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Behaviors that fit the crime

Links for paper- Other information needed to complete assignment; Social, Economic, and Environmental Relationships to Crimes Economic class and crime Low-income, urban neighborhoods consistently record the highest crime rates. A 1% increase in unemployment results in a more than 5% increase in violence. A 1% increase in poverty increases crime by 3%. Impoverished neighborhoods report 19 times more drug arrests than other neighborhoods. Why do you think this is the case? Age and crime Age is generally one of the strongest and most reliable statistical predictors of crime. The highest concentration of crimes is committed by individuals between 17 and 24 years of age. Males less than 24 years of age commit 41% of all violent crimes. Those aged 50 and older are responsible for 5.6% of violent crimes. The young are more likely to be victims of violent crimes as well. Why do you think this is the case? Race NCJRS Abstract Minorities are overrepresented in prison. African Americans make up 12% of general population but 40% of the prison population. Nationally, 1 in 12 Blacks in their 20s are incarcerated, compared to 1 in 100 Whites in their 20s. Hispanics make up approximately 20% of the prison population. Approximately 40% of prison inmates are White. Why the Race Discrepancy? Economics Economically deprived areas with high concentrations of ethnic minority groups often see the following, which can lead to increased criminal activity: Limited employment opportunities (because industry is not attracted to poverty-stricken areas) Higher-than-average high school drop-out rates Fewer father figures or significant male role models in homes People from upper-middle-class suburban communities tend to have more financial resources than their urban counterparts to assist in their own rehabilitative services (i.e., to pay for treatment). Hence, they can often receive treatment before their addictive behaviors are discovered by law enforcement. Psychosocial explanation Whenever any particular group/race/gender feels that avenues to success are limited or that a level playing field doesn’t exist in terms of job opportunities, the propensity to become criminally involved increases. Racial profiling (two differing points of view) One argument is that minority populations are not more likely to become criminally involved, it’s just that they are more often targeted, “pulled over,” or investigated and hence more likely to get arrested. On the other hand, some researchers argue that minority populations are not necessarily discriminated against by law enforcement. Rather, there is a greater concentration of police in minority communities because the residents themselves insist on more policing to deal with street crime. Law-enforcement emphasis on inner-city areas where drug use and sales are more likely to take place in open-air drug markets result in more arrests in this area when compared to crimes committed in upper middle-class communities, which tend to occur inside homes and not in plain view. Defenses to CrimePolice search a suspect and find drugs in his/her pockets; the common defense is, “But officer, these aren’t my pants!” Believe it or not, some individuals say this.Do you think this is a true defense? Would a court of law take this into consideration?Both statutory law and the common law provide many defenses for crime. Other than having an alibi (which is not technically a defense but a denial), a person may use two main types of defenses: justifications and excuses.These terms are difficult to define, and the distinction can be unclear.Justifications refer to situations in which the defendant doesn’t deny he or she committed the crime but says he or she had a reason, such as self-defense or necessity, for instance.Excuses refer to situations in which the defendant doesn’t deny he or she committed the crime but claims not to be responsible for it (as in insanity or diminished-capacity defenses), typically on grounds of lacking volition over free will.Most crimes consist of two elements: an act, or actus reus, and a mental state, or mens rea. The act consists of the actions or omissions relative to the crime. The mental state, commonly referred to as culpable mental state and discussed earlier in this lesson, generally consists of four elements: intentionality, knowledge, recklessness, and criminal negligence.Some believe that justifications involve denying mens rea and excuses involve denying actus reus. The mind-body connection is complicated in this regard, and relying on this idea can be inaccurate. Take sleepwalking, for instance, which might be considered the inability to form mental intent, although it uses the body (which is asleep). The law also tends to think of a mental disorder as a brain disorder to avoid metaphysical debates over whether it is possible for something invisible, like a mind, to get sick.Although this lesson categorizes defenses into justifications and excuses, one can conceptually formulate at least five different classes of defenses:Defenses that involve protecting competing interests where society excuses what would otherwise be a crime (e.g., self-defense, defense of others, etc.) Defenses involving avoidance of a greater evil, necessity, or duress, where society views the source of the predicament as coming from outside the defendant Defenses that attempt to disprove or negate mens rea (e.g., infancy, intoxication, mistake, and consent) Defenses involving ignorance, where society recognizes that there might be sincere, genuine, and legitimate cases of not knowing the law or (naively) believing in something that negates an element of the crime Defenses related to insanity, which may relate to the variety of diminished capacity and stress- and