CrimeDefinitionDefine the crime is extremely difficult because the offense is one well-defined behavior underthe criminal code, which is very different depending on which country we are. The outcastsbehaviors called antisocial behavior and need not coincide. The one who commits a crime is notconsidered criminal, but one who repeatedly commits and is considered antisocial by society.An estimated one of every 9 U.S. children is brought to court before age 18. According to Gold,88% of those under 18 have committed crimes, of which only 22% are un2% arrested andbrought before a judge.Causes Of Crime• One of the causes of crime are biological or genetic factors. Besidesdifferences were found in the nervous system and brain damage.• There is a theory that the individual who has not had a healthy relationship with their parentshas not been able to develop self-control.• It is said that we are is the result of our past, and that therefore the delinquent, it is because inthe past has been successful doing it.• Another theory says that is the result of a severance of ties with society through a neglect,school failure, ...• Another theory that society provides emphasizes the success we aspire to instill a lot, but thennot given the means to achieve it, causing frustration. It is an attempt to adapt frustrated.• There are subcultures in which the most admired is the one who commits more crimes.• It appears that even individual offender catalog makes that individual assumes the role.Factors
•Sex: There are more male offenders than female offenders.•Skills: There are studies supporting the relationship between low IQand crime.•Hyperkinetic syndrome (hyperactivity) Children very impulsive and non-reflective are morelikely to commit crime.•Egocentrism: They have great difficulty in visualizing the consequences of their actions (lackof empathy).•Social class: the crime is associated with marginal classes.•Family: parents is associated with little moral support coerce and punish a lot. The breakdownbetween parents and children early is a good predictor of crime.Class Of OffendersThere are various classifications, we offer the Quay and Parsons (1960), for which they didnumerous tests:• Maladjusted immatures psychologically fragile young, lazy and undisciplined dreamers whodo not get to sleep, normally unattainable, angry with the world.• No socialized psychopath: He has not developed the self, has not assimilated norms or values.They are "moral imbeciles" by the lack of ethical criteria. Because they have no remorse, do notlearn from the mistakes, do not mature.• Neurotic upset: Individual loner who blames and suffers from depression too. Robbery, rape ...They suffer from depression (something that would happen to the psychopath).• Subcultural socialized: Has accepted norms of their subculture, but it turns out that these runcounter to the general culture.What to Do with Lawbreakers?There are two types of punishment: A fine and imprisonment throughout the West, and theseplus the death penalty in 100 nations, telling U.S.. From a sociological and psychological view isnot the right way because punishment has always existed and always crime has increased. The
punishment does not affect the way a criminal mind, for those who go to jail, if not honored, atleast not embarrassing.In recent years it has created a new trend: Criminology, which tells us that the punishment doeslittle or nothing, and that there should be psychological treatment, educational and socialopportunities as well.The methods proposed by the various branches of psychology behavior modification throughpunishment only strictly necessary at times, social skills training, training in impulse control, inanalyzing and solving problems, ethics, negotiation, .. . The method of punishment throughcommunity service to society as a system of rehabilitation is another proposal to reduce prisonovercrowding. In the 70 tested diversification, remove and replace prison but failed institutions.This is a very complex problem in our society requires more money than you invested. It is saidthat we will pay the consequences, because the placement exacerbates the problem, we know,and no action is taken.Disclaimer: Please consult a medical practitioner before using sensitive information. Neither thesite nor the author will be responsible for losses or damages resulting out of the use of thisarticle.NextCRIMEA crime is a wrongdoing classified by the state or Congress as a felony or misdemeanor.A crime is an offence against a public law. This word, in its most general sense, includes alloffences, but in its more limited sense is confined to felony.The term offence may be considered as having the same meaning, but is usually understood to bea crime not indictable but punishable, summarily or by the forfeiture of a penalty.Felony. A felony is a serious crime punishable by at least one year in prison. Some family lawfelonies include kidnapping and custodial interference (in some states).People convicted of felonies lose certain rights, such as the right to vote or hold public office.During the term of sentence, the convicted person may also be prohibited from making contracts,marrying, suing or keeping certain professional licenses. Upon release from prison, the convictmay also be required to register with the police.
Misdemeanor. A misdemeanor is a crime for which the punishment is usually a fine and/or up toone year in a county jail. Often a crime which is a misdemeanor for the first offense becomes afelony for repeated offenses. All crimes that are not felonies are misdemeanors.Crimes are defined and punished by statutes and by the common law. Most common lawoffences are as well known and as precisely ascertained as those which are defined by statutes;yet, from the difficulty of exactly defining and describing every act which ought to be punished,the vital and preserving principle has been adopted; that all immoral acts which tend to theprejudice of the community are punishable by courts of justice.Crimes are mala in se, or bad in themselves, and these include all offences against the morallaw; or they are mala prohibita, bad because prohibited, as being against sound policy which,unless prohibited, would be innocent or indifferent. Crimes may be classed into such as affect:- 1. Religion And Public Worship: 1. Blasphemy. 2. Disturbing public worship.- 2. The Sovereign Power: 1. Treason. 2. Misprision of treason.- 3. The Current Coin: 1. Counterfeiting or impairing it.- 4. Public justice: 1. Bribery of judges or jurors, or receiving the bribe. 2. Perjury. 3. Prisonbreaking. 4. Rescue. 5. Barratry. 6. Maintenance. 7. Champerty. 8. Compounding felonies. 9.Misprision of felonies. 10. Oppression. 11. Extortion. 12. Suppressing evidence. 13. Negligenceor misconduct in inferior officers. 14. Obstructing legal process. 15. Embracery.- 5. Public Peace: 1. Challenges to fight a duel. 2. Riots, routs and unlawful assemblies. 3.Affrays. 4. Libels.- 6. Public Trade: 1. Cheats. 2. Forestalling. S. Regrating. 4. Engrossing. 5. Monopolies.- 7. Chastity: 1. Sodomy. 2. Adultery. 3. Incest. 4. Bigamy. 5. Fornication.- 8. Decency And Morality: 1. Public indecency. 2. Drunkenness. 3. Violatiug the grave.- 9. Public Police And Economy: 1. Common nuisances. 2. Keeping disorderly houses andbawdy houses. 3. Idleness, vagrancy, and beggary.- 10. Public Policy: 1. Gambling. 2. Illegal lotteries.- 11. Individuals: 1. Homicide, which is justifiable, excusable or felonious. 3. Mayhem. 3. Rape.4. Poisoning, with intent to murder. 5. Administering drugs to a woman quick with child tocause, miscarriage. 6. Concealing death of bastard child. 7. Assault and battery, which is eithersimple or with intent to commit some other crime. 8. kidnapping. 9. False imprisonment. 10.Abduction.
