- 1. How many criminal cases are filed annually?
District courts in United States act as trial courts to all key violations regarding federal criminal law. It will be realized that each year the attorneys in U.S file about 70,000 criminal cases mostly for fraud, embezzlement and drug violations (Neubauer, 2008).
2. Name three defenses to criminal charges.
- Defense of Duress
This is where the accused claims that the offense was committed under compulsion by another party where the accused might have been threatened to be murdered or harmed if he or she failed to commit the crime.
- Defense of Automatism
The accused claim that they did not have control over their actions hence cannot be held liable. The accused may possibly have been provoked, sleepwalking, incapacitated, deluded or mentally disabled.
- Self defense
This type of defense is largely applied in charges of homicide or assault. The accused alleges to have killed or assaulted the victim for the reason that the victim might have attacked the defendant (Scheb, 2003).
3. What are inchoate crimes?
Inchoate crimes also known as incomplete crimes and generally refer to acts related the propensity to indirectly participate or commit a criminal offense. Inchoate crimes comprise attempt, conspiracy and solicitation to commit the crime.
4. What is a crime?
A crime takes place when one breaks the law through neglect, omission or an overt act against the public that may lead to punishment. Anyone who violates the law or either breaches a rule is construed to have actually committed criminal offense. Violent and property crimes are the two main categories that revolve around crime.
5. Who are the parties to a criminal case?
The parties involved in a criminal case extend to include the victims, jury, judge, defense and the prosecution. The judge is actually the neutral third party and makes sure that the parties act within the rules without any violations ones rights. The jury settles on the questions of facts. The defenses do not precisely have to perform anything since all burdens are directed towards the prosecution. The prosecution refers to the person who puts the accused on trial. Victims do not actually tell the prosecution or judge what to do or even control the trial since they have a restricted amount of say (Hall, 1996).
6. How does the Constitution constrain legislature when making criminal statutes?
The constitution constrains the legislature as it guarantees right of appeal, undertakes trial through using jury of peers, it is against double jeopardy and unusual and cruel punishment and guarantees right towards legal counsel. It also guarantees right against seizure, unreasonable search as well as self incrimination.
7. What is the Model Penal Code?
The Model Penal Code is essentially a type of statutory text that was established in 1962 through the American Law Institute. Its purpose was geared at assisting and stimulating the legislatures to standardize and update the U.S penal law. Model Penal Code was actually a form of combination that the American Law Institute considered to be the excellent rules revolving around the United States penal system. It will be documented that ever since its formulation Model Penal Code has helped in standardizing the states’ codified penal laws.
8. What is the burden of proof in a criminal law case?
a. Convincing and clear Evidence
This refers to a firm conviction or belief that explains that an event has taken place. The plaintiff ought to prove through clear as well as convincing evidence that his/her version regarding the facts is more probable to be exact than the version of the defendant’s fact. Convincing and clear evidence is an elevated encumber of proof though it is not regarded as the highest burden towards proof.
b. Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
It will be realized that the utmost burden of proof that applies to all courts is the proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The jury ought to begin by assuming that the accusations directed to the defendant are not true. The juror is supposed to be in favor of the government during the trial’s end only if the prosecution wipes out the reasonable doubts behind the innocence of the defendant from the mind of the juror. The presupposition of innocence is very crucial in the criminal process because it keeps the juries and judges focused on the ultimate prevailing issue within the criminal case.
9. What are the two major justifications for criminal punishment?
- 1. Retribution
Retribution is believed to be one of the ancient justifications revolving around criminal punishment. In essence, retribution within our society stems from the Old Testament decree and extends to state that offenders must be penalized in an equal manner that truly reflects their offense (Pollock, 2007).
- 2. Deterrence
Another major justification towards criminal punishment is deterrence. It is thought to be further logical than retribution as it relies on the rational analysis of the fundamental human conduct. Deterrence is divided into two major types: specific and general. Under the general perspective people usually see criminals being penalized for their crimes hence reducing similar behaviors. On the other hand specific deterrence entails use of punishment against criminals for previous crimes so as to deject them from possible criminal conduct.
10. What does the 8th Amendment of the United States constitution prohibits?
This amendment is part of the Bill of Rights within the United States that forbids the federal government from inflicting excessive fines, unusual and cruel punishments such as torture and also excessive bail (acemyhw.com, 2005).
Greenberg, K. J., & Dratel, J. L. (2005).The torture papers: the road to Abu Ghraib. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Hall, D. (1996). Criminal law and procedure (2nd ed.). Albany: Delmar Publishers.
Neubauer, D. W. (2008). America’s courts and the criminal justice system (9th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Pollock, J. M. (2007). Ethical dilemmas and decisions in criminal justice (5th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.
Scheb, J. M. (2003). Criminal law (3rd ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.