Nick Zimmerman

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Crimes of recklessness, crimes of possession, and crimes such as stalking are arguably inchoate. This is so because the government is seeking to prevent conduct which in itself is not physically harmful but has in the past proved to be the precursor to serious criminal acts. The creation of these "inchoate" offenses is not terribly troublesome “ they rest on sound public policy. However, when "inchoate" crimes such as these are enacted, the legislature implicitly creates an attempt of the same crime because almost all fifty states have enacted general attempt statutes “ statutes which create a crime of attempt and apply to all of the other offenses enacted. The use of a general attempt statute in conjunction with the anti-stalking laws is especially disturbing because stalking involves activity that does not itself rise to the level of an attempt. This comment is devoted specifically to the offense of attempted stalking. Part I analyzes the exact constitution of inchoate crimes and ultimately classifies all inchoate crimes as either complex inchoate or simple inchoate. Part I discusses the history of anti-stalking laws, and applies the analysis from Part I to the crime of stalking, attempting to determine whether stalking is a complex inchoate crime, a simple inchoate crime, or not inchoate at all. Part III analyzes the various double inchoate constructions, as well as the double inchoate crime of attempted stalking. Part IV discusses several different challenges to double inchoate constructions. Finally, Part V considers the justifications for, and criticisms of attempted stalking and double inchoate crimes.

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College of Law






Northern Illinois University Law Review

Suggested Citation

Nick Zimmerman, Comment, Attempted Stalking: An Attempt-to-Almost-Attempt-to-Act, 20 N. Ill. U. L. Rev. 219 (2000).

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