- 12. Private Property: 1. Burglary. 2. Arson. 3. Robbery. 4., Forgery. Counterfeiting. 6. Larceny.7. Receiving stolen goods, knowing them to have been stolen, or theft-bote. 8. Maliciousmischief.- 13. The Public, Individuals, Or Their Property, According To The Intent Of The Criminal: 1.Conspiracy.3rdDefinition of crime in generalThe methodical study of the reasons, anticipation, power, and severe reactions to crime is calledcriminology. For these intentions, the explanation of crime depends on the speculative posture taken.The life of crime could be sighted from either a official or normative point of view. A legalisticdescription comprises general law or the ruling codified in the laws endorsed by the superiorgovernment. Consequently, a crime is any blameworthy act or oversight banned by law and penalized bythe State. This is an straightforward view: the commandment, and only the regulation, identify crime.A normative definition analysis crime as abnormal behaviour which goes against the existing norms,exclusively, cultural standards recommending how humans ought to conduct yourself. This approachjudged the multifarious realities adjacent the idea of crime and request to recognize how shifting social,political, psychosomatic, and economic circumstances may have an effect on the current definitions ofcrime and the structure of the official, law enforcement, and penal reactions made by the State.These constitutional certainties are solution and often controversial. For example, as culturesrevolutionize and the political atmosphere transfers, behaviour may be criminalised or decriminalised,which will straightforwardly have an effect on the statistical crime rates, establish the distribution ofassets for the enforcement of such laws, and manipulate public judgment. HbsoA body of rules and statutes that defines conduct prohibited by the government because itthreatens and harms public safety and welfare and that establishes punishment to be imposed forthe commission of such acts.The term criminal law generally refers to substantive criminal laws. Substantive criminal lawsdefine crimes and may establish punishments. In contrast, Criminal Procedure describes theprocess through which the criminal laws are enforced. For example, the law prohibiting murderis a substantive criminal law. The manner in which government enforces this substantive law—through the gathering of evidence and prosecution—is generally considered a procedural matter.Crimes are usually categorized as felonies or misdemeanors based on their nature and themaximum punishment that can be imposed. A felony involves serious misconduct that ispunishable by death or by imprisonment for more than one year. Most state criminal laws
subdivide felonies into different classes with varying degrees of punishment. Crimes that do notamount to felonies are misdemeanors or violations. A misdemeanor is misconduct for which thelaw prescribes punishment of no more than one year in prison. Lesser offenses, such as trafficand parking infractions, are often called violations and are considered a part of criminal law.The power to make certain conduct illegal is granted to Congress by virtue of the Necessary andProper Clause of the Constitution (art. I, § 8, cl. 18). Congress has the power to define andpunish crimes whenever it is necessary and proper to do so, in order to accomplish and safeguardthe goals of government and of society in general. Congress has wide discretion in classifyingcrimes as felonies or misdemeanors, and it may revise the classification of crimes.State legislatures have the exclusive and inherent power to pass a law prohibiting and punishingany act, provided that the law does not contravene the provisions of the U.S. or state constitution.When classifying conduct as criminal, state legislatures must ensure that the classification bearssome reasonable relation to the welfare and safety of society. Municipalities may makedesignated behavior illegal insofar as the power to do so has been delegated to them by the statelegislature.Laws passed by Congress or a state must define crimes with certainty. A citizen and the courtsmust have a clear understanding of a criminal laws requirements and prohibitions. The elementsof a criminal law must be stated explicitly, and the statute must embody some reasonablydiscoverable standards of guilt. If the language of a statute does not plainly show what thelegislature intended to prohibit and punish, the statute may be declared VOID FOR VAGUENESS.In deciding whether a statute is sufficiently certain and plain, the court must evaluate it from thestandpoint of a person of ordinary intelligence who might be subject to its terms. A statute thatfails to give such a person fair notice that the particular conduct is forbidden is indefinite andtherefore void. Courts will not hold a person criminally responsible for conduct that could notreasonably be understood to be illegal. However, mere difficulty in understanding the meaningof the words used, or the Ambiguity of certain language, will not nullify a statute for vagueness.A criminal statute does not lapse by failure of authorities to prosecute violations of it. If a statuteis expressly repealed by the legislature, but some of its provisions are at the same time re-enacted, the re-enacted provisions continue in force without interruption. If a penal statute isrepealed without a saving clause, which would provide that the statute continues in effect forcrimes that were committed prior to its repeal, violations committed prior to its repeal cannot beprosecuted or punished after its repeal.The same principles govern pending criminal proceedings. The punishment that is providedunder a repealed statute without a saving clause cannot be enforced, nor can the proceeding beprosecuted further, even if the accused pleads guilty. A court cannot inflict punishment under astatute that no longer exists. If a relevant statute is repealed while an appeal of a conviction ispending, the conviction must be set aside if there is no saving clause. However, once a finaljudgment of conviction is handed down on appeal, a subsequent repeal of the statute upon whichthe conviction is based does not require reversal of the judgment.
