An Overview of Criminal Law

Criminal law is the same as punitive law. Consequences under these laws can be harsh and unique depending on what the type misconduct and jurisdiction it happened in. The usual consequences for violating criminal laws include:
o Prison time
o Execution
o Probation or parole
o Monetary fines

There have been situations where the laws become unclear between criminal law and civil law. Criminal law is very distinctive as the penalties for violating the law can be severe. For example, an offender sent to prison can be sent on a solitary basis or for the remainder of their life. House arrest is quite similar to imprisonment given the fact that it involves the offender being confined to a particular area. The offender can also lose assets and property depending on the case.

The courts have put forth a strict set of punishments in order to keep individuals afraid to break the law. There are five classes of consequences that vary depending on jurisdiction which are:
o Punishment
o Deterrence
o Restitution
o Incapacitation
o Retribution

Public International Law
Public international laws apply in cases where an entire area or society is affected by an atrocious crime. The history of this law dates back to WW2 with the Nuremberg Trials. These trials paved the path for a future in which an individual who commits a crime on behalf of their government are still held responsible for the crime committed and will not be granted sovereign immunity.

Actus Reus
Actus Reus is known as a guilty act. These undesirable acts need evidence that a crime was committed by an actual action, threat of an action, or lack of an action. In order for this to apply to a crime it needs to have a physical element. Actus Reus applies to dangerous situations due to a result of someone’s actions. Strict liability crimes have the possibility of harsh punishment and thus there needs to be valid proof of mens rea (guilty mind).

Mens Rea
Mens rea is the term for guilty mind, meaning it was an intentional act to violate the law. However, under criminal, intention and motive are different. Innocent intentions do not undo the criminal intentions. Cases where the offender performs an act knowing it is dangerous are considered to qualify for mens rea. The courts view this as carelessness and if the offender did not know the risks, mens rea will be reduced.

Degrees Of Murder
Murder is the most common targeted act under criminal laws. Depending on the jurisdiction, the severity levels for punishment of these offenses varies. Manslaughter is murder without malevolence present, usually committed by provocation or reduced capacity. Some cases where the murder is a result of recklessness may be considered involuntary manslaughter. First degree murder requires intentional murder fueled by hatred.

Is It Murder or Manslaughter?

Criminal homicide is further broken down into three different categories: murder in the first degree, murder in the second degree, and manslaughter. The difference between lawful and unlawful homicide is that the person who committed the murder did so with malice aforethought. Malice aforethought means that the defendant charged with the murder displayed reckless disregard for human life and decided to kill or inflict deadly harm before committing the act that took the victim’s life.

Murder in the first degree (also known as first degree murder) is the killing of another person that is deliberate and premeditated. In order for the killing to be deliberate, the defendant must have willfully performed the action that killed the victim knowing that such an action would result in death or extreme bodily harm. Premeditation is the willful choice made after careful thought to perform the action that resulted in the victim’s death. A premeditated decision to murder does not necessarily require a long period of consideration; a calculated decision to murder can often be reached in a very short amount of time. If the jury finds that the defendant made a deliberate and premeditated choice to kill, then the defendant is found guilty of first degree murder.

Murder in the second degree is the malicious killing of another without deliberation or premeditation. A killer who committed a harmful act without lawful reason or a just cause may be charged with second degree murder if the jury finds that the defendant committed the act without thoughtful consideration of his potential actions. First degree murder and second degree murder both involve reckless disregard for human life and malice aforethought. The main difference between the two is the lack of premeditation and deliberation.

Manslaughter (also called murder in the third degree) is the unlawful killing of another person without malice aforethought. Manslaughter is classified as being either voluntary or involuntary. Voluntary manslaughter is homicide that arises suddenly because of extreme provocation, such as a husband finding his wife with another man and killing that man in a blind rage. The husband could be found guilty of voluntary manslaughter because he committed the homicide without thought, but controlled by extreme emotion. Involuntary manslaughter is unintentional homicide as a result of carelessness or reckless disregard of potential risk to the life of another, such as a drunk driver who causes a collision that results in the death of another.

