Conspiracy, Complicity, and the Scope of Contemplated Crime
Kimberly Kessler Ferzan
Earle Hepburn Professor of Law Co-Director
Institute of Law & Philosophy
University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School
One of the leading casebooks for the first-year Criminal Law course begins the mens rea discussion with Regina v. Cunningham. Cunningham, in need of money, decided to rip the gas meter off the residential gas pipe in his soon-to-be basement to steal the shillings inside. That Cunningham was guilty of theft was uncontroversial. The problem was that Cunningham did not turn off the gas, and it seeped into the adjacent home, partially asphyxiating the neighbor, Sarah Wade.