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In life, it is normal for society to want a safe and secure place to live. In addition, people realize that society all have some problems. Some societies suffer from a lack of jobs, education, and out side influences. When these afflictions are upon of a society often, time the result will be a deterioration of said the society in which this takes place. Thus, when a society suffers deterioration, crime often follows. Crimes take many forms in society and directly affect by it. Therefore, Criminal law seeks to protect society from crime. In this paper crime against people, such as murder and well as violence crime committed against people. The paper will also discuss the crime against property.
If one would employ outlets such as the weekly television show and movies, they would think that crime is exciting. The television series "Criminal Intent" give you a vision of passion involved in committing crime. The movie "Then along came a spider," a suspense driven drama made murder, and kidnapping an intriguing picture of other wise violent crime. The novel "Midnight in the garden of Good and Evil" a nonfiction account of a Savannah, Georgia, murder trial. John Berendt writes a stunningly interesting novel about a murder in the one of the south culturally rich city." (Berendt, 1994)
However, in the reality society has often found itself faced with the question of to enforce violation of laws it has deemed a crime. The early history of crime was definitely a challenge for society. In order to obtain an understanding of why people commit crimes against people such as murder and other violent act, that do not necessary result in lost of life. Furthermore, what is the reasoning behind committing crimes against a person property? One resource for discovering why crimes are committed is to explore who commit crimes. In the process of exploring who commit crimes, one need to evaluate the state of the person mental stability. Finally, after exploring the elements of what constitute the reasoning behind the cause of crimes. Society need to answer what is the answer to stop such behavior and the need to commit crimes. Should society just imprison violator of crimes? Should society found other means of treatment for criminal? Should society do as earlier societies and let the punishment fit the crime?
Crime against the Person Murder
"Murder or homicide is defined as killing of a human being." (Davenport, 2009, p.98) Murder has been a part of society since the beginning of time. As society became more civilized and the populations grew, naturally crime increased. The people in society realized that in order to continue been civilized they had to enact rule to punish violation of the rule or laws they created. In "English Common law, homicides were divided in to categories, criminal, justifiable, and excusable." (Davenport, 2009, p.98) Criminal homicide is the most dealt with in this category. Within the category of criminal homicide are other crimes that are under it umbrella. Homicide can be the intentional attempt to commit malice with aforethought which constitute murder. Homicide also can be committed without aforethought to commit malice, which constitutes manslaughter. Manslaughter can fall in two categories as well voluntary or involuntary. These classifications depend on the states in which they are committed. "When it comes to proving murder, the state must prove that a crime has been committed." (Davenport, 2009, p.99)
The prosecutor must prove "corpus delicti" and prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime has been committed. The burden is on the state to find evident of the crime and thus must found be to convinced the jury that a crime was actually committed. This is what makes "corpus delicti" so important. "Corpus Delicti" is a critical element in criminal prosecution.
In early English Common law, murder did not have different category and this created a problem in society. Society needed to determine what punishment corresponded to the crime; it was obvious that death could not be the only answer. Therefore, different type of murder was given classification. Premeditated murder, which is the intent to kill his victim. According to the law the person must have "malice aforethought" to be deemed as premeditated murder. "When one has malice aforethought, they are angry and have plans to murder the person." (Davenport, 2009, p. 99)
One may ask what constitute or prove intent, Common Law doctrine is used to determine intent. Among these, doctrine is the deadly weapon doctrine, which says a deadly is proof of intent to murder. Intent can take on several forms, the intent to murder a certain person is, but he mistakenly transferred which constitute "transferred intent." Moreover, if a person intends to harm someone such as in a fight and the person dies as a result this called "intent to do bodily harm."
However, homicide can be committed and not be considered murder. This classification is known as Manslaughter. Manslaughter can be classified as voluntary or involuntary. In order for a person to commit Voluntary Manslaughter, the person must intent to kill the victim but has not plan to do commit malice before time. Voluntary Manslaughter also can mean that the defendant reacted to provocation. The second form of Manslaughter is Involuntary Manslaughter, this "constitute the unintentional killing of a human being by a person engaging in an unlawful act not considered a felony." (Davenport, 2009, p. 103)
Involuntary manslaughter is classified as two type of homicide, criminal negligence manslaughter, such a shooting a gun in the in a populated area and person dies as a result. The second type is unlawful act manslaughter, is "considered when a person commit a crime that result a victim death." (Davenport, 2009, p. 103) Murder is considered a burden on society and the murder rate is a concern in America. In a review of the book American Homicide written by author Randolph Roth conducted by David Silkenat.
