There are seven principles of criminal law the first principle is actus reus. This is more than an act it’s really an omission or “state of being”. If someone is in possession of illegal drugs, they are not using them, and only in possession. This would be considered a state of being. Actus reus refers to the relelvant circumstances under which an act must occur to be criminal (Justice Education Society,2016).
Mens rea is latin for guilty mind, on intention to commit an illegal act. Mens rea is about a person’s frame of mind when they committed a crime. For example Jake is hitting balls, his son runs in front of him while he is doing it. His son gets hit with a ball to the head and dies. Jake is not going to go to jail for an accident.
Causation is a casual relationship with the defendants conduct and the end results. So what its saying is that causation makes a connecting conduct with resulting effects (Legal Dictionary,2019). Two 14 year old friends Tom and Hank get their ball stuck in a tree. They start throwing things to dislodge it, but fail. Finally they throw a stick and get the ball unstuck, but then the stick gets caught in the tree. The friends leave, a few days later the stick gets blown out of the tree by a gust of wind and it his a woman on the head, knocking her out. The woman filed a lawsuit against the boys. The boys can’t really be charged because they didn’t know the stick was going to fall on someone and hurt them.
In order for something to be considered a crime it must involve harm to someone or something, or must be causing harm to themselves. Legality is offensive or harmful behavior that is not considered illegal unless it is prohibited by law before being committed. An example of this is:
Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb kidnapped a 14-year old boy, Bobby Franks. They killed him by knocking him in the head with a chisel. After pouring acid on his body and dumping him in a near by marshland. They sent out a $10,000 ransom to the boys parents. They were arrested after the body was found and before the parents carried out with the ransom. They were found guilty August 22, 1924 after a 12 hour long trial.
Concurrence means that mens rea and actus reus have to happen at the same time. Like if a man was at a 4th of july celebration. During the fireworks the man took out a handgun after drinking a few, and started shooting it into the sky. He then pointed the gun into a crowd of people and shot someone. After running over to examine the person he realized it was someone he did not like and he started screaming for joy. This man could either be charged for an accident or for shooting the guy intentionally. The prosecution would prove if the defendant is guilty on if his mental state matched with his criminal action.
Punishment is the infliction of some kind of pain or loss upon a person for a misdeed (USlegal,2016). In criminal law punishment is allowed due to an illegal act.
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