Elements of Crime and Criminal Liability

All over the United States, Florida ranked within the top five states in terms of human population with approximately 16 million inhabitants. During the year 2000, Florida had an overall Crime Index of 5,694. 70 reported occurrences for every 100,000 people (The Disaster Center, n. d). The figures ranked Florida as having the second highest total Crime Index in the country. Last 2006, the police reported spikes in violence across Florida after almost 10 years of historically low crime rates (Johnson, 2006).

During the first six months of year 2006, the Department of Law Enforcement of Florida reported that homicides statewide were up by approximately 27 percent, compared with the previous year (Johnson, 2006). The department in addition reported an increase of roughly 11 percent of robbery cases as compared from statistics reported in the year 2005 (Johnson, 2006). A range of assumptions on the causes for the soar in criminality nationwide was presented, including the intensifying territorial fights among drug rings and other violent gang wars.

However, in Florida the violence appears to have rooted from more complicated sources, in view of the fact that although long-established gangs have been present in the state, the largest part of the violent crimes in the area appear to have stemmed from drug-related disputes or robberies that unexpectedly turned violent. Violent Crime and Property Crime Florida was reported to have a violent crime incident rate of 812. 00 for every 100,000 people (The Disaster Center, n. d). Among all states, the figures ranked Florida as having the highest incidence for violent crime (The Disaster Center, n.

d). In 2000, the State had an estimated 5. 6 murder incidents for every 100,000 individuals, making Florida as having the 21st highest murder rate among states in America. For crimes against property, Florida had a reported incident rate of 4,882. 70 for every 100,000 people, which is ranked as the third highest among states (The Disaster Center, n. d). For robbery, the State had an estimated 199. 00 incidents for every 100,000 individuals, which is ranked as the fifth highest state in the country. Crime and Elements of Crime

A crime is a wrong carried out by an individual against the federal government or of the State. For the reason that a wrong is committed against every constituents of the community, and not just the specific victim, the victim does not make the assessment of whether or not to prosecute the accused criminal. Rather, the federal government or the State, acting as the representative of the people, decides to prosecute the crime. Elements of a crime are generally composed of basic elements and specific elements.

There are two fundamental elements of crime, the guilty act and guilty mind. The Latin names are the technical terms for these elements, which are actus reus meaning the “thing done” and mens rea meaning “guilty mind” (Edelstein, 2008). Normally, a crime is perpetrated when an individual commits a guilty act coupled by a guilty mind. Criminal laws must accurately define the behavior that they disallow so that an individual of common intelligence is able to understand the prohibited conduct, and put up with their behavior in accordance with law.

Specific elements, on the other hand, are included in the classification of a crime. Murder for instance requires that the accused must have: (1) knowingly or purposely committed a crime; (2) that caused death; and (3) against another human being (Edelstein, 2008). Therefore, there must be a premeditated killing of a human being. Intention is not analogous to motive, since the former is the desire to produce a particular outcome by an act or omission. In the process of accomplishing the act or omission, the accused intends to cause severe physical impairment to the victim.