Generally, two elements are required in order to find a person guilty of a crime: an overt criminalact and criminal intent. The requirement of an Overt Act is fulfilled when the defendantpurposely, knowingly, or recklessly does something prohibited by law. An act is purposefulwhen a person holds a conscious objective to engage in certain conduct or to cause a particularresult. To act knowingly means to do so voluntarily and deliberately, and not owing to mistake orsome other innocent reason. An act is reckless when a person knows of an unjustifiable risk andconsciously disregards it.An omission, or failure to act, may constitute a criminal act if there is a duty to act. For example,a parent has a duty to protect his or her child from harm. A parents failure to take reasonablesteps to protect a child could result in criminal charges if the omission were considered to be atleast reckless.Ordinarily, a person cannot be convicted of a crime unless he or she is aware of all the facts thatmake his or her conduct criminal. However, if a person fails to be aware of a substantial andunjustifiable risk, an act or omission involving that risk may constitute negligent conduct thatleads to criminal charges. Negligence gives rise to criminal charges only if the defendant took avery unreasonable risk by acting or failing to act.IntentCriminal intent must be formed before the act, and it must unite with the act. It need not exist forany given length of time before the act; the intent and the act can be as instantaneous assimultaneous or successive thoughts.A jury may be permitted to infer criminal intent from facts that would lead a reasonable personto believe that it existed. For example, the intent to commit Burglary may be inferred from theaccuseds possession of tools for picking locks.Criminal intent may also be presumed from the commission of the act. That is, the prosecutionmay rely on the presumption that a person intends the Natural and Probable Consequences of hisor her voluntary acts. For example, the intent to commit murder may be demonstrated by theparticular voluntary movement that caused the death, such as the pointing and shooting of afirearm. A defendant may rebut this presumption by introducing evidence showing a lack ofcriminal intent. In the preceding example, if the murder defendant reasonably believed that thefirearm was actually a toy, evidence showing that belief might rebut the presumption that deathwas intended.Proof of general criminal intent is required for the conviction of most crimes. The intent elementis usually fulfilled if the defendant was generally aware that he or she was very likelycommitting a crime. This means that the prosecution need not prove that the defendant wasaware of all of the elements constituting the crime. For example, in a prosecution for thepossession of more than a certain amount of a controlled substance, it is not necessary to provethat the defendant knew the precise quantity. Other examples of general-intent crimes areBattery, rape, Kidnapping, and False Imprisonment.
Some crimes require a Specific Intent. Where specific intent is an element of a crime, it must beproved by the prosecution as an independent fact. For example, Robbery is the taking of propertyfrom anothers presence by force or threat of force. The intent element is fulfilled only byevidence showing that the defendant specifically intended to steal the property. Unlike generalintent, specific intent may not be inferred from the commission of the unlawful act. Examples ofspecific-intent crimes are solicitation, attempt, conspiracy, first-degree premeditated murder,assault, Larceny, robbery, burglary, forgery, false pretense, and Embezzlement.Most criminal laws require that the specified crime be committed with knowledge of the actscriminality and with criminal intent. However, some statutes make an act criminal regardless ofintent. When a statute is silent as to intent, knowledge of criminality and criminal intent need notbe proved. Such statutes are called Strict Liability laws. Examples are laws forbidding the sale ofalcohol to minors, and Statutory Rape laws.The doctrine of transferred intent is another nuance of criminal intent. Transferred intent occurswhere one intends the harm that is actually caused, but the injury occurs to a different victim orobject. To illustrate, the law allows prosecution where the defendant intends to burn one housebut actually burns another instead. The concept of transferred intent applies to Homicide, battery,and Arson.Felony-murder statutes evince a special brand of transferred intent. Under a felony-murderstatute, any death caused in the commission of, or in an attempt to commit, a predicate felony ismurder. It is not necessary to prove that the defendant intended to kill the victim. For example, adeath resulting from arson will give rise to a murder charge even though the defendantintentionally set the structure on fire without intending to kill a human being. Furthermore, theunderlying crime need not have been the direct cause of the death. In the arson example, thevictim need not die of burns; a fatal heart attack will trigger a charge of felony murder. In mostjurisdictions, a death resulting from the perpetration of certain felonies will constitute first-degree murder. Such felonies usually include arson, robbery, burglary, rape, and kidnapping.MaliceMalice is a state of mind that compels a person to deliberately cause unjustifiable injury toanother person. At Common Law, murder was the unlawful killing of one human being byanother with malice aforethought, or a predetermination to kill without legal justification orexcuse. Most jurisdictions have omitted malice from statutes, in favor of less-nebulous terms todescribe intent, such as purpose and knowing.Massachusetts, for example, has retained malice as an element in criminal prosecutions. Underthe General Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Chapter 265, Section 1, malice is anessential element of first- and second-degree murder. According to the Supreme Judicial Court ofMassachusetts malice is a mental state that "includes any unexcused intent to kill, to do grievousbodily harm, or to do an act creating a plain and strong likelihood that death or grievous harmwill follow" (Commonwealth v. Huot, 403 N.E.2d 411 ).
