Criminal law paper

Topics: Criminal law, Crime, Law Pages: 5 (832 words) Published: November 16, 2014


University of Phoenix
CJA 354 Criminal Law
Criminal Law Paper
Iesha Gay
Rod Shelton
July 7, 2013

In this paper I am going to take a look at the case state of Maryland v Alonzo King. I will take a look at what accomplice liability is and criminal liability and how they are related to the case of Maryland v King. How different aspects of crime differ from one another and there direct correlation to this case. In 2009 Alonzo Jay King Jr. was arrested by the Maryland police for first and second degree assault. In the state of Maryland there is an act called the “DNA Act” which gives police the right to collect a suspects DNA. After Maryland police collected Alonzo King’s DNA they entered it into the states database and it immediately came back as a match to an unsolved rape case from 2003. Due to the match Alonzo King was convicted of the 2003 rape. After Mr. King was convicted Maryland’s highest court reversed that conviction, stating that the DNA evidence was not obtained properly during a reasonable search so it was not constitutional under the Fourth Amendment. They stated that King’s rights to privacy were deemed greater than the state of Maryland’s interest in using DNA to identify Alonzo King ("Cornell University Law School ", 2013). What interested me about this case is the DNA act which allowed the state of Maryland to collect Mr. King’s DNA in the first place seeing as though he was charged with a crime where collecting his DNA was not necessary to convict him. Also what interested me about this case was that the state of Maryland felt it was okay to disregard Mr. King’s constitutional rights to up hold their states laws. Accomplice liability makes it so that the courts can find someone criminally liable for acts committed by other people. If that person assists, aids or encourages the other person while they are in the process of committing the crime that person is considered an accomplice to the crime. The one that actually commits the crime is considered the principal. The crime that the accomplice provides assistance to the principal is called the target crime. Criminal liability is what is needed in order to prove that a defendant is guilty of the crime they are accused of. In order for a person to be found criminally liable the court must prove two things, one thing that needs to be proven is that the person committed the criminal act in which they are being charged. And the second thing that needs to be proven is that the person had the intent to commit the crime. The purpose of this case is to see if the state of Maryland collected and analyze the DNA sample taken from the person that was arrested for but not yet convicted of the crime rights have been violated against unreasonable searches per the Fourth Amendment. It is being argued that because Maryland’s DNA act gives the police the rights to collect DNA samples from those that have been arrested, but not yet convicted for violent crimes or burglary. Alonzo King wanted to have the DNA evidence suppressed, stating that his arrest for rape was not valid due to unreasonable search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment. Mr. King wanted to prove that the DNA Act was unconstitutional and even if it was not unconstitutional that they did not follow the proper procedure when collecting his DNA. Actus reus is illegal activity that has happened and has resulted in injury or harm to someone else. You have to have Actus reus in order for a crime to have occurred. Mens rea is simply the intent to commit a crime. Concurrence is equal rights in the same subject matter (Concurrence. (2013). These terms relate to the case Maryland v King because all the elements of both actus reus and mens rea exist within this case. As I reviewed the case of Maryland v king it was clear that even in this day and age there is still room for much improvement within the Criminal justice system. With any crime must be sure that all the...

References: Concurrence. (2013). In Merriam Webster. Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/concurrence
Mens rea. (2013). In Merriam Webster. Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mens%20rea
Cornell University Law School . (2013). Retrieved from http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/cert/12-207
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