domestic-related defenses Justifications and Common Criminal DefensesSelf-DefenseSelf-defense or self-help has always been a recognized justification with numerous variations. The concept does not apply to preemptive strikes or paybacks, but it does cover a wide range of behaviors that make the crime seem justified. In some cases, the crime may be so justified that self-defense is called a perfect defense (the defendant is set free). Other justifications and excuses may only be imperfect defenses, which are treated as mitigating circumstances resulting in a lesser punishment. Many domestic-violence defenses are examples of self-defense.The law of self-defense revolves around the notion of reasonableness. The person claiming self-defense must have had a reasonable belief in imminent danger, and the person must have used a reasonable degree of force. Some states have specifically mentioned that a person can use self-defense when the danger is a specific felony, such as rape, sodomy, kidnapping, or robbery. If someone slaps your face and you shoot the individual, your act is unreasonable because you escalated the force too far. Returning the action with a slap in the face would be more reasonable.Imminent is a word meaning in progress or about to happen right now. You can’t use self-defense for continuing and ongoing danger, although a few states have allowed this. Most states use an objective test to determine the sense of imminence, and their statutes either spell out the grounds for a reasonable belief or use a “reasonable man” standard. Other states use a subjective test (honest belief).Most states also adhere to the retreat doctrine. This rule states that defenders must have taken all means to avoid or escape before attacking in self-defense. However, some jurisdictions view this as cowardly, and the law applies a standard called the true man doctrine. In the case of being attacked in one’s home, most states adhere to the castle doctrine, which is the idea that you should hold your ground and not be required to retreat. This is called defense of property. At the same time, most jurisdictions do not allow the use of deadly force to protect property alone.Public DutyAnother type of justification is a public duty defense, which is the basis for much of military justice, diplomatic immunity, and several police actions such as shooting looters after a disaster. The idea here is that a higher loyalty is in upholding the law. A dilemma in law arises with the notion of resisting unlawful arrest. Why can’t citizens appeal to a higher duty when they think their arrest is unlawful? The general answer is citizens should not resist; instead, they sort the matter out in court with an impartial judge. This is seen as avoiding chaos.NecessityThe prototypical case of cannibalism in the lifeboat explains the principle of necessity. The famous case of The Queen v. Dudley and Stephens involved two men who ate a weak 17-year-old youth, after saying a prayer for him, because they were starving to death in a lifeboat at sea. This is an example of the choice-of-evils defense, the essence of which is choosing the lesser of two evils or avoiding a greater evil (in the case of cannibalism, choosing to eat the weak young man instead of letting the whole group starve). The Model Penal Code extends the necessity principle to include the following:Destroying property to prevent the spread of a fire Violating the speed limit to get a dying person to a hospital Throwing cargo overboard to save a sinking vessel and its crew Dispensing drugs without a prescription in an emergency Breaking and entering a mountain cabin to avoid freezing to deathAnother type of necessity defense is the claim to economic necessity. This includes stealing to avoid hunger, for example, and the classic dilemma is whether it would be right for a father to steal a loaf of bread to feed his starving children. Conflicting opinions can be found in the law and its approach to this problem. The extremely powerful and influential Commentaries by Sir William Blackstone, for example, state flatly that economic necessity is no defense. Therefore, the Anglo-American approach has been that the state’s power of pardon is enough to deal with poor people who commit crime out of need, so the success of this kind of defense depends on case law and judicial opinion in a specific jurisdiction.ConsentCourts tend to recognize the defense of consent when people exercise their autonomy and choose to die or inflict injuries on themselves. People cannot use this defense if they have solicited or authorized someone else to inflict injuries on them. However, a person could use this defense in cases where two people are engaged in a consensual attack with one another (e.g., fighting), cases of injuries suffered in sporting events, and cases in which emergency medical care had to be given that resulted in more harm than good. Condonation (forgiveness) by the victim and negligence by the victim are not generally considered as defenses.ExcusesDuressThe main type of excuse is the defense of duress. The principle is that when people are forced to do something wrong it should not count against them. However, states differ over how to define duress and what kinds of crimes duress can excuse. Some states permit this defense only when someone is pointing a gun at your head; other states permit this defense when bodily harm is threatened (“I’ll hurt you if you don’t do that”); and still others are fairly lenient in permitting such situations as: “If you don’t do that, I’ll tell other people something nasty about you.” Whatever the threat, it must be immediate, not some ongoing situation of extortion or blackmail, and the crime must be minor and not serious. Duress can never excuse murder, for example.Some modern duress statutes have included the