Elements of Crime Assignment

Elements of Crime Assignment Words: 2287

The Reporter is responsible for explaining the group’s reasoning and conclusion when the class reconvenes. (7) Reconvene Class: call on each group to present their analysis of one hypo. Ask questions to push them in the right direction if you think they missed meeting or ask questions forcing them to defend their answers if you think they got it right. Note to teacher: suggested answers to the hypothetical are on a separate sheet at the end of this lesson plan. (8) Take-away: men’s area standards vary widely from premeditated intent to strict liability.

You need to read statutes carefully to determine the correct standard. IV. Evaluation a. Group performance on written responses to Hypos-5 and class discussion. V. Assignment a. Write a one page response to the following question: Should Melvin be punished for his relationship with Laura? If not, please explain why. How do oh think Washington’s statutory rape statute should be changed? If you think that Melvin should be punished, please explain why. Handout : Hypothetical Scenarios Introductory Hypo: Frank is helping his friend move into a downtown Seattle condo.

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While unloading a large mirror from the moving truck, the bright sunlight hits the mirror and reflects against the 40th floor of the skyscraper across the street which temporarily blinds a window washer and causes him to stumble. During this moment of temporary blindness, lasting about a second and a half, the window washer inadvertently kicks over his window washing bucket onto the street below. The water and soap from the bucket hit the sidewalk right in front of Bill the jogger. Bill was unable to stop before stepping on the slippery sidewalk, causing him to lose his balance and fall.

When Bill fell, he hit his head on the sidewalk. Bill died two weeks later from his head injury. Suppose that Washington law provides: Anyone who causes the death of another person shall be guilty of murder. Would Frank be guilty of murder under this law? Should he be? Group Exercise Hypos Instructions: Nominate someone in your group to be the recorder and another person to be the class reporter. Read each hypothetical and determine which statute, if any, applies to the facts of the hypothetical and whether the defendant has violated the statute.

Hypo #1: Sarah is held at gun point by Roger on a rooftop. Roger tells Sarah that she must shoot and kill Steven. Sarah pleads with Roger to let her go and that she does not want to kill Steven. Roger tells Sarah that unless she successfully shoots and kills Steven, he will kill Sarah and her entire family. Roger has a violent reputation and Sarah has no reason to believe that Roger will not follow through with his threat. Roger identifies Steven walking on the there side of the street and tells Sarah to take the shot.

Fearing for the safety of her family and herself, Sarah takes careful aim at Steven, gauges the wind and change in elevation, and fires a precise shot penetrating Stevens heart. What crimes if any has Sarah committed? Explain Hypo #2: Mildred comes home from work early only to discover her husband Robert in the midst of a lewd affair with their neighbor Gladys. In sudden fit of rage, Mildred grabs a flower vase and smashes it over Gladys’ head knocking her unconscious. With a broken shard of ceramic from the vase, Mildred stabs Robert in the neck. Robert dies from sudden blood loss within seconds.

After killing Robert, Mildred drags Gladys’ unconscious, but still breathing, body into the garage where she ties Gladys to a folding chair and duct tapes her mouth shut to keep her from screaming. Mildred then returns to the house, prepares a cup of hot tea and takes a long bubble bath contemplating what she should do with Gladys. After finishing her bath, Mildred brainstorms in a note book for several hours about what she might do with Gladys. Ultimately, Mildred decides that Gladys must die for what she has done. Mildred then returns to the garage where she calmly shoots and ills Gladys with a pistol at point blank range.

What crimes if any has Mildred committed? Explain Hypo #3: One day, George decides that he would like to see what would happen if he were to drop several pounds of high explosives from a freeway overpass into busy fast-moving traffic. George purchases several pounds of high explosives over the internet and then goes to a nearby overpass overlooking 1-5. He drops the explosives in front of a large semi-truck and mutters to himself, “I sure hope nobody gets hurt. ” When the explosives hit the pavement below they instantly detonate and blow-up the semi-truck ailing its two occupants.

In addition, five more motorists are killed in the ensuing pile-up. What crimes if any has George committed? Explain Hypo Jim is driving down the freeway when he spills his bag of Skittles onto the front passenger floor. Not wanting to lose a single sugary morsel, Jim leans down to retrieve the handful of lost Skittles. In so doing, Jim takes his eyes completely off the road for 8 seconds. While reaching for the last Skittle, Jim inadvertently jerks the steering wheel which veers his car into the next lane. Jims car strikes another car forcing it into the ditch.

Upon entering he ditch, the other car flips into the air and lands on its roof. All three occupants are crushed to death. What crimes if any has Jim committed? Explain. Hypo #5: Melvin is 21 years old. He has been held back several grades and reads at approximately a 6th grade level. Laura is 15 h years old. She is a very bright student and takes nearly all AP classes. Laura and Melvin live in the same neighborhood. Laura has always felt sorry for Melvin and was friendly to him even when the neighborhood kids teased and taunted him. As their friendship grew, their relationship, at Laurel’s suggestion, became sexual.

Melvin never asked Laura how old she was nor did Laura ever tell Melvin her age. When Laurel’s father discovered the relationship, he turned Melvin into the police. What crimes if any has Melvin committed? Does he have any defenses? Explain Handout #2: Elements of a Crime 1. Cactus Reuse. Cactus reuse is often characterized as the physical part off crime. In most cases, it describes what the offender must do. A murder statue will require the offender to “kill,” an arson law will punish people who “set fire to” a structure, and theft may require someone to “take” something a.

