Criminal laws relate to the rules and regulations for handling criminal acts like social conducts, harming, threatening, or endangering one’s health, safety, moral and/or people’s welfare. Unlike civil laws which emphasize the dispute resolution and compensation of the victim, criminal laws punish the law breakers (Duff, 2010). Criminal law is unique and distinctive for handling crimes with potentially grave penalties and/or sanctions. Overall, there are five objectives of imposing grave criminal penalties or punishment for the violation of criminal laws.
These include retribution, deterrence, incapacitation, rehabilitation, and restoration. Ideally, retribution makes criminals suffer in some way; therefore, it has been severally used to impose unpleasant sufferance to criminals. On the other hand, deterrence imposes sufficient penalty against criminals to discourage them from repeating the criminal offence (Ashworth, 2013). In addition, incapacitation strategy is designed to keep criminal offenders away from the society thus protecting the public from criminal misconduct. Alternatively, rehabilitation strategy can be employed on criminals thereby transforming them to be a useful part of the society.
However, handling criminal cases require both the prosecution and complainant’s defense to prove the offense. The offended in a criminal case must provide evidence through the defense to prove the involvement in criminal activity before criminal conviction. The moment the offended fails to provide evidence of the committed criminal activity and the judicial system gives a conviction; the accused would be convicted of crimes that he/she did not commit (Tewksbury & Worley, 2013). Similarly, the criminal offences reportedly committed by Adams in liaison with his other friends including Barry, Charles, and Dave must be proved by the court of law.
Therefore, all the parties involved in Adams’ criminal case have CRIMINAL LAW 3 the obligation to provide impeccable proof and evidence linking Adam and his group with the planning and execution of criminal offences. Adams and his co-accused are culpable to various offences including burglary, murder, manslaughter, theft, and fraud since this can be proved by the court of law based on the evidences provided. The Nature of Actus Reus Crimes Ideally, Adams and his team face criminal offences which when proved beyond a reasonable doubt leads to the pronouncing of criminal liability.
The mens reus (guilty act) in combination with the actus reus (guilty mind) culminates into a criminal offence liability law (Ashworth & Horder, 2013). The laws are being practiced in different countries including, but not limited to England, Pakistan, US, Colombia Ireland, Canada, South Africa, and Wales. Generally, there are many versions of guilty minds for the acts of crimes; this can either be involuntary and voluntary movements. According to the American Supreme Court, a Californian law interpretation institution once ruled that drug addicts were not supposed to be convicted of a criminal offence.
The court argued that the mere fact of being on drugs could not be categorized as an act thus cannot be treated as a criminal offence. Therefore the Supreme Court termed the conviction the Californian drug addict as unconstitutional (Martin, 2013). Although lawyers and law firms find the expression of actus reus convenient, it has been termed as misleading in one way or another. Ordinarily, criminal act makes the term actus reus universally acceptable. However, the law does not just entail the criminal, but all the external factors/elements making leading to an offence.
This is because there are criminal offences that can be committed without acts thus actus reus (Martin, 2013). Therefore, criminal conduct has been the most relevant, wide, and satisfactorily used to cover all aspects of criminal offences including the omission of a bodily action. CRIMINAL LAW 4 On the other hand, the conduct must have taken place in relevant circumstances; for example, criminal acts involving rape cases. Sexual intercourse becomes a criminal offence if it was committed without consensual mutual agreement between the two parties (Ormerod et al,2011). Other crimes necessitate the production of legally prohibited consequence in proving the acts of crime.
It is also indicated that what goes on in somebody’s mind does not warrant the terminology of crime. In other words, it is devoid of external elements, excerption, or state of affairs. Alternatively, the classification of crimes may sometimes appear absurd and awkward because conducts and results must be proved. Nonetheless, it is also necessary to identify the constituent elements of an offence. Therefore, indecent exposure of one genital part warrants a crime irrespective of the magnitude of the impacts (Loveless, 2012).
