The criminal justice system uses the concepts of “mala prohibita” and “mala in se” to show the difference between legally proscribed offenses and morally proscribed offenses. Legally proscribed offenses are offenses that are wrong simply because there a formal rule keeps someone from doing them. The morally proscribed offenses are offenses that cannot be justified in a sophisticated society. For example, legally proscribed offenses are offenses such as prostitution, and gambling and morally proscribed offenses are thing like premeditated murder and forcible rape. The State of Washington vs. Thaddius X. Anderson was a perfect example of a case of “mala prohibita” and “mala in se”. The sole issue before us is whether “knowing possession” is an element of the crime of second degree unlawful possession of a firearm. We hold that “knowledge” is an element of the offense and, therefore, reverse the decision of the Court of Appeals, Division One, which affirmed the trial court's determination that second degree unlawful possession of a firearm is a strict liability offense (STATE v. ANDERSON, 2000). Mr. Anderson’s argument was that the car he was driving was not his it was his cousins and he also contended that gun found in the car was not his it was his cousins as well therefore he should not be held liable for the gun in the car. If you look at the two concepts used by the criminal justice system “mala prohibita” and “mala in se”, one requires “the knowledge” and the other only requires a statute (meaning not knowledge require). Mr. Anderson was found guilty of his crime using the concept of “mala prohibita”. Mr. Anderson was in direct violation of a statue (offense that is only an offense because there is a law against it) and therefore his not knowing that the gun was in the car is irrelevant. However, Mr. Anderson’s argument was based off the concept of “mala in se” (and morally proscribed offenses are thing like premeditated murder and forcible rape), which...
References: STATE v. ANDERSON, No. 67826-0. (State of Washington August 10, 2000).
U.S. Legal. (n.d.). Retrieved September 5, 2011, from uslegal.com: http://definitions.uslegal.com/t/terrorism/
Martin, G. (2010). Understanding Terrorism: Challenges, Perspective, and Issues Third Edition. In G. Martin, Understanding Terrorism: Challenges, Perspective, and Issues Third Edition (pp. 82-84). California: Sage Publication, Inc.
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