Elements of a Criminal Act
For this assignment, read the following scenario and then in a 2–3-page paper, answer the questions presented.
Patrice wanted to kill her mother-in-law, Kayla, so she hid behind a building and waited for her to get off the bus. When Kayla got off the bus, Patrice shot at her with her rifle, but missed and killed Angela, who was behind her. Patrice attempted to fire again at Kayla, but her rifle jammed and Patrice ran off.
Patrice’s attorney moved to dismiss the charge of the attempted murder of Kayla on the ground that Patrice could not have killed Kayla due to the malfunctioning of her rifle. The court granted the motion.
Was the court correct in dismissing the attempted murder charge? Be sure to identify and describe the elements of a criminal act (at least three) and address impossibility and distinguish if it is a complete or incomplete attempt.
Also address any ethical or moralistic concerns associated with allowing a criminal defendant to avoid criminal responsibility by successfully asserting a legal defense such as impossibility.
Answer the questions above in a 2–3-page paper (excluding cover and reference pages) in APA format.
In your Final Project, you will look at crimes in three categories: against property, against persons, and against public order. From the list below, select three crimes, one from each category. In a 9–15 slide presentation, respond to the following questions for each of the three crimes that you select:
Define the elements of the crime, including the actus reus and mens rea for each crime. Make sure to cite a state criminal statute for each crime.
Identify whether the crime can be classified as a crime against property, crime against person, or a crime against public order and why the crime is so classified.
Describe a factual scenario, either fictional or true in fact, in which the crime is committed. Should there be different penalties for crimes against property, people, and public order? Why? Do you believe that crimes in one category are more serious? Support your argument with examples as to why these crimes are similar or different.
Referring to your factual scenario, how would a person’s ideas about multiculturalism and diversity impact the penalties for the crime? For example, depending on the crime a defendant’s sentence might be decided by either a judge or a jury. Based on the particular juror or judge’s socio-economic, cultural or religious backgrounds, do you think that these individuals have certain opinions as to how stringent a defendant’s sentence should be?
Provide your opinion as to whether judges should be given wide discretion in determining the appropriate sentence for a defendant.
You may use the Model Penal Code definitions as outlined in your text, or select specific statutes from the Federal or a state criminal code. However, make sure you clearly identify the elements as outlined in that statute. It is suggested that you separate your responses for each scenario with headings in your presentation.
Remember to answer each of the questions above for each of the scenarios you select and, when referring to your text or other sources, clearly cite your sources both on the slides in your presentation and on the reference slide.
List of Crimes
Topic 1: Issues and Challenge
Eileen is an artist and is also very concerned about the dilapidation of her neighborhood. She is particularly concerned with the deplorable condition of old man Ulrich’s property – a large warehouse right at the entrance of the neighborhood that is in disrepair and badly in need of a paint job. So one evening, Eileen sneaks over and paints a beautiful mural on the side of old man Ulrich’s warehouse and he has her arrested and charged with criminal mischief. You have been asked to assist with Eileen’s defense. What would you argue in her defense and how do you think your case will end?
Topic 2: Scenario – You Decide
Discuss whether or not each of the following constitutes a burglary and support your answer.
Dwayne sees a private home with the front door open and enters it, intending to steal a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (worth about $2).
Belinda and Jimmy are in the process of a divorce and he is living in the marital home while she lives with her mother. Belinda believes that Jimmy has been “carrying on with that tramp down the street” and that she has moved into the marital residence with Jimmy. Belinda waits until after dark and then sneaks through the basement window, planning to stab Jimmy and his new girlfriend to death.