Week 2 Discussion
“Elements of a Crime and Jurisdiction” Please respond to the following:
Review the table, titled “Elements of a Crime”, located in Chapter 3 of the textbook, then compare and contrast the roles of mens rea (i.e., guilty mind) and actus rea (i.e., the forbidden act or omission) as they relate to proving a crime has been committed. Next, discuss whether the concurrent occurrence of these elements is more beneficial to the prosecution or the defense. Justify your response.
It is common knowledge that jurisdiction, the official power to make legal decisions and judgments, is vitally important to the adversarial legal system. Discuss the importance of having either subject matter jurisdiction or personal jurisdiction over the cause of action. Include one (1) example of the importance of the chosen jurisdiction to support your response.
Week 2 Extra Credit Discussion- Long-Arm Jurisdiction
Most weeks there will be an extra-credit discussion where you can earn up to 5 extra credit points. Believe me, these points can add up and sometimes make the difference in your final letter grade.
This week’s extra credit topic is long-arm jurisdiction which is available in CIVIL matters (criminal jurisdiction is handled differently).
There are state laws called “long-arm jurisdiction.”
Sometimes a court can exercise jurisdiction over a non-resident. This video explains it.
Long-arm jurisdiction can be exercised if there is activity within the state by a non-resident.
Question for discussion: What is long-arm jurisdiction? Give an example.
Please reply to the following students as well
RE: Week 2 Discussion
While actus rea is pretty much always required for there to have been a crime committed, in cases involving drugs, alcohol, or traffic crimes, mens rea is not necessary. The best example I can think of for this would be manslaughter due to reckless driving. When operating a motor vehicle, you accept the terms of strict liability, which is the main purpose of medications having a waring against operating vehicles and heavy machinery. When a drunk driver accidentally kills someone, they are likely to be found guilty of manslaughter. On the other hand, mens rea is required in cases not involving vehicles and/or mind altering substances. The only example that comes to mind for this is accepting stolen property. If you were to buy a bicycle from someone on craigslist, there is a good chance that you would not suspect the bike to be stolen property, in which case you would not be guilty. I feel like this concept would be most useful for the defense, as it allows you to maintain your innocence in the case of a crime you did not knowingly commit.
Subject matter jurisdiction is more interesting to me, as personal jurisdiction mainly just relates to a person being in a place. Subject matter jurisdiction, on the other hand, requires that the court handling a case has jurisdiction over a specific type of crime, meaning that a small claims court will not handle murder charges. A prime example is that congress has limited the United States tax court to specififically to the jurisdiction of taxation, meaning that that court does not have subject matter jurisdiction over any other matter (Cornell University Law School. N.D.)
Cornell University Law School (N.D.) Subject Matter Jurisdiction Retrieved From https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/subject_matter_jurisdiction
RE: Week 2 Extra Credit Discussion- Long-Arm Jurisdiction
The long-arm jurisdiction enables a local state court jurisdiction over an out-of-state company or individual when their actions cause damage locally or to a local resident.
If an out-of-state driver causes an accident and damages result through his negligence, he can be sued in a local court because his contact with the state is sufficiently substantial.
Another example is a person that orders a product from an out-of-state company and the product causes damages to the ordering party. The local court gets through the statute the local jurisdiction over the defendant.
Week 3 Discussion
“Criminal Liability and Criminal Responsibility” Please respond to the following:
According to the text, all crimes have two essential elements: (1) the physical act or omission (i.e., actus reus) and (2) a mental requirement known as criminal intent or purpose (i.e., mens rea). Compare and contrast the required elements of liability as an aider and abettor in the commission of a crime versus the required elements of criminal liability under the common design or plan. Provide one (1) example of each liability in question to support your response.
From the e-Activity, discuss the ages at which a child may be held responsible for violation of a criminal law. Distinguish between the method of imposing criminal liability upon a child under age seven (7) and a child of age fourteen (14). Include one (1) example of each method to support your response.
Week 3 Extra Credit Discussion- An Alternative Approach to Juvenile Crime
You will love this 15 minute Ted Talk by Adam Foss, a New York prosecutor.
Provide a one-paragraph summary of this video discussing what this video was about, what you enjoyed the most, and tell me what you thought of Adam Foss and his ideas.
Please reply to the following students as well
RE: Week 3 Discussion
Actus Reas: The Forbidden Act Or Omission (Aiding And Abetting)
People can be held criminally liable for the conduct of another person if they are a party to a conspiracy to commit a crime. This also includes hiring, urging, counseling or planning with another person to commit a crime. Aiders and abettors can also be involved in planning of a crime and would also be a conspirator. In addition, conspirators could live in London, England (or somewhere else) and hire killing of a person in Los Angeles without even going near the scene of the crime (Gardner and Anderson, 2012, Criminal Law, Page 94).