MotivesMotives are the causes or reasons that induce a person to form the intent to commit a crime.They are not the same as intent. Rather, they explains why the person acted to violate the law.For example, knowledge that one will receive insurance funds upon the death of another may bea motive for murder, and sudden financial difficulty may be motive for embezzlement orburglary.Proof of a motive is not required for the conviction of a crime. The existence of a motive isimmaterial to the matter of guilt when that guilt is clearly established. However, when guilt is notclearly established, the presence of a motive might help to establish it. If a prosecution is basedentirely on Circumstantial Evidence, the presence of a motive might be persuasive in establishingguilt; likewise, the absence of a motive might support a finding of innocence.DefensesDefenses Negating Criminal Capacity To be held responsible for a crime, a person mustunderstand the nature and consequences of his or her unlawful conduct. Under certaincircumstances, a person who commits a crime lacks the legal capacity to be held responsible forthe act.Examples of legal incapacity are infancy, incompetence, and intoxication.Children are not criminally responsible for their actions until they are old enough to understandthe difference between right and wrong and the nature of their actions. Children under the age ofseven are conclusively presumed to lack the capacity to commit a crime. Between the ages ofseven and 14, children are presumed to be incapable of committing a crime. However, thispresumption is not conclusive; it can be rebutted by the prosecution through the admission ofevidence that the child knew that what he or she was doing was wrong. Anyone over the age of14 is presumed to be capable of committing a crime, but this presumption can be rebutted byproof of either mental or physical incapacity.SHOULD MORE CRIMES BE MADE FEDERAL OFFENSES?Enforcement of criminal laws in the United States has traditionally been a matter handled by thestates. The federal government, conversely, has typically limited itself to policing only crimesagainst the federal government and interstate crime. This is just one expression of the U.S.system of Federalism, the notion that the federal government exists in tandem with the states anddoes not, without necessity, deprive states of their powers. The Tenth Amendment to the U.S.Constitution is an example of federalism at work. That amendment states, "The powers notdelegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reservedto the States respectively, or to the people."Near the end of the twentieth century, however, Congress passed a host of federal laws thatdirectly overlap with existing state criminal laws. Such laws include the Anti-Car Theft Act of
1992, the Child Support Recovery Act of 1992, the Animal Enterprise Protection Act of 1992,and new criminal laws on Arson, narcotics and dangerous drugs, guns, Money Laundering andreporting, Domestic Violence, environmental transgressions, career criminals, and repeatoffenders. As a result, in 1998, the number of criminal prosecutions in federal courts increasedby 15 percent. The increase was nearly three times the increase in federal criminal prosecutionsin 1997.In a Report of the Federal Judiciary issued at the end of 1998, U.S. Supreme Court Chief JusticeWILLIAM H. REHNQUIST criticized the congressional movement toward federalizing the criminaljustice system. "Federal courts were not created to adjudicate local crimes," Rehnquist instructed,"no matter how sensational or heinous the crimes may be." Rehnquist noted the tremendous tollthat federalization of crime was exacting on the federal judiciary, and he decried the damage itwas doing to the concept of federalism: "The trend to federalize crimes that traditionally havebeen handled in state courts not only is taxing the judiciarys resources and affecting its budgetneeds, but it also threatens to change entirely the nature of our federal system." According toRehnquist, the problem was political in nature; senators and representatives in Congress wereusing the act of lawmaking to win or keep their seats: "The pressure in Congress to appearresponsive to every highly publicized societal ill or sensational crime needs to be balanced withan inquiry into whether states are doing an adequate job in this particular area and, ultimately,whether we want most of our legal relationships decided at the national rather than local level."In his 1998 report, Rehnquist cited a report on federal courts issued by the 1995 JudicialConference of the United States. The Judicial Conference recommended that federal courts beused for only five types of cases: 1) offenses against the government or its inherent interests; 2)criminal activity with substantial multi-state or international aspects; 3) criminal activityinvolving complex commercial or institutional enterprises most effectively prosecuted underfederal resources or expertise; 4) serious high level or widespread state or local governmentcorruption; and 5) criminal cases raising highly sensitive local issues. "Although Congress neednot follow the recommendations of the Judicial Conference," Rehnquist wrote, "this Long-RangePlan is based not simply on the preference of federal judges, but on the traditional principle offederalism that has guided the country throughout its existence."Concern over the federalization trend spread during the late 1990s. The Criminal Justice Sectionof the American Bar Association (ABA) organized a task force—the Task Force on theFederalization of Criminal Law—to look into the matter. In 1998, the task force issued a reportin which it criticized the trend. Victor S. (Torry) Johnson, a representative of the NationalDistrict Attorneys Association (NDAA) on the task force, declared in Prosecutor, "By trying tofight street crime through federal legislation, Congress misleads the public into believing that anational response will be effective and that the problem will be solved with federal intervention."Congress then fails to provide enough federal funding to prosecute all the new laws, creating asituation in which the efforts of local law enforcement "are undermined by the unrealisticexpectations created by Congress well-publicized enactments."In his 1999 article for Corrections Today, James A. Gondles Jr., executive director of theAmerican Correctional Association, lamented the introduction of low-level, local criminals intothe federal system. According to Gondles, mixing such prisoners with big-time federal criminals
blurs the jurisdictional line and makes it "more difficult for those at the state and local levels todo their jobs."Not everyone is troubled by the federalization of criminal law enforcement. Proponents offederal criminal laws argue that they are necessary in an increasingly mobile society. Crimetends to span more than one state and even local crime can have effects which cross stateboundaries. In his article for the Hastings Law Journal, Rory K. Little, a professor of law at theUniversity of California, Hastings College of Law, defended the increase in federal crimes as aprotection against the inability of states to catch and prosecute all criminals. If the quality ofjustice is better in the federal courts, Little opines, "then problems of crime cannot be ignoredfederally while state criminal justice systems slowly sink and justice fails."A U.S. Supreme Court decision in March 1999 constituted an approval of increased federalauthority over crime. In United States v. Rodriguez-Moreno, 526 U.S. 275, 119 S.Ct. 1239, 143L.Ed.2d 388 (1999), Jacinto Rodriguez-Moreno KIDNAPPED a drug associate and took him fromTexas to New Jersey, then to New York, and finally to Maryland. Rodriguez-Moreno wascharged with, among other crimes, kidnapping and using and carrying a firearm in relation to akidnapping, an act that violated 18 U.S.C.A. § 924(c)(1). Section 924(c)(1) makes it a crime touse or carry a firearm during, and in relation to, any crime of violence. Rodriguez-Moreno wastried in New Jersey on the charges, even though he did not have a gun in New Jersey.Rodriguez-Moreno, who did not want to be tried in New Jersey, argued that the statute did notallow the federal government to prosecute him for the § 924 crime in New Jersey because he didnot commit the crime in that state. The Court rejected the argument, holding that because thecrime of violence (kidnapping) continued through several states, prosecution was proper in anydistrict where the crime of violence was committed, even if the firearm was used or carried inonly one state. The decision made it easier for federal prosecutors to pick and choose the venuesfor their cases.Further readings"Federalization of Crimes: Chief Justice Rehnquist on Federalization of Crimes." 1999.Prosecutor (March/April)."Federalization of Crimes: NDAAs Representative Reports on ABAs Federalization TaskForce." 1999. Prosecutor (March/April).Gondles, James A. 1999. "The Federalization of Criminal Justice." Corrections Today (April).Little, Rory K. 1995. "Myths and Principles of Federalization." Hastings Law Journal (April).Cross-referencesFederal Courts; State Courts; States Rights.
