In the case of Elizabeth Steinberg, the person responsible for her death can be charged with first degree murder. Notably, the perpetrator of the crime was his step-father, Joel Steinberg, a disbarred lawyer (Gado, n. p. ). The first degree murder applies because the elements of the crime apply to the surrounding circumstances of the crime. First, the act was done deliberately which means that the perpetrator has a clear decision to kill the child.
Based on the facts, the bruises and other injuries were deliberately inflicted upon the child due to the extent and damage caused. It can be noted that the child had broken chest and suffered brain injury. Second, the act was premeditated or was actually planned. The perpetrator had actually thought of killing the child. This can be strongly established by the injuries suffered by the child and the act of not curing the child for such injuries. Last, for an act to fall under the first degree murder, it should be done with malice.
It is clear that there is no justifiable reason for the perpetrator to hurt the child. In the very first place, the victim is a six-year old innocent and very fragile. In securing the society from any criminal acts, laws have been enacted and implemented. In assessing the crime in societal perspective, it can be said that the laws was only meant to punish and not to deter the crime from being committed. It can be observed that despite the laws, several still commit the prohibited acts.
In addition, the punishment that should be imposed upon these kinds of brutal crimes is death penalty. By virtue of the gravity and the circumstances of the victim and the crime, the punishment should be grave that will effectively deter others from committing it. Subsequently, in effectively preventing further crimes, the laws and the punishment should be strictly implemented. Work cited Gado, Mark. “A Child Not Breathing. ” Crime Library Criminal Minds and Methods. 2 April 2009 < http://www. crimelibrary. com/notorious_murders/family/lisa_steinberg/>.