Document Type

Article

Abstract

This discussion focuses on those jurisdictions that have used ordinary negligence to find criminal liability when a person uses an inherently dangerous instrument, engages in an inherently dangerous activity, or engages in conduct that poses a threat of widespread public injury. Part IV analyzes the appropriateness of permitting punishment based on ordinary negligence and concludes that it is entirely responsible to adjust criminal sanctions to respond to a fast-paced and technologically reliant culture that consciously trades due care for greater and swifter achievements. Part IV also offers a model for legislatures to follow when evaluating the appropriateness of criminalizing negligent conduct. Following this model will assure that legislatures will limit punishment to instances when there is a reasonable expectation that criminal sanctions will serve as a deterrent to future harm. This article draws the conclusion that criminal law will not unfairly punish individuals and will provide prosecutors with enhanced tools to respond to dangerously careless conduct that could have been anticipated and averted.