Criminal homicide is always a tragedy, and perhaps the offense that the legal system takes most seriously and punishes with the most severity. If you have been charged with criminal homicide, you are facing very grave consequences, but your situation is not without hope. Skillful defense attorneys can often be the difference between receiving the maximum penalty or a lesser sentence. An experienced advocate is your greatest aid in defending your rights and freedoms.

Child Murder and Mass Murder of Children

What About Gun Laws

What does it take to change the laws concerning gun ownership in the United States? With the death of 20 beautiful young people on Friday and six of their teachers the nation is divided about whether such is necessary or not. Because owning these weapons is in the constitution it is upheld as a God-given right to possess guns. But the times have changed and so must all who think of this tragedy as one that could have been avoided.

It is no good stating that mental illness was to blame. Who can tell if someone they don’t know is likely to have a psychotic event? Who broadcasts to the world that a child they have reared is not capable of being a decent citizen? For everyone who will go out and murder in this way there are thousands who wouldn’t. But that does not make it right to put guns in the way of anyone who has the ability to pull the trigger and destroy communities.

But guns are not the only thing causing mass murder of children in the world today, and not even in the USA. Poverty, hunger, alcohol, drugs and an insurmountable number of other products are doing just that. Because only one child might be involved in a home murder or drug induced abuse of a family member or neighbour the event rarely makes headlines. Few will shed a tear as a parent deeply mourns the little one she gave birth to beforehand or that he was responsible for the life given.

The world is in crisis as resources are stretched beyond sustainability with rising population or overpopulation. In countries outside of the glare of television cameras and the sympathy of millions there are little kids starving right now and by the time this article is written probably as many as ten would have died. These are children whose parents will mourn just as hard as those in Newtown, Connecticut, but they won’t be visited by their president or have a national memorial service.

In Mali, for instance, a recent report showed a young child dying tragically in its mother’s arms from the lack of food. Around her were some of her other children and in her womb another baby soon to be born. Then we learned that the father has another wife as well and she also is pregnant and he is so far responsible for numerous children.

In Australia a child went missing from a home a few years ago and has never been found. The police have questioned the mother again on a suspicion that she is somehow involved in the disappearance. Then it was revealed that she is pregnant with her 13th child. The government, until a few weeks ago was paying $5,000 for every child born but has since dropped that back to $3,000 for second and subsequent children. The question is why are governments so set on population increase when we are being inundated with illegal immigrants fleeing overpopulation, lack of resources and poverty in their own countries?

If a child is shot to pieces due to a raving act of lunacy by a gunman it is no worse and probably a lot better than dying slowly of starvation or abuse. So as well as gun laws should we not be introducing family planning laws and banning the constant and irresponsible conception and birth of more children than what we can cope with?

Every child born today will push the planet into a situation of rapid decline. Already the pollution from motor vehicles as a result of the rising fortunes of China and of India’s populations is horrendous and travelling across oceans to other countries to join with air already heavily contaminated, such as in cities on the west coast of the USA.

There are many laws that need changing urgently if we are to survive because right now we are killing the world with our stupidity and inaction. We don’t need to bring children into this world to starve or be killed by a lack of safe air to put breath in their bodies. It’s not a time for debate but a time for action. Start with gun laws and then with population control or none of us will survive for long.

Family Law Helps Courts Protect Children in Domestic Abuse Custody Disputes

A cornerstone of family law is the child custody dispute. If a child custody dispute involves domestic abuse, then family law allows the court to drastically limit, or even prevent, the access a parent has to a child.

In the Interest of the Child

When it comes to custody disputes, all states put the protection of the child first. Physical custody denotes where the child lives. Legal custody denotes who commands decision-making authority for the child.

In most states, family law recognizes the following types of physical custody: shared, primary, partial, complete, and supervised. There is also custody that is legally shared, plus legally complete. Reports of domestic abuse heavily influence a court’s choice of custody. The court must hear about past domestic abuse, then must decide if a continued threat to the child’s safety exists.

What Constitutes Domestic Abuse

Law states that domestic violence occurs when a household member commits bodily injury, false imprisonment, rape, sexual assault, and/or threats of serious injury or harm.