All states have juvenile courts, which are separate from criminal courts. Juveniles who areaccused of a crime are tried in these courts as delinquent children, rather than as criminaldefendants. This alternative prevents children from invoking the defense of infancy. In juvenilecourts, criminal charges lead to an adjudication rather than prosecution, because the aim ofjuvenile courts is to rehabilitate, rather than to punish. In the 1990s, some state legislaturespassed laws to make it easier to prosecute juveniles in adult courts, especially in cases involvingviolent crimes.Insane persons cannot, in a legal sense, form the intent necessary to commit a crime. They arenot, therefore, criminally responsible for their actions. Courts have applied a variety of legal teststo determine the mental state of a criminal defendant who claims that he or she was insane at thetime of the alleged crime. One test is the MNaghten Rule, which was originally used by anEnglish court in the criminal prosecution of Daniel MNaghten.MNaghten had an insane delusion that the prime minister of England, Sir Robert Peel, wastrying to kill him. Mistaking the prime ministers secretary, Edward Drummond, for the primeminister, MNaghten killed the secretary. At his trial, MNaghten asserted that he had been insanewhen he committed the crime. The jury accepted his argument and acquitted him. From thatdecision evolved the MNaghten test, under which, in order to disclaim criminal responsibility, adefendant must be affected by a disease of the mind at the time he or she commits the act. Thedisease must cause the ability to reason to become so defective that the person does not know thenature and quality of the act or else does not know that the act is wrong. A successful invocationof the MNaghten defense results in commitment to a mental institution for treatment, rather thanimprisonment.A number of states prefer the "irresistible impulse" test as the standard for determining the sanityof a criminal defendant. If the defendant is suffering from a mental disease that prevents controlof personal conduct, he or she may be adjudged not guilty by reason of insanity, even if he or sheknows the difference between right and wrong.The Model Penal Code of the American Law Institute established another test of insanity that hasbeen adopted by almost all of the federal courts and by numerous state legislatures. Under theModel Penal Code test, a person is not responsible for criminal conduct if, at the time of suchconduct, he or she lacks the capacity either to appreciate the criminality or the wrongfulness ofthe conduct, or to conform his or her conduct to the requirement of law. This lack-of-capacityexcuse does not apply to abnormalities demonstrated by a repetitive pattern of illegal or violentacts.Some states employ the "lack-of-substantial-capacity" test. The phrase "lacks substantialcapacity" is a qualification of the MNaghten rule and the irresistible-impulse test, both of whichrequire the total absence of capacity. This test also requires a showing of causality. The defenseis not established merely by a showing of a mental disease; rather, it is established only if, as aresult of the disease, the defendant lacks the substantial capacity that is required in order to holdhim or her criminally responsible. For example, pyromania may be a defense to a charge ofarson, but it is no defense to a charge of larceny. An Irresistible Impulse arising from anger,
jealousy, or a desire for revenge does not excuse a defendant from criminal responsibility unlesssuch emotions are part of the mental disease that caused the crime.Generally, voluntary intoxication from drugs or alcohol does not excuse a criminal act.Involuntary intoxication is, however, a valid defense. It occurs when a person is forced to take anintoxicating substance against his or her will, or does so by mistake. If a defendants involuntaryintoxicated condition causes a criminal act, the defendant will not be convicted if, because of theintoxication, he or she is unable to appreciate the criminality of the conduct.Fair Warning Defense The DUE PROCESS Clauses contained in the Fifth and FourteenthAmendments to the U.S. Constitution require that before a defendant may be prosecuted forcriminal conduct, the law must make clear which conduct is criminal. Justice Oliver WendellHolmes articulated the standard when he wrote that a criminal statute must give "fair warning …in language that the common world will understand, of what the law intends to do if a certainline is passed. To make the warning fair, so far as possible the line should be clear." McBoyle v.United States, 283 U.S. 25, 27, 51 S.Ct. 340, 341, 75 L. Ed. 816 (1931)."The U.S. Supreme Court had the opportunity to revisit the fair-warning requirement in UnitedStates. v. Lanier, 520 U.S. 259, 117 S. Ct. 1219, 137 L. Ed. 2d 432 (1997). Lanier was a caseinvolving a prosecution under 18 U.S.C.A. § 242, a Reconstruction-era Civil Rights law thatmakes it a federal crime to deprive another of "any rights, privileges, or immunities secured orprotected by the constitution or laws of the United States" while acting "under color of any law."Congress originally passed the law to afford a federal right in federal courts for situations when,by reason of prejudice, passion, neglect, intolerance, or otherwise, state courts might not be asvigilant as federal courts in protecting the rights that are guaranteed by the FourteenthAmendment to the U.S. Constitution.Traditionally, Section 242 had been primarily invoked against police officers and prison guards.The Lanier case arose from allegations of sexual misconduct against the sole state ChanceryCourt judge for two rural counties in western Tennessee, David Lanier. The trial record showsthat from 1989 to 1991, while Lanier was in office, he sexually assaulted several women in hisjudicial chambers.Laniers most serious assault involved a woman whose Divorce proceedings had come before hischancery court and whose daughters custody remained subject to his jurisdiction. When thewoman applied for a secretarial job at Laniers courthouse, Lanier interviewed her. As thewoman got up to leave, Lanier grabbed her, sexually assaulted her, and finally committed oralrape.On five other occasions Lanier sexually assaulted four other women: two of his secretaries, aYouth Services officer, and a local coordinator for a federal program who had been in Lanierschambers to discuss a matter affecting the same court.Lanier was later charged with 11 violations of Section 242. Each count of the indictment allegedthat Lanier, acting willfully and under color of Tennessee law, had deprived the victims of the
right to be free from willful sexual assault. Before trial, Lanier moved to dismiss the indictmenton the ground that Section 242 is void for vagueness. The district court denied the motion.The jury returned verdicts of guilty on seven counts, and not guilty on three (one count havingbeen dismissed at the close of the prosecutions case). Lanier was then sentenced to consecutivemaximum terms totaling 25 years.A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed the convictions and sentence,United States v. Lanier, 33 F.3d 639 (6th Cir. 1994), but the full court vacated that decision andgranted a rehearing en banc. United States. v. Lanier, 43 F.3d 1033 (1995). On rehearing, the fullcourt set aside Laniers convictions for "lack of any notice … that this ambiguous criminal statute[i.e., Section 242] includes simple or sexual assault crimes within its coverage." United States v.Lanier, 73 F.3d 1380 (6th Cir. 1996).Specifically, the Sixth Circuit held that criminal liability may be imposed under Section 242 onlyif the constitutional right said to have been violated is first identified in a decision of the U.S.Supreme Court (not any other federal or state court), and only when that right has been held toapply in "a factual situation fundamentally similar to the one at bar."The Sixth