specific defense of brainwashing, a type of duress that breaks down a person’s will. If a person is confined; pressured for months; and given hypnotic drugs, narcotics, or other substances, the law looks upon a crime committed under these circumstances as lacking the element of actus reus.IntoxicationThe law recognizes two ways of becoming intoxicated: voluntarily and involuntarily. Voluntary intoxication goes to the element of mens rea (the capacity to understand purpose or intent) and is logically a justification. Involuntary intoxication, on the other hand, is an excuse because the person does not know he or she is under the influence. Duress is also assumed with involuntary intoxication.Involuntary intoxication does not typically involve liquor being poured down someone’s throat by force; it’s more often a situation of being tricked or ingesting a substance unknowingly. For example, a friend tells someone to try sugar pills that turn out to be LSD, causing the intoxicated individual to believe a man is a rabid dog and shoot him. Theoretically, the principle of intoxication gets at the concept of volition. Sometimes, it is argued that watching television too long is a form of intoxication.MistakeMistake or ignorance of fact has always excused criminal responsibility under some circumstances. In all circumstances, anyone holding a genuine and sincere belief in something that (if true) would negate their criminal liability should not be accountable for the crime. The principle of mistake of fact excuses when it negates a material element in the crime.For example, taking the wrong umbrella when leaving the room because it resembled your own umbrella negates the element of mens rea (forming criminal intent to steal). The principle of mistake of law (ignorance of the law) excuses criminal behavior if a person has made a reasonable effort to learn the law. In practice, distinguishing between mistakes of fact and law is difficult, and the law must be careful not to open the door to allow everybody to claim ignorance.InfancyInfancy is one of the three Is (intoxication, infancy, and insanity) that make up the capacity defenses to crime. The principle is that age always affects criminal liability. Under common law, an irrefutable presumption exists that someone under age 7 is incapable of committing a crime. A rebuttable presumption exists that someone younger than 14 is incapable of committing a crime. Changes in juvenile law and the growing practice of waivers to adult court have substantially altered this common law; society seems increasingly ready to recognize that young people can, and do, commit serious crimes.EntrapmentEntrapment is a perfect defense (the defendant walks free), but it is often just a way to shift the burden of persuasion to the prosecution. It is not a constitutional right but a 20th-century invention that has its origins in sympathy for the accused. The principle of entrapment is that sympathy is limited because of the need to balance the needs of law-abiding citizens. The view of entrapment also depends on the crime. The law looks negatively at police entrapment in cases of consensual, victimless crimes. In order for entrapment to occur, police must initiate the encouragement of crime, specifically by any of the following:Pretending to be victims Enticing suspects to commit crimes Communicating the enticement to suspects Influencing the decision to commit crimes Making repeated requests to commit a crime Forming personal relationships with suspects and appealing to their personal side Promising benefits from committing the crime Supplying essential materials and/or contraband to complete the crimeA variation of the entrapment defense is outrageous government conduct. In this case, the focus is on the government rather than the mind of the defendant. The principle is that when government behavior is offensive and outrageous, it cannot be the basis for collecting evidence to convict a suspect. Examples might include police infiltration and instances of undercover policing involving romantic liaisons. Some states recognize the defense, while others don’t.InsanityThe insanity principle gives government the authority to incarcerate, without conviction, people who are not average, everyday criminals. The defense is usually only seen when the crimes are very serious and the potential punishment quite severe. A successful insanity defense is not about going free but quite the opposite. Insanity impairs mens rea, but it operates by affecting the brain (the body) via a mental illness.Insanity is a legal concept, whereas mental illness is a medical condition. The law reserves the right to maintain its definitions and not conform to those of the medical community as a means of treating the whole issue of curability as irrelevant. Insanity is an affirmative defense — the defense must prove it if they raise it, but in practice, whoever brings up the issue first in court has the burden of persuasion. Over the years, the law has used various tests to determine insanity, including the following:M’Naghten rule or right-wrong test: Focuses on the intellectual capacity to know right from wrong, pure intellectual awareness, cognition, and being able to grasp the act’s true significance, not just a feeling or emotional sensation that something’s wrong. Irresistible-impulse test: A revised type of M’Naghten rule in which the focus is on volition, whether the defendant exercised any free will to inhibit his/her criminal behavior, or if he/she suffered from a disease of the mind so strong that he/she suddenly lost the power to avoid doing the act. If the crime was the product of a mental illness itself, this is considered satisfaction of the Durham rule. Substantial-capacity test: A focus on the loss of substantial, not total, mental capacity; the majority