The domestic violence law defines a household member as the victim’s current or former spouse, a partner who lives or lived with the victim, a current or former sexual or intimate partner of the victim (whether or not they ever cohabited), a parent or adult child of the victim, a person with whom the victim shares a child, and an extended relative through blood or marriage.

How Domestic Abuse Affects a Custody Dispute

In relation to custody disputes, judges review domestic abuse reports that date back five years. An isolated incident of domestic abuse may not weigh heavily on the outcome of a custody dispute if the court can be assured that no further danger to the child exists. However, if a child remains in danger, then the judge may impose restrictions upon the offending party’s custody access. Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence in family law.

Supervised visitation is one such restriction. It is designed to protect an at-risk child, and does so by designating an authorized third-party to be present during the visitation. Visitations occur at an authorized agency instead of a private location. From case to case, supervised restrictions vary in duration. However, a judge is almost always required to remove it. If the abusive parent can prove that he or she no longer remains a risk to the child, a judge will often remove the supervised visitation restriction.

Termination of Parental Rights

It is possible for a parent to lose his or her parental rights. This happens in the most horrific cases of domestic abuse, when a judge deems the abuser too much of a threat to ever access the child. Unlike supervised visitation, this decision can never be reversed because of the severity of the abuse.

Crimes involved in the termination of parental rights include cruelty and/or consistent abuse of the child, sexual abuse of one’s own child or any other child, felony assault causing serious bodily harm to the child, felony assault against a sibling of that child, felony assault causing serious bodily injury to the other parent, murder or attempted murder of a sibling of that child, and murder or attempted murder of the child’s other parent.

Crystal Blue Persuasion – When the Law Walks

‘Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness… ‘ Inalienable rights of the American citizen defined in the Declaration of Independence. Entrenched it is in the memory of impossible dreams that became a reality as a fledgling, cold and ill-equipped army stood with God and faced the most powerful military force on the planet, and won. It was the humble beginning of the city on the hill whose beckoning light would shine for more than 240 years, penetrating the darkness of humanity through the will, strength and faith of her people. This is America… the champion, the defender, the caregiver to those who cannot see the light. God’s hands reach out through the touch of America; it is the land of the free, the hope of humanity, still. Liberty is precious and walks hand in hand with law enforcement.

America became a beacon of hope around the world through her law and order foundation. This example created an environment that announces to all who reach her shores that this land is not only a free land but a safe harbor for all who gather to support her. It is the home of the brave through the efforts of her military abroad and law enforcement at home. Her citizens depend on them; so deeply is this entrenched in the minds of Americans that rarely a thought is given to how they will perform or if they will win. They will be the best that is possible as they always have. They are the first response that protect the freedom of a nation like none other.

Why then have her people turned their backs on those who willingly gave all, who knowingly donned a mantle that may require them to trade their own personal dreams for the safety and security of strangers who may never appreciate their sacrifice? How did confusion detour her people and their perception that the world they lived in was an opportunity to be an exceptional example that still lights the darkest path? What was it that allowed the darkness of bitterness and hatred to be extended to those who serve to protect the liberty they love? There is a profound loss of respect for one another and the value of human life that permeates that darkness.

It is impossible to discern which came first; did the people disrespect the law of the land and those who uphold it or did the purveyors of justice disrespect the people who then rose up and defied their laws? It is a worthy pursuit for the historians to define. Meanwhile, our law enforcement has been handcuffed.

They stand trained and prepared to do their duty while fearing to do so lest they cross some imaginary boundary of correctness or become the victim of someone’s ill trained camera phone that selectively records a story they wish to promote. Body cameras have become the best opportunity for these public servants who are now required to defend every action taken. For the most part, they take the right best actions. When they don’t, those same laws that protect us convict them, as they should.

Worse still are the enormous sums of money that one can earn by posting the murder of police officers on public media sites that ‘go viral.’ This invites gangs and even terrorist organizations to set these murders into motion as a fundraiser. America needs a new law; one that makes it a felony offense to reward anyone who posts the murder of any law enforcement officer onto any media site. These are the kinds of actions that restore order.

We must take the cuffs off our law enforcement who maintain order in our streets. When they are afraid to act they have effectively walked; when they walk, liberty walks with them.