Circuit then said it could not find any decision of the U.S. Supreme Court thatrecognized, under Section 242, a right to be free from unjustified assault or invasions of bodilyintegrity in a situation "fundamentally similar" to those circumstances under which Lanier wascharged.In the absence of such a decision, the Sixth Circuit said that Tennessee had violated Laniers dueprocess right to be fairly warned that particular conduct is prohibited and carries with it thepossibility for criminal punishment. Accordingly, the Sixth Circuit reversed the judgment ofconviction and instructed the trial court to dismiss the indictment.The state of Tennessee appealed, and the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the Sixth Circuit,observing that there are three manifestations of the "fair warning requirement." First, the"vagueness doctrine" bars enforcement of statutes that either forbid or require an act in terms thatare so vague that men of common intelligence must necessarily guess at their meaning and differas to their application. Second, the Court wrote that the "canon of Strict Construction of criminalstatutes" ensures fair warning by limiting application of ambiguous criminal statutes to conductthat is clearly covered. Third, due process bars courts from applying a novel construction of acriminal statute to conduct that neither the statute nor any prior judicial decision has fairlydisclosed to be within its scope. In other words, a trial court cannot "clarify" a statute bysupplying terms through its own interpretation of the law, when those terms were not clearlycontemplated by the statutory language chosen by the legislature.However, the Court emphasized that the due process fair-warning requirement does not requirethat prohibited criminal conduct be previously identified by one of its own decisions and held toapply in a factual situation "fundamentally similar" to the defendants case at bar. Instead, theCourt wrote, "all that can usefully be said about criminal liability under [Section 242] is that
[liability] may be imposed for deprivation of constitutional right if, but only if, in light ofpreexisting law, unlawfulness under the constitution is apparent."The Court then remanded the case to the Sixth Circuit for further proceedings in light of itsopinion. After reading the high courts opinion, the Sixth Circuit vacated its earlier decision andordered Lanier to begin serving his sentence. One Sixth Circuit judge dissented, criticizing theU.S. Supreme Court for not writing a clearer opinion that articulated what constituted "apparent"unlawful conduct.Exculpatory Defenses Exculpatory defenses are factors that excuse a competent person fromliability for a criminal act. Duress is an exculpatory defense. One who commits a crime as aresult of the pressure of an unlawful threat of harm from another person is under duress and maybe excused from criminal liability. At trial, whether the defendant was under duress is a Questionof Fact for the judge or jury. The defense of duress was invoked in the 1976 trial of PatriciaCampbell Hearst, the young daughter of wealthy newspaper owners Randolph A. Hearst andCatherine C. Hearst. On February 4, 1974, Patricia Hearst was kidnapped by the SymbioneseLiberation Army (SLA) and held for the unusual ransom of food distribution to the poor. Shortlyafter the abduction, Hearst sent a recorded message to her parents, in which she announced thatshe had become a social revolutionary.On April 15, Hearst participated in a bank robbery with members of the SLA. She was arrestedin September 1975 and tried for armed bank robbery. At trial, Hearsts lawyers argued, in part,that Hearsts participation in the robbery had been caused by duress. Hearst testified that she hadfeared for her life as she had stood inside the Hibernia Bank. On cross-examination, Hearstinvoked her Fifth Amendment privilege against Self-Incrimination 42 times. The refusal toanswer so many prosecution questions might have damaged Hearsts credibility, and the jury didnot accept her argument of duress. Hearst was convicted and sentenced to seven years in prison.(President JIMMY CARTER commuted her sentence on February 1, 1979, and ordered her releasefrom prison.)Entrapment is another exculpatory defense to criminal charges. Entrapment exists if a lawenforcement officer induces a person to commit a crime, for the purpose of instituting a criminalprosecution against that person. It is not available if law enforcement merely provides materialfor the crime.Mistakes of law or fact are seldom successful defenses. Generally, a Mistake of Law isapplicable only if the criminal statute was not published or made reasonably available prior tothe act; the accused reasonably relied on the contrary teaching of another statute or judicialdecision; or, in some jurisdictions, the accused reasonably relied on contrary official advice or acontrary official interpretation. A Mistake of Fact may excuse a defendant if the mistake showsthat the defendant lacked the state of mind required for the crime. For example, in a specific-intent crime such as embezzlement, evidence that the accused was unaware of transfers into hisor her own bank account would negate the specific criminal intent required for conviction.Justification defenses include necessity, Self-Defense, defense of others, and defense of property.If a person acts to protect the life or health of another in a reasonable manner and with no other
reasonable choice, that person may invoke the defense of necessity. According to the ModelPenal Code, self-defense and defense of others are permissible when it reasonably appearsnecessary that force is required to defend against an aggressors imminent use of unlawful force.Nondeadly force may be used in order to retain property, and Deadly Force may be used only toprevent serious bodily harm.MergerUnder common law, when a person committed a major crime that included a lesser offense, thelatter merged with the former. This meant that the accused could not be charged with bothcrimes. The modern law of merger applies only to solicitation and attempt. One who solicitsanother to commit a crime may not be convicted of both the solicitation and the completedcrime. Likewise, a person who attempts and completes a crime may not be convicted of both theattempt and the completed crime.AttemptAn attempt to commit a crime is conduct intended to lead to the commission of the crime. It ismore than mere preparation, but it falls short of actual commission of the intended offense. Anintent to commit a crime is not the same as an attempt to commit a crime. Intent is a mentalquality that implies a purpose, whereas attempt implies an effort to carry that purpose or intentinto execution. An attempt goes beyond preliminary planning and involves a move towardcommission of the crime.As a general rule, an attempt to commit a crime is a misdemeanor, whether the crime itself is afelony or a misdemeanor. However, in a case of violent crime, an attempt may be classified as afelony. Attempted murder and attempted rape are examples of felonious attempts. In an attemptcase, the prosecution must prove that the defendant specifically intended to commit theattempted crime that has been charged. General intent will not suffice. For example, in anattempted-murder case, evidence must show a specific intent to kill, independent from the actualact, such as a note or words conveying the intent. In a murder case, intent may be inferred fromthe killing itself.ConspiracyWhen two or more persons act together to break the law, conspiracy is an additional charge tothe intended crime. For example, if two persons conspire to commit robbery, and they committhe robbery, both face two charges: conspiracy to commit robbery and robbery.Further readingsJonathan Clough, and Carmel Mulhern. 1999. Criminal Law. Sydney: Butterworths.Kaplan, John, and Robert Weisberg. 1991. Criminal Law: Cases and Materials. 2d ed. Boston:Little, Brown.
