I have posted 2 Reaction Papers below. Please reply to each paper with at least 150 word count each. Please make sure each reply is separate with cited sources.
1. Criminal Omissionsare very intriguing, in that a person can be found guilty of failure to act and failure to intervene but not be held criminally responsible because they lack legal duty. Without a person having the legal responsibility, the person can be found not guilty of crimes. “Legal duties are created in three ways; statutes, contracts, and special relationships” (p.112). These special relationships include law enforcement, parent to child, employer to employee, just to name a few. The legal right to intervene in a criminal act protects people and also criminalizes them if they fail to act. However, moral duties do not qualify as a criminal omission. Because everyone has different moral duties of whether something is morally acceptable, it is not defined as a criminal act. What is reasonable to one may not be to another, depending on their religion, environment, and upbringing. Many legal cases have been dismissed and affirmed based on legal duty alone.
One of the cases proven to instill legal duty, is the Pennsylvania State University case against Jerry Sandusky. Prime witness, Michael McQueary, was not charged with any criminal omissions when he should have. “McQueary testified to a grand jury in 2010 that in 2001 he told Paterno, and later Athletic Director Tim Curley and the university vice president Gary Schultz, that he had witnessed the abuse. The testimony helped prosecutors eventually charge Sandusky, who is now 72” (nytimes.com). Although McQueary reported the incident, he witnessed the molestation taking place and failed to intervene. Under his special relationship of employer, the university, and employee, McQueary, he had legal duty to stop the criminal and harmful act. Another familiar criminal omission case is from our text in State v. Miranda 715 A.2d 680 (1998). It was decided and affirmed that the defendant, Miranda did indeed have legal duty to the victim. “Based upon the trial court’s findings that the defendant had established a familial relationship with the victim’s mother and her two children, had assumed responsibility for the welfare of the children, and had taken care of them as though he were their father, the defendant had a legal duty to protect the victim from abuse” (p.117). The legal duty with special relationship of parent-child, although not biological, is discovered and presented as criminal omission.
Omissions can only be criminal if the party has a legal duty to the victim. Legal duties can be described as several special relationships, binding contracts, and legal statutes. Parties cannot be held legally responsible for witnessing criminal acts if they do not hold these relationship, and can only be morally responsible to act.
Samaha, Joel. Criminal Law, Twelfth Edition, Cengage Learning, Boston, MA. 2017.
Tracy, Marc. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/28/sports/ncaafootball/mike-mcqueary-penn-state-verdict.html. Oct. 27, 2016.
2. The main objective behind this paper is to properly define and analyze the term Specific Intentalongside with its usage, origin, and current legal impact. From its term one can easily establish a basic understanding of behind it which is the will to carry out an act. Its broader or more inclusive definition would be as follow, the will or sober mental status that lead to carry out an act that would cause damage or harm knowingly. The idea behind establishing the intent behind an act in the legal process is to separate the acts that were done by mentally disable people and an act that was done forcefully (Lacey, 1993, p. 77). . The components however for the intent to be called as such is the mental presence and the physical ability to do the act in hands! Next, we will address some terminologies that leads to cause some confusion as far as semantic and functionality in which hinders understanding.
As it was mentioned above or briefly referred to, the legal impacts for establishing intents can be better address as follows:
- To separate or distinguish the actor or the performer from being mental disable or fully mentally stable doer.
- Eliminating the chances of having the doer from being under force or some type a pressure that complied him to do such act.
- Excluding the circumstances factor in the action process that potentially can be used as an argument for why particular at was committed.
One of the main issues or arguments that arise from establishing the intent is the case in which the act was not full completed base on the doer original intent. Say someone want to syeal an egg but some form of an obstruction or deviation happened that lead to either escalade the act or change the outcome in a way different than was originally intended. In this example one can say that we can only go based on what has been committed and be verified in sense of tangible and seen impacts. The intention cannot be wide open and let up to interpretations.
After establishing a brief and clear understanding of what specific intent is, how does it impact the legal procedure, and to what extent exclusions can be made, one can better argues any future cases or incidents that leads to such. Lastly, specific intent is the ground for any action committed and the gateway to better point fingers and identify who the responsible which ultimately better serve the sentencing making process.
Specific Intent. (n.d.) West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. (2008). Retrieved March 11 2019.
Lacey. A Clear Concept of Intention: Elusive or Illusory, (1993) 56 MLR 621.
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