Proximate Cause in the Garden of Eden

  • From my Criminal Law casebook…
      The but-for-test is too imprecise a standard for deterimining causal accountability for harm because it fails to exclude remote candidates for legal responsibility. “Mankind might still be in Eden, but for Adam’s biting an apple.” Welch v. State, 45 Ala. App. 657, 235 So.2d 906 (1970). Although Adam’s conduct satisfies the but-for test of responsibility for today’s wrongdoing, we do not follow the causal chain as far back as it may lead us.