chapter 11. Homework. Complete all the exercises in chapter 11. Due Friday first thing.
Chapter 11: Defenses
To win a conviction in a criminal case, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime with the required intent. The defendant does not have to present a defense, but if he or she does, there are a number of possible defenses available.
No Crime Has Been Committed The defendant may decide to try to prove that (1) no crime was committed, or (2) there was no criminal intent because the act was simply committed by mistake.
Defendant Did Not Commit the Crime When there is confusion or doubt about who committed a crime, the defendant may try to prove that there has been a case of mistaken identity and that he or she was not the person responsible for the crime. Today, DNA testing can sometimes be used to prove whether or not the defendant was responsible. In recent years, some people convicted of crimes have been able to prove their innocence because of this testing.
Defendant Committed a Criminal Act, but the Act Was Excusable or Justifiable Sometimes a criminal act may be considered excusable or justifiable. This type of defense includes self-defense and defense of property and others. The law allows people to use deadly force when their own or someone else’s life is in danger. The law also permits people to use reasonable force to protect themselves, their property, and others from harm.
Defendant Committed a Criminal Act but Is Not Criminally Responsible for His or Her Actions In this type of defense, the defendant acknowledges that he or she committed the act but argues that there are reasons the law should not consider the defendant criminally responsible. The law recognizes several reasons that may excuse a defendant from criminal responsibility. These defenses include infancy, intoxication, insanity, entrapment, duress, and necessity.
Chapter 10: Crimes Against Property
The category of crimes against property includes two groups—crimes in which property is destroyed and crimes in which property is stolen or taken against the owner’s will. During the late 1990s, there were few.er crimes against property, in part because Americans developed better ways to prevent these crimes.
Arson and vandalism are examples of crimes involving the destruction of property. Arson is the intentional and malicious burning of another person’s property. In most states it is a crime to burn any building or structure, even if the person setting the fire is the owner. Vandalism is the willful destruction of or damage to another person’s property. Effects of vandalism include broken windows, graffiti, and damage to cars.
There are many other categories of crimes that involve taking property against the will of the owner. Larceny is the unlawful taking and carrying away of another person’s property with the intent never to return it to the owner. Most states identify larceny as either grand or petty. Grand larceny—which is a felony—occurs when anything above a certain value is stolen. Petty larceny is a misdemeanor that involves the theft of anything of small value.
Robbery is the taking of property from a person’s immediate possession by using force or threats, while burglary is the unlawful entry into any dwelling or structure with the intention to commit a crime. A person who is entrusted with property but then takes it unlawfully is guilty of embezzlement. Extortion, which is also called blackmail, takes place when one person uses threats to obtain another person’s property. The threats may include harm to the victim’s body, property, reputation, or loved ones.
Other crimes against property include forgery, receiving stolen property, and unauthorized use of a vehicle. The Internet has led to an increase in computer crime, which is any unlawful use of a computer or computer technology. It can involve such acts as the use of a computer to make fake identifications or the intentional spreading of a computer virus.
In changing times Class Expectations of the Street Law Class are subject to the following amendments:
The following amendments will be enforceable during any unscheduled holidays, in war time situations, terroist threats to the school, closure of school apart from any given calender holidays on the School Calender for the current year 2009-2010.
1. Students are exptected to check their Blogs every day for any assignments/homework or activity.
2. Students are expected to respond to all facebook communications immediately of Mr. Lukhesar’s StreetLaw Group and check the message board once a day.
3. If you are having problems accessing the net or a computer at home you must immediately contact me on my cell number 0300-8474169 and get me in touch with your parents so we may sort out the problem and I know in advance that you will be unable to complete an assignment. There will be no other excuse for late work!
4. Provide me with your updated cell numbers. If you change your number it is your responsiblity to communicate me the new one immediately. If you do not have a cell you must provide me the cell number of your parents or any legal guardian who can responsibly convey you information at all times.
Thankyou. Mr. Lukhesar
Students are instructed to read the above case study, which you already have in your possession, and write a minimum of five sentences comparing and contrasting the changing assault laws in the textbook and on the street law website to that of the case scenario in Dalton Chase. Due date October 28, 2009. You can post this assignment on the Blog.
Don’t forget Test Chap 9 the day you come back. In the meanwhile We’ll move ahead with the next chapter 10 and I’ll be posting assignments up for that everyday.
