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
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- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
Samuel Henley (Defendant) owned a jewelry store. An informant wearing a recording device went to Defendant’s store with five gold chains that had been provided by the police. The informant told Defendant that the chains were stolen and offered to sell the chains. Defendant agreed to purchase the chains, believing that the chains were stolen, and also stated that he would like to take part in similar deals in the future. After leaving the store, the informant turned over the money and recording device to a detective. The detective subsequently arrested Defendant, who was charged with attempted theft by receiving stolen property. According to Pennsylvania’s revised attempt statute, § 901, it would have been impossible for the defendant to actually commit the crime due to a misunderstanding of the circumstances. After the state presented its case, Defendant filed a demurrer, arguing that the chains were not actually stolen property, because the police possessed the chains, and he therefore could not be convicted of an attempt to receive stolen property that was not actually stolen. The trial court accepted Defendant’s defense and granted the demurrer. The superior court reversed, and Defendant appealed.
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