APC UPS for ComputerLosing Important Data Due to Power Cuts? Buy an APC UPS Today!APCIndiaStore.comSecurity ConsultancyCorporate & Leisure-Tourism Sectors Security Consultancy Serviceswww.ami-dynamics.comcriminal law, the branch of law that defines crimes, treats of their nature, and provides for theirpunishment. A tort tort, in law, the violation of some duty clearly set by law, not by a specific agreementbetween two parties, as in breach of contract. When such a duty is breached, the injured party has theright to institute suit for compensatory damages...... Click the link for more information. is a civil wrong committed against an individual; a crime, on theother hand, is regarded as an offense committed against the public, even though only one individualmay have been wronged. The real distinction lies in the way a remedy for the wrong is pursued. A tort isa wrong for which the remedy is pursued by, and at the discretion of, the injured individual or his or herrepresentative, while a crime is a wrong for which the wrongdoer is prosecuted by the state for thepurpose of punishment. However, the fact that a particular act has been or may be prosecuted as acrime does not necessarily preclude an injured party from seeking recovery from the offender in a civilaction.For an account of criminal law in ancient and medieval times, see composition composition, inancient and medieval law, a sum of money paid by a guilty party as satisfaction to the family ofthe person who was injured or killed. Failure to make the payment might justify retaliation inkind against the offender or his family...... Click the link for more information. ; vendetta vendetta [Ital.,=vengeance], feud betweenmembers of two kinship groups to avenge a wrong done to a relative. Although the termoriginated in Corsica, the custom has also been practiced in other parts of Italy, in otherEuropean countries, and among the Arabs...... Click the link for more information. . See also military law military law, system of rulesestablished for the government of persons in the armed forces. In most countries the legislatureestablishes the code of military law...... Click the link for more information. ; martial law martial law, temporary government andcontrol by military authorities of a territory or state, when war or overwhelming publicdisturbance makes the civil authorities of the region unable to enforce its law...... Click the link for more information. ; international law international law, body of rulesconsidered legally binding in the relations between national states, also known as the law ofnations. It is sometimes called public international law in contrast to private international law (orconflict of laws), which regulates..... Click the link for more information. ; piracy piracy, robbery committed or attempted on thehigh seas. It is distinguished from privateering in that the pirate holds no commission from andreceives the protection of no nation but usually attacks vessels of all nations...... Click the link for more information. ; war crimes war crimes, in international law, violationsof the laws of war (see war, laws of). Those accused have been tried by their own military andcivilian courts, by those of their enemy, and by expressly established international tribunals.
..... Click the link for more information. .Classification of CrimesCrimes are usually classified as treason treason, legal term for various acts of disloyalty. TheEnglish law, first clearly stated in the Statute of Treasons (1350), originally distinguished hightreason from petit (or petty) treason. Petit treason was the murder of ones lawful superior, e.g...... Click the link for more information. , felony felony , any grave crime, in contrast to amisdemeanor, that is so declared in statute or was so considered in common law. In early Englishlaw a felony was a heinous act that canceled the perpetrators feudal rights and forfeited his landsand goods to the king,..... Click the link for more information. , or misdemeanor misdemeanor, in law, a minor crime,in contrast to a felony. At common law a misdemeanor was a crime other than treason or afelony. Although it might be a grave offense, it did not affect the feudal bond or take away theoffenders property. By the 19th cent...... Click the link for more information. . The fundamental distinction between felonies andmisdemeanors rests with the penalty and the power of imprisonment. In general, a misdemeanoris an offense for which a punishment other than death or imprisonment in the state prison isprescribed by law. The term "degree of crime" refers to distinctions in the culpability of anoffense because of the circumstances surrounding its commission. Crimes are sometimes dividedaccording to their nature into crimes mala in se and crimes mala prohibita; the former classcomprises those acts that are thought to be immoral or wrong in themselves, or naturally evil,such as murder, rape, arson, burglary, larceny, and the like; the latter class embraces those actsthat are not naturally evil but are prohibited by statute because they infringe on the rights ofothers (e.g., acts in restraint of trade that have been made criminal under antitrust legislation).Defining Crimes and Setting PunishmentIn the United States, the power to define crimes and set punishment for them rests with thelegislatures of the United States, the several states, and the territories, the principal authoritybeing that of the individual states. This power in the states is restricted by the federalConstitution, e.g., in the Fourteenth Amendment and in prohibitions against acts of attainder (anact of attainder is a legislative declaration that a particular individual is guilty of a crime) andagainst ex post facto laws (laws that retroactively declare certain actions to be criminal). Stateconstitutions may also limit state legislative action. The courts cannot look further into thepropriety of a penal statute than to ascertain whether the legislature has the power to enact it.Administrative rules may have the force of law, and violations of such rules are punishable aspublic offenses, provided that the legislature has made such violations misdemeanors.A common-law crime is one punishable under common law, as distinguished from crimesspecified by statute. In many U.S. jurisdictions, including some in which comprehensive criminalstatutes have been enacted, the common law in relation to crimes and criminal procedure hasbeen recognized by the courts as in force, except insofar as it has been abrogated or repealed,expressly or impliedly, by statute. Thus the state may prosecute crimes that were indictable atcommon law even though they may not be denominated as such or be provided for by statute. In