Chapter 9: Crimes Against the Person
Remember after reading the chapter you can access the following link to take a self-Assessment Quiz and see how much you know:)
Additional Reading on various topics can be found on:
Crimes against the person include homicide, suicide, kidnapping, assault, battery, and rape. They are all serious offenses that can result in harsh punishments.
Homicide Homicide—the killing of one human being by another—is classified as criminal or noncriminal. Murder is the most serious form of criminal homicide. It may be classified as first-degree, felony murder, or second-degree, depending on the level of premeditation that preceded the crime. In voluntary manslaughter, the killer loses control in response to the victim’s actions. Although the killer is still responsible for the killing, the law recognizes that the killer had an altered state of mind that may have prevented him or her from acting rationally. Involuntary manslaughter is an accidental killing resulting from a person’s careless behavior toward others.
Suicide Suicide is the deliberate taking of one’s own life. Courts generally treat attempted suicide as a plea for help and demand that the individual seek treatment. The courts may order a psychological examination or treatment for someone who has attempted suicide. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death among teenagers.
Kidnapping This crime is sometimes called abduction and involves taking a person away against his or her will.
Assault and Battery The law often treats assault and battery as very similar crimes. Assault is an attempt or threat to carry out a physical attack upon another person. Battery is any unlawful physical contact inflicted by one person upon another person without consent. Even if actual injury does not occur, a person may be charged with battery if he or she intended to harm the other person. These crimes—which include simple assault, stalking, and sexual assault—are classified according to how severe they are.
Rape The law generally has recognized rape and statutory rape as separate crimes. Rape is sexual intercourse without consent. Statutory rape is sexual intercourse between an adult and a minor child. Rape laws recognize that either males or females can commit or be victims of this crime. Many states are replacing their rape laws with criminal sexual assault laws
Reginald Woolmington was a 21 year old farm labourer from Castleton, Dorset. On November 22, 1934, three months after his marriage to 17 year old Violet Kathleen Woolmington, his wife left him and went to live with her mother. On December 10 Reginald stole a double-barrel shotgun and cartridges from his employer, sawed off the barrel, throwing it in a brook, and then bicycled over to his mother-in-law’s house where he shot and killed Violet. He was arrested on January 23 the following year and charged with the willful murder of his wife.
Woolmington claimed he did not intend to kill her. He wanted to win her back so he planned to scare her by threatening to kill himself if she did not come back. When questioning her about returning, he attempted to show her the gun that he was to use to kill himself. By accident, the gun went off shooting Violet in the heart.
The Trial judge ruled that the case was so strong against Reginald that the onus was on the defendant to show that the shooting was accidental. At trial the jury deliberated for an hour and 25 minutes. On February 14, 1935 he was convicted and sentenced to death.
On appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeal, Woolmington argued that the Trial judge misdirected the jury. The appeal judge discounted the argument using the common law precedent as stated in Foster’s Crown Law (1762).
- … In every charge of murder, the fact of killing being first proved, all the circumstances of accident, necessity, or infirmity are to be satisfactorily proved by the prisoner, unless they arise out of the evidence produced against him; for the law presumeth the fact to have been founded in malice, unless the contrary appeareth…
The issue brought to the House of Lords was whether the statement of law in “Foster’s Crown Law” was correct when it said that where a death occurred it is presumed to be murder unless proven otherwise.
In articulating the ruling, Viscount Sankey made his famous “Golden thread” speech:
- Throughout the web of the English Criminal Law one golden thread is always to be seen, that it is the duty of the prosecution to prove the prisoner’s guilt subject to what I have already said as to the defence of insanity and subject also to any statutory exception. If, at the end of and on the whole of the case, there is a reasonable doubt, created by the evidence given by either the prosecution or the prisoner, as to whether the prisoner killed the deceased with a malicious intention, the prosecution has not made out the case and the prisoner is entitled to an acquittal. No matter what the charge or where the trial, the principle that the prosecution must prove the guilt of the prisoner is part of the common law of England and no attempt to whittle it down can be entertained. When dealing with a murder case the Crown must prove (a) death as the result of a voluntary act of the accused and (b) malice of the accused.
The conviction was overturned and Woolmington acquitted.