The actus reus and mens rea acts were formerly contained within the police classification highlights offence acts. The analysis of constituents of crime is important in the classification of a criminal offense. It is also important in differentiating between the conducts crimes and result crimes thus enhance the jurisdiction and over-cross frontier offences. Therefore, Adams’ criminal case can also be based on actus reus principle for the investigation, trial and prosecution in Crown court of justice. However, several factors must be fulfilled for Adams’ criminal case to be satisfactorily classified and categorized as actus reus (Ormerod et al, 2011).
The criminal offences and instigations committed by Adams and his team comprising of Barry, Charles, and Dave must have harmed or injured another person. Adam’s criminal defense attorneys must convince the Crown prosecution bench of innocence. In this case, Adams and his team will be defended against the actus reus criminal activity failure of which will result into criminal conviction (Lanham et al, 2006).
Consequently, the analysis of CRIMINAL LAW 5 Adams and his team’s criminal scenario might result into the following charges under actus reus criminal laws. Contemporaneity of Actus Reus and Mens Rea Under this, the criminal has to be guilty of a criminal offence amounting to men’s rea and actus reus conviction charges. The eighteen year old Adams meets Barry in a local pub where he suggests to his friend, Barry how he intends to commit the criminal offense (Ormerod et al, 2011). They intend to break into an elderly woman, Elenor who seemingly lives alone.
Barry tries to bring the issue of being caught, but Adams having determination refutes the possibility by bringing forth the strategies which would be used to destroy evidence. Later that evening, Adams met Charles in a public place who also reported of Adams’ criminal intention and consequently agrees to join them. Adams alerted his friends and told them that they would meet the following night, yet he proceeds to solicit for another partner from a local public place where he meets Dave. He told Dave his plans and Dave also became excited not knowing the existence of other group members (Ormerod et al, 2011). Eventually, Adams and his team meet where he introduced Dave to the other group members.
Adams showed the excited group members a small punch hammer which they would use in case the elderly woman attempted to prevent them from pursuing their plans successfully. Eventually, Adams’s team sets out and forced their way into Elenor’s kitchen by breaking the window. Adams sported a watch on the table, picked it and placed it in his pocket. However, just immediately before the group could break their way into the house, they heard anonymous group of persons passed approaching the scene thus temporary disrupting their mission.
The team temporarily suspended their mission to break the window thereby leaving the CRIMINAL LAW 6 anonymous group to pass (Ormerod et al, 2011). The group would have been particularly important with the provision of evidence during the prosecution. Fortunately, Elenor gets wind of the events, wakes up and goes to the scene of Adams’ criminal offense. However, threatening Elenor with a hammer, Adams with the hammer and directs one of his team members, Barry to tie Elenor using a strong tape they had picked from Elenor’s kitchen.
Therefore, Elenor became frightened and dashes back to her bedroom hoping to be safe once she locked herself in, unfortunately she fell and Adams realized Elenor had died (Heller & Dubber, 2011). Elenor’s death made Adams and his team to panic thereby forcing them to leave the place. Ideally, the death of Elenor was a big blow for the prosecution of Adam’s team.
This is because there would be no satisfying evidence of the group having committed burglary in Elenor’s house unless the unmentioned closed circuit television footage was retrieved. Additionally, the prosecutor would be required to prove that Elenor’s death was in anyway caused by Adam’s criminal acts. However, Adams’ attorneys should satisfactorily provide evidence of noncommittal of criminal charges involving murder, burglary, theft and threatening one’s life (Ormerod et al, 2011).
However, it can be argued that Elenor died because she was running for her safety since Adams’ team had threatened her life. Moreover, despite the panic showed by Adams’ team due to the death of Elenor, the team were relived because the complainant would have died thereby weakening the case. This would typically make Adams’ team feel happy of Elenor’s death thus resulting into the contemporaneity of actus reus and mens rea.
This is justifiable because Adams’ team had planned to use their punch hammer to force their way out of Elenor’s house in case she would hamper the collection of materials. Adams and his team ran away from Elenor’s house and unanimously agreed to leave for Blackpool where they would not be known. However, the team made a stopover at a local pub despite having no money CRIMINAL LAW 7 to spend thereby prompting Charles to steal some money from the pub’s private room (Harr et al, 2012). The team hastily left Dave’s father loaned car and to continue with the Blackpool journey.
