Criminal Conduct and Criminal Law
July 25, 2014
CRIMINAL CONDUCT AND CRIMINAL LAW
Actus rea and mens rea are both important elements to convicting anyone for any crime. The actual commitment of a criminal act is actus rea. The guilty or criminal mind state is mens rea. Despite the fact that both actus rea and mens rea do not have to exist a conviction is still very feasible. When a criminal act is committed and the individual does not have to mens rea or guilty mind in some instances without the required mental state no crime is committed. Persons incapable of entertaining the required criminal mind because of legal insanity have not committed a crime. Working with individuals who have been diagnosis with mental retardation has really opened my mind to the element of mens rea when the individual has done something illegal. Some of the individuals have it in their mind that because the have been diagnosis with mental retardation they can not be held responsible for the criminal act they may commit or have committed, I have even heard many of the individuals say it. Does this mental state qualify them of the required state of mind for conviction?
Immunity as a defense works in some cases not all. Immunity is the exemplification from criminal prosecution based on statues, the U.S. Constitution or international agreements. Diplomatic immunity is granted to those who are visiting foreign officials. Diplomatic immunity can also be waived by the diplomat’s home country, which has to be requested by the U.S. government. According to Gardner, Anderson 2012, article I section 6, of the U.S. Constitution provides that U.S. senators and representatives shall in all cases except treason, felony and breach of peace, be privileged from arrest during the attendance at the sessions of their respective houses, and in going to and returning from the same. Legislative have been granted this legislative immunity as well; however charges may be held until the legislative body adjourns. Americans should be granted the same immunity as the U.S. has granted visiting foreign officials, unless the crime is serious than the U.S can waive the immunity. When visiting another country you should know all laws are not the same as your home country.
Defendants with questionable competency should be held to the standard sentencing guidelines. The standard as generally stated (Saks, 2009), as in other areas of the law, refers to the convict’s understanding of his crime, his punishment, and the connection between the two. There are various ways that this understanding can fail. For instance, one can be so demented, or so disorganized/psychotic, that one cannot process the meaning of what one is told. Or one can lack all short-term memory and be unable to keep all necessary elements of understanding in mind. Or one can be in a super depression that prevents one from following what is said, or at least expressing one’s views. Or perhaps someone who is grossly and floridly psychotic should be deemed incompetent, even if he does not clearly express relevant delusions. These are important ways in which competency can misfire. I argue for is because just as I stated earlier in this essay many of the individuals I work with are diagnosis with MR but they know how to play the system and they use their disability as an shield from having to be sentence and punish just a anyone else. Less competent does not make the criminal act less criminal or less of a crime so why should the standard sentencing guidelines not apply? The sentencing should be given and explained to them so that they can understand the process of what has and will take place but it should not affect the concluding of sentencing.
Criminal law involves prosecution by the government of a person for an act that has been classified as a crime (The objective of criminal law is to protect the public against...
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