Unit 2 Assignment
Criminal Case V Civil Action
CJ 230: Criminal Law for Criminal Justice
Amanda Rudloff April 29, 2014
Brent Lightfoot stood in his kitchen covered in the blood of his best friend, Greg Williams. When did a friendship built from child hood turn into murder? Brent smiled because now Katelyn would be his. He waited by the phone after cleaning up because he knew when Katelyn returned home and found Greg she would call Brent for consoling. Brent went to Greg’s home to tell him that he and Katelyn had been seeing each other and the child she was carrying was his, but that conversation turned into Greg punching him and trying to push him out of the door. Brent pulled out the gun he had brought to the house and shot Greg in the heart. He stayed long enough to hold Greg as he took his last breathe and promised Greg to take care of Katelyn and his unborn child. Brent knew murder was wrong, but he did not care. Greg was out of the way. It was not the Katelyn that called, but instead was two detectives. Brent agreed to go speak to them. He brought his lawyer and was informed that they found his fingerprints at the scene and was charging him with murder. Although they had Brent’s fingerprints, the police were never able to find the murder weapon or break the alibi that Brent cleverly set up for himself. Brent was found not guilty of murder. Instead of Katelyn running to him for consoling, she went to the court house and filed a wrongful death suit against Brent. Although he had already been cleared, Katelyn had every legal right to file the wrongful death suit under civil action.
In this scenario, Brent was charged by the district attorney with one count of murder in the first degree. A person is charged with murder in the first degree if the homicide was committed with malice, which is characterized by the murder committed with a deliberate and premeditated state of mind. The deliberate loss of someone inflicts grief and sadness upon the victim’s family, therefore committing murder is detrimental to societal order. Due to the extreme effect murder has on society it is considered one of the most serious crimes worthy of the harshest of punishment which can include life without possibility of parole and even death. The criminal action used in this scenario was instituted by the government to punish the offense of homicide. The element of mens rea was shown in this scenario because Brent intentionally and knowingly caused the death of Greg with malicious afterthought to make Katelyn fall in love with him. Brent wanted Greg out of the way so he went to his best friend’s home with the intent to shoot Greg knowing that this action would result in Greg’s death. The criminal act that Brent committed is the actus reus. Therefore because both mens rea and actus reus were shown in this crime, Brent was charged with murder, which is a felony that can result in jail time from anywhere to 25 years to life and even result in the death penalty. The state can bring forth a criminal action case against someone for violating the criminal laws of the state. During the procedure of this criminal action, a person is charged, brought to trial, and then judged on their guilt or innocence (Reuters 2014). All crimes are considered to be offenses against the state or society and therefore are brought forth as charges by the prosecutor in the court of law. The prosecutor then must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person is guilty in front of either a judge or a jury. The defendant in a criminal action case is entitled to a defense attorney by law and they are afforded certain protections, including the right against illegal search and seizure (Scott 2014). Criminal law regulates social conduct and punishes those that would threaten, harm, or otherwise endanger the health, safety, and moral welfare of civilians in society. Criminal law differs from...
References: What is a Civil Action Suit? Allen Yesilevch Jan 11, 2013
Define Civil Court Action by Michael J. Scott: Jan 2014
Differences Between A Criminal Case and A Civil Case by Thomas Reuters: March 2014
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