Criminal Law is an extremely controversial subfield of law. Crime is behavior or activities that have been forbidden by the government. . The reasons why Criminal law is so controversial are is the substance or what makes up a crime and also the procedures that are taken to deprive the accused of their life, liberty and property. The general principles of Criminal Law have been around for centuries. On the other hand, however the definitions of the elements of crimes are different state to state and over time the change to meet the changing needs of new times and different places.
Criminal Law has followed the three step analysis of criminal liability. I. Criminal Conduct (criminal act, criminal intent, concurrence and causation) II. Justification ( III. Excuse Presumption of innocence and proving Criminal liability describes the rules and principles of the U. S. criminal procedure. The general principles of criminal law are propositions that apply to more than one crime. Some of them apply to all crimes. The special part of criminal law defines specific crimes, according to the principals set out in the general part.
The definitions of crimes are divided into four groups I. Crimes against persons II. Crimes against property III. Crimes against public order and morals IV. Crimes against the state The definitions of specific crimes consist of the elements prosecutors have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt to convict. Every definition of a specific crime is an application of one or more general principals. Criminal Liability is the behavior that deserves criminal punishment, it is the conduct that unjustifiably and inexcusably inflicts or threatens harm to a person or threatens public interests.
Those words “Conduct that unjustifiably and inexcusably inflictor threatens harm to a person or public interest” are the building blocks to the whole criminal law system and punishment. The United States has almost a quarter of the world’s prisoners. Americans are locked up for crimes-from writing bad checks to using drugs-that would rarely produce prison sentences in other countries. And in particular they are kept incarcerated far longer than prisoners in other countries. (Liptak 2008) Criminal Conduct Criminal conduct is the behavior that deserves criminal punishment. In the U. S. there are violent crimes, property crimes and misdemeanors.
Violent crimes consist of murder or manslaughter, forced rape, robbery and aggravated crimes etc.. Property crimes consist of burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft, arson, forgery, counterfeiting, fraud, embezzlement, stolen property (buying, receiving, and possessing) and vandalism. Misdemeanors consist of carrying or possessing weapons without a license, misdemeanor assaults, prostitution, some sex offenses except for forced rape and prostitution, drug abuse, gambling, nonviolent domestic offenses, driving while intoxicated, liquor laws, public drunkenness, disorderly conduct, vagrancy, curfew laws, loitering and runaways.
The rules apply to everybody and they speak on behalf of everybody. Almost every crime is also a tort. Proving criminal conduct is necessary to hold an individual accountable for the crime they committed. Criminal conduct is not enough to establish criminal liability. Justification In justification defenses the defendant admits they were responsible for the crime but it was justified (right). The most common justification is self-defense. Most justifications are affirmative defenses. In affirmative defenses the defendant must show evidence in support of this.
This is called the burden of production. The amount of evidence they have to show is not a lot, just some solid evidence or credible evidence. Excuse When a defendant pleads excuse they are admitting what they did was wrong but under the circumstances they were not responsible for their actions. The most common excuse is insanity. There are others such as age, duress, entrapment and syndromes. The defense of insanity excuses criminal liability when it seriously damages the defendants’ capacity to understand what they did wrong. Very few defendants plead insanity and those who do rarely succeed.