Randolph Roth examines why the murder rate has been significantly higher in the United States than in other affluent democracies. In the review it point to how Roth drew on a statistical database from the colonial period to the present. In the review Silkenat, point out how "Roth argues that the high homicide rate in the United States can be attributed primarily to the murder of unrelated individuals and dates the rift that opened in murder rates between the United States and Europe to the mid- to late nineteenth century." (Silkenat, 2010)
The question of what to do about murder will always be a debated. One need to ask when is murder justified and under what circumstance does the law makes this decision? Their is a study of homicide and varies analyzes in the national Violent Death Reporting system conducted by Logan, & et al. in 2009 that give a better understand to "the manner of death or the intent of the person inflicting a fatal injury. The report further discusses mechanism of the injury, the method used to inflict fatality and the circumstance or event, which lead to the injury." (Logan, et al., 2009)
Crimes against the Person: Violence
The first section of this paper discussed Crimes of murder against the person and the varied degrees of murder. This section will discuss violence crimes against person that do not always result in the death of the person. One may ask what are considered violence crimes against person. Violence crimes include offenses such as child abuse, rape, assault, domestic violence, abduction, and indecent. Violence crimes are most often committed against women and children but it does occur against men. According to Davenport, "Violence against women is a major problem in the United States today." (Davenport, 2009, p. 114)
Of the violent crime against person, listed early rape is considered the highest ranking of sexual crimes. "Rape is defined as forced sexual intercourse with a woman." (Davenport, 2009, p. 115) However, the distinction in modern rape terms does not distinguish between genders. Rape often devastates people lives and some destroy families. The mere task of reporting the crime is often the hardest for the victim. In today society, the states deemed it necessary to amend their law to include martial rape and rape against men.
In order to prove that rape took their must be proof that sex took place. Moreover, their must be proof that the sexual intercourse was forced. Furthermore, the forced sexual act must be without consent. The rape case evident is essential in proving that rape actually took place. The evident can range from semen to hair and saliva. The evident is must be gathering quickly as possible. Case are lost or won on the evident. The victim of rape will need to report the crime as some as possible and preserve the evident. If they do not report the crime, the offender more than likely will have a good chance of not going to prison. Quite often in rape case, the offender will say that the sex was consensus. This used by offender is why the evident in rape case are so essential to solving the case. However, this defend does not apply in regards to statutory rape.
Another violence crime against person child abuse and neglect, this crime is looked upon very harshly. When crimes are committed against children, the law tends to take more of an active role. Children like woman are looked upon as fragile in many societies and the law reacts to with "Parens Patriae" which means the government job is to protect the vulnerable in society when they cannot protect themselves." (Davenport, 2009, p. 120) Child abuse is a delicate issue and often time religion and cultural belief is in conflict with the law. For example, some forms of religion believe in physically punishing their children when the child does something that is considered wrong in the eyes of that religion. The child might be given a punishment in accordance to their religious belief, but is considered illegal in according to its state or federal laws. Often time child abuse and child molestation are considered the same.
However, child molestation includes a sexual element in the crime. It is reasonable to include child porn in category of child molestation. The result of this type assault is prosecuted very fiercely by most states and the federal government. Another form of crimes of violence against people is assault, which this author thinks, is inclusion in many child abuse cases. "Assault is defined as the act of force or threat of force intended to inflict harm upon a person." (Davenport, 2009, p.125) Included in the assault category are some familiar crimes that violent. Domestic violence is assault that has become a reported issue in the United States. This crime is often against women and in the past was not a top priority of law enforcement. Some felt that this was a personal thing between the parties involved. However, the federal government has place a spotlight on domestic violence with the "Violence against Women Act" (Davenport, 2009, p.141)
An interesting case that involved domestic violence was the case of 28-year-old Chicago-area man who claimed he killed his girlfriend because she was a spell-casting witch. "The defendant Celerino Galicia staved his girlfriend, Roberta Martinez, in the chest with steak knife. His attorney stated that Galicia--who also was intoxicated lacked substantial capacity to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law." (Drell, 1993) He blamed alcohol and jealousy for his actions. This all too familiar defense of violent offenders. Other crimes that are in the category include hate crime, which is motivated by race, religion, or sexual orientation and national origin. Hate crime often lead into crime such as terrorism, hate speech and others.
Crime against Property
Crimes against property are considered nonviolent crime. The misconception about crime of property is found in it definition. According to Davenport, "In order to have a true appreciation for crimes involving property one must understand the definition of property." (Davenport, 2009, p.148) "Property a bundle of rights including the right to possess, and use as one desire." (p.148) When someone deprives a person of his or her property by illegally taking it is considered in Common Law definition as theft.
Theft has several categories, which define by the action in which it happen. Theft includes theft by deception, embezzlement, shoplifting, auto theft and identity theft to name a few. Robbery and burglary are two crimes against property that is confused as the same however; they are not the same action. "Robbery is the act of taken personal property from the person against his or her will." (Davenport, 2009, p. 159) "Burglary is the act of entering into a structure with the intent to commit a felony once inside." (Davenport, 2009, p. 161) This point is made to emphasize how often crime against property are confused. For instance, theft and larceny are considered the same, it depends o the jurisdictions. Anytime a person deface or make property unusable, this considered a crime. Crime against property is a difficult to summarize because many states have different name and penalty for the crime. However, when people rights are of possess property is deprived by a person take that right constitute crimes against property.
In conclusion, societies suffer afflictions, which often result in deterioration of said the society in which this takes place. Therefore, when a society suffers deterioration, crime often follows. Crimes take many forms and must be separated into it proper category. Therefore, Criminal law seeks to protect society from crime. Edward Zaffaroni in his journal, ask the question "Can Criminal Law Really Contribute to the Prevention of Crimes against Humanity?" (Zaffaroni, 2009). Personally speak that question is best answered by society. The Zaffaroni think criminal law is incapable of condemning the person who executes it. However, this author think society is the determine factor in that conflict.