many other jurisdictions the courts have held the common law as to crimes as being abolished,and no act is punishable as a crime unless it is made so by statute, or unless the act is madepunishable as a crime by the constitution. Criminal procedure is entirely regulated by statute.There are no common-law offenses against the United States, and one may be subject topunishment for crime in a federal court only for the commission or omission of an act defined bystatute or regulation having legislative authority, and then only if punishment is authorized byCongress. In general, crimes must be defined in a penal statute with appropriate certainty anddefiniteness; the constitutional requirement of due process of law is violated by a criminal statutethat fails to give a person of ordinary intelligence fair notice that the contemplated conduct isforbidden by the statute.Except as otherwise provided by statute, to constitute a crime an overt act (actus reus) must beaccompanied by a criminal intent (mens rea) or by such negligence as is regarded by law asequivalent to a criminal intent. Motive, or that which leads or tempts the mind to indulge in acriminal act, as distinguished from intent, is neither a crime nor an essential element of a crime.The motive with which an offense was committed is immaterial. Proof of motive may bematerial in proving that the defendant committed a particular crime, but it is not essential to aconviction.The Right to a DefenseEvery accused has the right to any and all defenses the law recognizes and permits—e.g.,insanity, mistake of fact, or self-defense. An accused having the right to resort to severaldefenses may make an election as to the one on which he or she will rely. The fact that oneundertakes a crime on the advice, or as the agent, of another is not a defense; on the other hand,except in the case of homicide homicide , in law, the taking of human life. Homicides that areneither justifiable nor excusable are considered crimes. A criminal homicide committed withmalice is known as murder, otherwise it is called manslaughter...... Click the link for more information. , an act that would otherwise constitute a crime may beexcused when committed under duress or compulsion that is present, imminent, and impending,and that produces a well-grounded apprehension of death or serious bodily harm if the act is notdone (see coercion coercion, in law, the unlawful act of compelling a person to do, or to abstainfrom doing, something by depriving him of the exercise of his free will, particularly by use orthreat of physical or moral force...... Click the link for more information. ). Religious belief is not ordinarily a justification orexcuse for the commission of a crime (see bigamy bigamy , crime of marrying during thecontinuance of a lawful marriage. Bigamy is not committed if a prior marriage has beenterminated by a divorce or a decree of nullity of marriage...... Click the link for more information. ).Criminal ProcedureThe procedure in criminal cases is substantially the same throughout the United States. Theperson suspected of crime is taken into custody by a police officer, sometimes by service of awarrant warrant, in law, written order by an official of a court directed to an officer. The search
warrant and the warrant of arrest are the most frequently used types...... Click the link for more information. of arrest. If the crime is serious, the case is firstpresented to a grand jury, which draws up an indictment indictment , in criminal law, formalwritten accusation naming specific persons and crimes. Persons suspected of crime may berendered liable to trial by indictment, by presentment, or by information...... Click the link for more information. if there is sufficient evidence to justify trial; otherwise itdischarges the accused. While action is pending, the party charged may be released on bail bail,in law, procurement of release from prison of a person awaiting trial or an appeal, by the depositof security to insure his submission at the required time to legal authority...... Click the link for more information. . Trial is by jury or before a judge alone if a jury is notrequired, or if the defendant consents. The government presents its case (i.e., attempts to provethe allegations of the indictment), through the public prosecutor, usually called the districtattorney, while the accused is represented by counsel that he or she has chosen or that the courthas appointed. The legal presumption of innocence puts the burden of proving guilt beyond areasonable doubt on the prosecution, unless, of course, the defendant pleads guilty to the charge.Special rules restricting the introduction of evidence evidence, in law, material submitted to ajudge or a judicial body to resolve disputed questions of fact. The rules discussed in this articlewere developed in England for use in jury trials...... Click the link for more information. in criminal trials further protect the defendant. If theaccused is found or adjudged innocent, he or she is discharged; if the accused is found guilty, thejudge pronounces sentence sentence, in criminal law, punishment that a court orders, imposed ona person convicted of criminal activity. Sentences typically consist of fines, corporal punishment,imprisonment for varying periods including life, or capital punishment, and sometimes combinetwo..... Click the link for more information. . (For types of criminal penalties, see capital punishmentcapital punishment, imposition of a penalty of death by the state. HistoryCapital punishment was widely applied in ancient times; it can be found (c.1750 B.C.) in theCode of Hammurabi...... Click the link for more information. ; corporal punishment corporal punishment, physicalchastisement of an offender. At one extreme it includes the death penalty (see capitalpunishment), but the term usually refers to punishments like flogging, mutilation, and branding.Until c...... Click the link for more information. ; prison prison, place of confinement for the punishmentand rehabilitation of criminals. By the end of the 18th cent. imprisonment was the chief mode ofpunishment for all but capital crimes...... Click the link for more information. .) If the defendant is convicted, an appeal appeal, in law,hearing by a superior court to consider correcting or reversing the judgment of an inferior court,because of errors allegedly committed by the inferior court...... Click the link for more information. may be filed; the prosecution, however, cannot appealan acquittal. Generally speaking, this procedure is confined to felonies; misdemeanors, beingrelatively less serious offenses, are handled in a more summary fashion. It is generally acceptedthat no court will enforce the criminal law of another jurisdiction, but by means of extraditionextradition , delivery of a person, suspected or convicted of a crime, by the state where he has