State V. Latraverse
There are several tests and theories of attempt that the Rhode Island Supreme Court had to consider in the case against Mr. Latraverse. When determining if this case is an actus reus of attempt we must first ask ourselves “How much action is enough?” along with looking at tests that help draw the line between preparation and the act of attempt. Among the tests under the Model Penal Code, the most suitable test for this case would be the “Substantional-Steps” test.
Let me begin by stating the elements of common-law attempt as “intent to commit crime, execution of overt act in furtherance of intention, and failure to consummate crime.” Mr. Latraverse clearly illustrates substantial steps to committing a crime as he was found “reconnoitering undercover officer’s (Salvatore Lombardi) neighborhood on morning in question” in possession of several items including “a can of gasoline; a rag; matches; an aluminum baseball bat; a wire coat hanger that had been stretched out so that it could be used to open a car door”. Though there is not a clear execution of an overt act, the note found in Mr. Latraverse’ possession stating “Hi, Sal, now it’s my turn asshole.” strongly affirms the defendants furtherance of intention.
The final element to observe is the failure to go through with the intended crime; in this case Lombardi had called for “backup”, in his own words he “wasn’t going to take any chances”. As the backup headed down Morton Avenue to the intersection of Morton and Harrison Avenue, the T-Bird (Latraverse’ vehicle) “backed up on Harrison, made a U-turn, and headed away from the Morton Avenue area toward Park Place.” Let us further analyze this moment as it is very crucial to this case, not only was this the final element in making this a case of “attempt”, but this is also the only argument the defendant has in claiming “abandonment”, but was it abandonment?
The doctrine of renunciation or abandonment stresses that this descision...