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The issue is one of unintended acts of a coconspirator. Professor Sandford Kadish recently examined this argument in, Complicity, Cause and Blame: A Study in the Interpretation of Doctrine (Complicity Doctrine, supra, 73 Cal.L.Rev. 323). In Professor Kadish's schema, two distinct doctrines coexist to affix criminal responsibility: causation and complicity. Causation links blame to the actor for those physical events which, once put in motion, relentlessly collide with one another, eventually resulting in demonstrable harm. 


Complicity doctrine, on the other hand, affixes liability derivatively, charging a secondary party, that is, a coconspirator or an aider and abettor, with the criminal act of the principal whom the secondary party has intentionally and knowingly influenced or assisted. Thus, acts done in furtherance of a conspiracy or assisted or facilitated by an aider and abettor present no obstacles to affixing liability under the respective complicity theories. So understood, complicity doctrine works to attach liability only when the secondary actor has intended his influence or assistance. (Id. at pp. 346-348.) 


The unintended consequence is beyond the scope of this theory. Nor, as Professor Kadish opines, can causation doctrine reach a principal's unintended acts to attach liability to the accomplice ...

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