Voluntary Act: The defendant’s act must be voluntary’. . Circumstances: Many Crimes occur only in a specifically described situation. For example, bribery of a juror requires that the person bribed have been a juror (not another official). C. Harm or result: Many criminal laws require a specific harm to have occurred before the statute applies. In murder, there must be a person killed, and in arson, there must be a burned structure. D. Causation: Often a statute requiring harm (such as death or an explosion) also requires that the defendant cause that harm. Causation links the defendants conduct to the result. . “But for,” “Cause in Fact,” or “Actual” causation is the simplest form of causation. It simply provides that a particular result (such as death) would not have occurred without the defendant’s action. Ii. Proximate causation is narrower than “but for ‘ causation. Proximate causation is limited to the foreseeable consequences of the defendants actions. 2. Men’s Area. Men’s Area is often characterized as the mental requirement in a criminal law. Modern Statutes Often use four categories of men’s area: intentionally (or purposefully or willfully), knowingly, recklessly, and with criminal negligence.

Handout #3: Statutes First Degree Murder: RCA AAA. 32. 30 (1) A person is guilty of murder in the first degree when: (a) With a premeditated intent to cause the death of another person, he or she causes the death of such person or of a third person; or (b) Under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to human life, he or she engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to any person, and thereby causes the death Of a person; or (c) [Felony Murder-?not covered in this exercise] Second Degree Murder: RCA AAA. 32. 50 (1) A person is guilty of murder in the second degree when: (a) With intent to cause the death of another person but without remediation, he or she causes the death of such person or of a third person; or (b) [Felony Murder-?not covered in this exercise] First Degree Manslaughter: RCA AAA. 32. 060 (1) A person is guilty of manslaughter in the first degree when: (a) He recklessly causes the death of another person; or (b) He intentionally and unlawfully kills an unborn quick child by inflicting any injury upon the mother of such child.

Second Degree Manslaughter: (1) A person is guilty of manslaughter in the second degree when, with criminal negligence, he causes the death of another person. Rape of a Child in the third Degree (Statutory Rape): RCA AAA. 4. 079 (1 )A person is guilty of rape of a child in the third degree when the person has sexual intercourse with another who is at least fourteen years old but less than sixteen years old and not married to the perpetrator and the perpetrator is at least forty-eight months older than the victim. Defenses: RCA AAA. 44. 30 (2) In any prosecution under this chapter in which the offense or degree of the offense depends on the victim’s age, it is no defense that the perpetrator did not know the victim’s age, or that the perpetrator believed the victim to be older, as the case may be: PROVIDED, That it is a defense which the pendant must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that at the time of the offense the defendant reasonably believed the alleged victim to be the age identified in subsection (3) of this section based upon declarations as to age by the alleged victim [I. . Over the age of 16 or less than 48 months apart in age] FOR THE TEACHER: Answer Key to Hypothetical Questions Introductory Hypo: The point of the introductory hypo is to realize that there are two types of causation. “Simple” causation or “cause in fact’ might describe how a physicist would define causation. Under this type of causation, event A is a cause of the later event B, if B would not have occurred “but for” the occurrence of event A.

Therefore, in the example, the event of Frank moving the mirror is a cause in fact of Bill’s death in this sense because if Frank hadn’t moved the mirror in the way he did, the sequence of events that led to Bill’s slip would not have occurred and Bill would not have died. However, in a legal context, “cause in fact’ is a necessary but not sufficient element. To be legally liable for a particular action, one’s conduct must be the proximate cause of the liability generating event. Proximate cause is a bisection of “cause in fact” and is limited to events that are foreseeable.

Therefore, Frank would not be criminally liable for the death of Bill under existing criminal law frameworks because Bill’s death was not foreseeable. Hypo : The issue here is whether Sarah is liable for some level of homicide offense. Since Roger held Sarah at gunpoint and Sarah knew that Roger was a violent person one could argue that Sarah did not shoot Steven voluntarily even though she had the clear intent of shooting Steven because she took careful aim, adjusted for the wind, and placed a precise shot. Duress is a defense to most crimes.

However, duress is not a defense to homicide, so Sarah is potentially liable for either murder or manslaughter (duress can reduce a crime that would otherwise constitute murder to manslaughter under certain circumstances). You might ask students: How do you think a prosecutor would or should handle this case? Should he or she use his or her discretion to not file charges against Sarah? Hypo #2: There are two homicides in this case: Gladys and Robert. Milliard’s killing of Robert would be murder in the second degree because in a fit of sudden rage (no premeditation) she intended to kill her husband by stabbing IM in the neck.

Roberts death is the classic “passion killing. ” However, Milliard’s killing of Gladys would be murder in the first degree because after dragging her body to the garage, she took time and deliberated about what she was going to do and then killed Gladys. Gladys murder was premeditated. Hypo #3: Is George guilty of murder? George did not have a clear intent to harm anyone when he dropped the bomb onto the interstate. However, under subsection (b) of Washington’s first degree murder statute, George manifested “an extreme indifference to human life” that created “a grave risk f death to any person. Therefore, even though George didn’t intend to kill anyone, he could be found guilty of murder in the first degree. Hypo #4: One could argue that’s should be guilty of murder in the first degree under the extreme indifference prong, but Jims conduct is not nearly as abhorrent as George dropping a bomb onto the interstate. Motorists do dangerous things in the car all the time that are distracting and cause accidents. Therefore, reaching over to pick up some Skittles is probably not “extreme indifference. ” Jim is most likely guilty of first or second degree manslaughter.

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