Crime, Legal Defense, Elements of a Crime, Post Arrest Procedures

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Elements of a Crime and how the elements of a crime apply to the overall criminal procedure process? The three elements of crime are actus reus, mens rea, and the relationship between the two. Actus reus is commission or omission that is illegal. The act must be voluntary and must break a criminal statue. Mens rea is the guilty state of mind. Accidently switching briefcases with someone at an airport does not possess mens rea. (Jon’a F. Meyer, Diana R. Grant, 2003) The relationship of the two must be present for a crime to be committed. I have to rob a bank and be in the guilty state of mind as a do it to be guilty. There are three elements to a crime:

1. actus reus- a guilty act. 2. mens rea- intent to commit a guilt act 3. concurrence- connection of actus reus and mens rea. The overall criminal procedure relies on the elements consisting of a crime. Without these elements combined there is no crime committed, and people would not be punished. The elements of a crime allow us to have a better understanding of the person who commits certain crimes. What recommendations would you make to better define/improve understanding of elements of a crime? With the elements of a crime being so short there is little that needs to be done in order to improve the understanding amongst society. The majority of the knowledge that society has about the law us from everyday living and hearsay down the grapevine. With this type of communication the vital parts of the message can be lost and misinterpreted. A public notice of the definitions of the elements is a good way to prevent that from happening as much and help society gather a better understanding of the elements that make a crime. What are the various legal defenses which are used?

Infancy—she or he is too young (typically younger than seven years of age) to be able to form the mens rea necessary to commit a criminal act. Insanity—his or her insanity at the time of a crime meant he or she could not rationally form mens rea to commit a criminal act. Intoxication—his or her involuntary intoxication made it impossible for him/her to rationally form mens rea to commit a criminal act. Self-defense—his or her actions were meant to protect him- or herself from death or serious bodily harm. Prevention of a violent felony—she or he was protecting others or preventing a violent felony. Coercion/duress—his or her actions were in response to a rational fear of immediate death or serious bodily injury. Necessity—his or her actions were necessary to prevent a larger evil. Entrapment—the idea and motivations for committing the crime were planted by a government agent. Syndromes—the defendant was significantly affected by a psychological syndrome that diminished his or her ability to rationally form mens rea to commit a criminal act. Mistake of fact—the acts arose from an honest and reasonable mistake, such as accidentally picking up someone else’s umbrella instead of one’s own. (Meyer & Grant, 2003, p. 33). How does each of these defenses apply when in court and the overall criminal procedure? Infancy defense was intended for children between the ages of seven and fourteen who might have been accused of a crime in which the courts would decide on a case-by-case basis if the child knew right from wrong. If certified, the courts could not prosecute the accused for their acts, no matter how severe. Insanity would only apply if the defendant had been legally insane at the time of the crime. In this case the accused could be determined as incapable of knowing what they were doing was wrong. “To be a valid defense, the defendant must have been legally insane at the time of the crime, and insanity differs from the medical definition of mental illness in that insanity cannot apply when defendants understand what they are doing and know what they were doing is wrong. So, it is possible for defendants who suffer from serious mental illnesses to be tried and convicted for committing crimes, even...
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