My understanding is that a person can be held criminally liable for conduct of another person if he or she is a party to a conspiracy to commit a crime, which also includes hiring, urging, counseling or making plans with another person to commit a crime. Also, conspirators could be living in a different city, such as San Antonio, Texas and order a killing of a person in Oakland, California without going anywhere near the scene of the crime.
Criminal Liability Under The Common Design Or Common Plan Rule
When a person, under the common design rule, has a common plan to commit an unlawful act, anything done in furthering the common design or plan is an act of all and every person involved can be punished for the act. This means, for example, if one party to an armed robbery wore a mask, that all parties involved wore a mask and are subject to the penalties of committing the crime while they are concealed (Curl v. State, 162 N. W. 2d 77 (Wis. 1968) (Gardner and Anderson, 2012, Criminal Law, Page 95).
My understanding of criminal liability under the common design or common plan rule is that when a person (or people) has a common plan to commit an unlawful act, anything that is done in furtherance of the common design or plan is considered an act of all and each person involved can be punished for the act.
RE: Week 3 Extra Credit Discussion- An Alternative Approach to Juvenile Crime
Hello Professor MacBeth,
Adam Foss, a New York prosecutor, was speaking in the video about the power a prosecutor can wield within the justice system. He realized during his internship that our criminal justice system needs reform. Instead of striving to be a defense lawyer, he changed his career to be a prosecutor. Mr. Foss mentions the discrepancies in our law system that most of the time does not contribute to rehabilitation. It his estimation, only a prosecutor has the most power in the justice system to affect change.
Correctly, he states that prosecutors with their decisions and boundless discretion can affect positive change and life-changing consequences. A lot of people are not aware that, even if a prosecutor believes he can prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, he is not required to charge that individual.
Their tremendous power and discretion is often exercised in ways that produce unintended and undesirable consequences. However, that same power and discretion, Mr. Foss explained, can be used to remedy disparity and helps getting people integrated back into society.
I do like Mr. Foss idea of reforming the justice system. I concur with him just looking at the prospect of a 17-year old sentenced to 13 years in prison, he serves the rest of his sentence in adult system once he ages out. Facing the prospect of spending years in prison, surrounded by hardcore inmates, minimizes the chance of ever being rehabilitated. The Department of Justice concluded from the available studies that the recidivism rate for these juveniles would be approximately 50% without and rehabilitation options or drug treatment (DOJ, 2000, pg. 5).
Week 4 Discussion
“Capital Punishment” Please respond to the following:
From the first e-Activity, specify the key reasons why legislatures inflicted capital punishment in the history of the United States. Next, debate whether or not legislatures today should inflict capital punishment. Provide a rationale to support your position.
From the second e-Activity, summarize the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Ingraham v. Wright. Did the court approve of corporal punishment in schools, or was the decision more limited than that? What was the actual (Constitutional) question the Supreme Court was asked to decide? What is your personal position on the use of corporal punishment in schools? Provide a rationale to support your response.
Please reply to the following students as well
RE: Week 4 Discussion
First E-Activity – Capital Punishment
The death penalty was a widely accepted punishment when the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights was ratified. There is only one reference to capital punishment in the Constitution, which is found in the Fifth Amendment. It reads as follows – “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless….” (Gardner and Anderson, Criminal Law, 2012, Page 201).
My understanding is that the death penalty was a widely accepted punishment when the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights was ratified The only reference to capital punishment is found in the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Death Penalty Laws After Furman v. Georgia (1972)
1972 – Furman v. Georgia invalidated death penalty statutes of 41 states,along with federal crimes that the death penalty could be imposed for.
1984 – The U.S. Supreme Court, in response to Furman v. Georgia, observed that two-thirds of the states redrafted their capital sentencing statues in order to limit jury discretion and avoid arbitrary and inconsistent results (Gardner and Anderson, Criminal Law, 2012, Page 201).
My understanding of death penalty laws after Furman v. Georgia (1972) is that the case invalidated death penalty statutes of 41 states. In addition, the U.S. Supreme Court observed that, as a response to Furman v. Georgia (1972) in 1984, two-thirds of the states redrafted their capital punishment statutes in order to limit jury discretion and avoid arbitrary and inconsistent results. All new statutes are providing for an automatic appeal of death sentences.
Second E-Activity – Case Summary – Ingraham v. Wright (1977)
Ingraham v. Wright (1977) – in this case, the U.S. Supreme Court looked at the relationship between the Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause and use of corporal punishment in public schools. It was first observed that no general rule prohibited corporal punishment in schools. A prevalent rule in America today privileges such force that a teacher or administrator deems necessary for a child’s proper control, training or education (Gardner and Anderson, Criminal Law, 2012, Page 199).
My understanding of Ingraham v. Wright (1977) is that the Supreme Court reviewed the relationship between the Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause and use of corporal punishment in schools, stating that a prevalent rule in this country privileges such force that teachers or administrators reasonably believe to be necessary for a child’s proper control, training or education.