Comments are invited on the case study in the following areas:
- Legislative drafting versus legislative intent;
- Laws should be given their ordinary english meaning;
- three separate offences or one offence;
- impact of words like ‘and’ ‘or’ on society as a whole. Implications.
- What point does the offense of soliciting occur
Chapter 8: Introduction to Criminal Law
Also once you have read the chapter you can go on the following website and take a sel-assessment quizz and see how much you know:)
General Considerations Every crime is made up of certain elements. At trial, each element of a particular crime must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict a person. A single act can be both a criminal and a civil wrong. For example, the state can prosecute and punish the person for the crime, and the injured person can sue for damages in civil court.
State and Federal Crimes Both the federal and state governments have criminal laws. Some acts can be prosecuted only in state courts while other acts can be prosecuted only in federal courts. Certain crimes that violate both state and federal law can be prosecuted in either state or federal courts.
Classes of Crimes Crimes are separated into two categories based on their severity and the punishments attached to them. A felony is a crime that carries a potential prison sentence of more than one year. Felonies are usually more serious crimes. A misdemeanor is any crime that can result in a prison sentence of one year or less.
Parties to Crimes The person who commits a crime is called the principal. An accomplice is the person who helps the principal commit the crime. The accomplice can be charged with the same crime as the principal. A person who helps organize the crime but is not present when it occurs is called an accessory before the fact. This person can usually be charged with the same crime as the principal. An accessory after the fact is a person who learns about a crime after it has occurred and helps the principal or accomplice to avoid capture. This person is not charged with the original crime but may be charged with harboring a fugitive or obstructing justice.
Crimes of Omission Most crimes occur when a person does something that violates the law. In a few cases, however, failing to act may be a crime if the person had a legal duty to act. This type of failure to act is known as omission.
Preliminary Crimes Certain actions take place before a crime is committed. These acts can be punished even if the crime is never completed. Three examples of preliminary crimes are solicitation, attempt, and conspiracy. Solicitation involves one person asking another to participate in a crime. To be convicted for attempt, the accused person must have both intended to commit a crime and have taken a “substantial step” toward committing the crime. A conspiracy is an agreement between two or more people to commit a crime. Police cannot arrest people for merely discussing a crime—the people must have taken obvious steps towards completing the crime to be guilty of conspiracy
Remember: There is an abundance of information at www.streetlaw.glencoe.com/
Overview of Chapter 7
The Nature of Crimes A crime is something that a person does or fails to do that violates the law. The government establishes penalties for such behavior. Crime rates are influenced by many factors, although many people disagree about the causes of crime and the best solutions to the problem. In recent years, crime on high school and college campuses has become a serious problem. Crime is costly—in addition to the loss of life and property, it costs the government a great amount of money to prevent, investigate, and prosecute crime.
Gangs and Crime Gangs are active in towns and cities of all sizes throughout the country. Gangs expose their members and their communities to extreme violence and danger. Many youths join gangs because gangs offer a sense of belonging and an opportunity to earn money. Most people agree that a promising strategy to discourage gang membership is to provide young people with opportunities and community connections that will offer them a greater sense of belonging.
Guns and the Law Most Americans who own firearms own them legally and use them lawfully. However, guns are often used in violent crimes. Many people disagree about the government’s role in controlling gun ownership. Some groups believe the Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to own guns. Other people believe that the Second Amendment gives the state power to maintain a militia but does not entitle individuals to own guns. The Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 is the primary federal gun-control law. Congress amended this law 1993 by enacting the Brady Act. Gun laws have also been enacted at the state and local levels.
Substance Abuse and Crime Abuse of alcohol and drugs, often called substance abuse, contributes to many social problems and often leads to other criminal activity. Although many adults use alcohol responsibly, alcohol abuse can be very harmful to society. Some people argue that the best way to handle the drug problem is to legalize some or all drugs. They believe legalization would allow the government to better regulate drugs and would eliminate the problems that are associated with illegal distribution of drugs. Many others, however, strongly oppose legalization.
Victims of Crime Every person is at risk to be a victim of crime. However, teens and young adults are more likely than any other age groups to be victims. Victim advocacy groups work to protect victims by promoting the concerns and rights of victims.
Preventing and Reporting Crime You can help fight crime by learning how to protect yourself. Also, reporting crime can help to prevent others from being victims. There are many organizations and programs that exist to assist victims of crime and prevent future crime.