However, the team again made a stopover to make some cheap shopping which were to be independently paid since there was no sufficient money. Therefore, the team devised fraudulent methods to replace the price tags attached in the goods including whisky with fault pricing tags. Unfortunately, the supermarket detective got wind of their motives and the police were immediately alerted (Ormerod et al, 2011). However, Dave was threatened and seriously cut one of the police using his razor.
Eventually, Adams’ team escaped scot free while the injured police officer was rushed to the hospital for treatment. Sadly, the police officer admitted for treatment succumbs to the wounds since the doctors’ involved in more deserving road carnage casualties. Therefore, Dave would be charged under mens rea because he inflicted the police officer with serious wounds that eventually led to his death. Ideally, men’s rea should always go beyond the occurrence of actus reus (Heller & Dubber, 2011). Therefore, Dave would not get an excuse for having left the situation prior to the completion of the actus reus. Nonetheless, Dave apparently intended to kill the officer especially after he inflicted an injury on the officer’s face.
The law directs that Dave would have been charged of murder even if he would not have escaped from the supermarket and attempted to save the police officer’ life. It is argued that the death of the police officer was caused by the inflictions of wounds emanating from Dave’s razor. Therefore, Dave had intended to kill the police officer despite the officer’s attempts to negotiate with Dave (Ashworth & Horder, 2013). Dave would thus be charged with manslaughter. The attorneys defending his case would be required to prove that the police officer did not die as a result of the inflictions.
CRIMINAL LAW 8 The attorneys must prove that the death occurred of the doctors’ noncommittal to quickly treat him. However, Dave’s convictions to inflict the police officer contravene the general principle under the mens rea (Elliott & Quinn, 2010). Therefore, the prosecution’s proof that Dave deliberately assaulted and inflicted the police officer would tantamount the conviction to a criminal offence. Similarly, external elements of the offence could apply in Adams’ criminal case Elenor fell and died following Barry’s pursuance to tie her using the strong tape picked from Elenor’s kitchen.
The prosecution would therefore charge Barry with manslaughter if his defense team failed to satisfactorily prove that Elenor died a natural death rather than criminal death. However, the prosecution would prove that Adams and his criminal team intentionally moved away from the scene of crimes involving the police officer and Elenor (Ormerod et al, 2011). This would result into an omission and consequent cause of a police officer’s death. It was voluntary conduct of the criminal team of omitting the injured because they were running away from facing the law.
This is charged under situational liability to the offence Duty to Avert a Danger of One’s Own Making Nonetheless, whenever one creates a dangerous situation the criminal acts, the person becomes liable for the consequences emanating from the situation. Therefore, Adams’ team also created several dangerous situations that consequently led to injuries and deaths of Elenor and the police officer (Harr et al, 2012). The criminal group ought to be refrained from planning burglary theft against Elenor thereby preventing the occurrences of the preceding offences created by the situation.
Nonetheless, the police officers have created dangerous situations resulting into actus reus. This is because the police officers would have conducted investigations prior to the pursuance of the two men confused for Adams’ team members. This would have saved fierce confrontational situation indicated in the case study. In addition, the police applied CRIMINAL LAW 9 maximum force in attempting to arrest the two men. Most governments struggle with many cases relating to the police extrajudicial killings and application of force.
Therefore, it can be argued that the police attempt of pursuing the two men prompted the defensive mechanism emanating from the suspects (Lanham et al, 2006). Moreover, the two men’s personal convictions of noninvolvement in any kind of criminal acts enhance the situation. This could have been caused by the fact that the police officers were fearful and could be seen to franticly looking for backups from their colleagues. In summary, the governments should formulate policies and guidelines restraining the police officer from applying impermissible force when making arrests.
Both the police and civilians should respect the rule and principles formulated by the governments. The police and the policing agencies need to be adequately trained to acquire relevant policies and strategies that would minimize the application of maximum force when making arrests. There should be participatory monitoring and evaluation mechanisms in the policing sector. This would minimize criminal cases thus reducing the criminal consequences including retribution, deterrence, incapacitation, rehabilitation, and restoration. CRIMINAL LAW 10 References Ashworth, A. , & Horder, J. (2013). Principles of criminal law.
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