test in most jurisdictions because it is recommended by the Model Penal Code (MPC) and conforms to the American Legal Institute’s (ALI’s) definition: “if at the time of such conduct as a result of mental disease or defect, he lacks substantial capacity either to appreciate the wrongfulness of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of law.” It substitutes the word appreciate for knowing and allows for the possibility of affective or emotional understanding. The phrase “conform his conduct” is intended to replace the idea of “suddenness” in other tests, and the code’s definition of “mental disease or defect” excludes antisocial personality disorders, psychopaths, and sociopaths.AutomatismThis defense is preferred over insanity whenever it is claimed the defendant acted unconsciously or semiconsciously either due to a physical problem (such as epilepsy, concussion, or unexplained blackout) or mental problem (such as childhood trauma, mental conditions other than insanity, intoxication, or brainwashing).Diminished CapacityThese syndromes are always emerging, but in general, they are perhaps best exemplified by various stress-related disorders. The principle of diminished capacity is that some mental diseases and defects do not affect people sufficiently enough to make them insane but the law recognizes them nonetheless. The law has reserved the right to depart from definitions of the medical community, so all sorts of legal diseases and defects, so to speak, are considered to create diminished capacity. Some jurisdictions, however, are quite tough and will not recognize anything short of insanity. Jurisdictions in California, for example, are known for having a “you’re either sane or insane” policy, but much of this is caving in public opinion.The MPC, on the other hand, recommends admitting evidence of diminished capacity and/or any impaired mental abilities affecting the mens rea element in all crimes. The disease or defect the person suffering from the disorder supposedly possesses is treated the same as insanity (affecting the body, hence denying actus reus and being an excuse for crime). The standards of proof are almost always lowered from beyond a reasonable doubt to preponderance of the evidence, but this is common in insanity cases too. The net effect of a successful diminished-capacity defense is typically a lesser punishment or a charge reduction (e.g., murder to manslaughter).Syndromes are medically supported complexes that diminish capacity and reduce the person’s responsibility. They are at the heart of scientific evidence and evidence law. The experts must testify to both the science and the law. Scientific evidence may show that sugar can diminish capacity, but an expert or meta-expert must be found that can apply scientific evidence to the facts in any individual case to address the material issue of responsibility.Many difficulties stand in the way of getting this kind of evidence admitted. The most recent difficulty is the Daubert rule, which states that the syndrome’s effects must have been studied so scientifically that it’s possible to estimate the power or quality of research. Not all states use the Daubert rule.Some states rely upon the Frye test or some variation of it, which assesses whether the syndrome in question has received general acceptance in a scientific discipline. This practice pursues how much research a professional association has conducted and its review or receipt. Science that tends to attract controversy can be assessed under the Coppolino test, a related assessment. Still other jurisdictions may use the Marx test, which simply allows the expert to educate the jury about the science and let them form their own inferences. ASSIGNMENT Describe the type of crime, the associated behavior and the probable Crime Causation theory that most closely provides an explanation for the behavior in each given scenario. Also, identify what type of defense could be used to justify or excuse the behavior. Provide your response for each scenario, give at least three references in APA format.John B. is a White male in his 50s, working as an accountant for a pension board. He convinces the board members to invest in a financial venture, promising massive returns. John takes some of the money and places it in his own bank account. He feels he deserves the “fee.”Jane S. is a White female in her 30s. She grew up in an abusive household and ran away at 16. To make ends meet, she became a sex worker. As a child, she was sexually abused by her uncle, and as a result of her work, she has been sexually assaulted by many other men she encountered “on the road.” She was later arrested and accused of murdering several truckers.Jimmy G. is a Black male in his early 20s. He grew up and lives in a low-income neighborhood. With no role model at home, he spends most of his time with a group of other men with known criminal histories and possible gang connections. Jimmy G. finds himself as a passenger in the getaway vehicle of a botched robbery at a convenience store where the clerk is killed. He is arrested along with the others in the vehicle.Sandy R. is a Mexican immigrant with two small children. Her boyfriend asks her to deliver a package to a known drug dealer in the neighborhood. She hesitates until he threatens to call the authorities about her immigration status. When she delivers the package, she is arrested in a drug sting.Timmy T. is an Asian college student. He was bullied as a child and into high school. He is described as intelligent yet lacks social skills. He has been treated for depression and suicidal tendencies. One day in a crowded lecture hall, Timmy takes out a semi-automatic weapon and starts to shoot the other students. He flees and is later caught by the police. Witnesses state he appeared to target the female