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The History and Main Features of Criminal Law in the USA.

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Introduction

´╗┐Karen Mazo CJ 203-B4 05/17/2012 Criminal Law The study of criminal law is actually a study of human behavior. It is more than a study of specific crimes; it is also an examination of the rules of human behavior and criminal responsibility.[1]Criminal law is based on moral values, and many of our crimes are also violations of our moral standards.People in all societies have the inherit right to protect their society and those living in that society from acts that threaten either the society or the people.[2] And for this reason we have written or unwritten laws forbidding and punishing acts considered harmful to the group or the individual. The Colonial period in America saw changes to the English Common Law which reflected the cultural and social differences that were developing in the new nation. In many ways the law in America became more complex, reflecting the influence of ?enlightenment? philosophy and, at the same time, reacting to the concentration of power in the hands of the leaders.[3]Conflicting ideologies and shifting demographics resulted in a natural state of checks and balances in the criminal justice system. The power of the jury to decide both ?the facts and the law? acted as an informal reform of the system.[4] As criminal law developed in the 20th century, American Jurisprudence moved further and further away from common law principle that a crime consisted of two elements, a guilty deed Actus Reus plus a guilty mind Mens Rea. ...read more.

Middle

and any other physical sexual activity between members of the same or different sexes.[13]The crime of prostitution has three elements: soliciting or engaging in, any sexual activity including deviate sex, and for the purpose of commercial gain.[14]Members of either sex may now be convicted of prostitution, as distinguished in the past when only women could be convicted. However, males who offer to pay a woman to engage in sex acts may also be charged with the crime. Most states punish prostitution as a misdemeanor, and prostitutes rarely spend any length of time in jail if convicted of plying their trade. Prostitution is an age-old activity and is still considered a crime. Even with society?s modern morals regarding sexual activity, prostitution still flourishes. On the other hand, of the best known and publicized sex offenses is rape. Rape is the unlawful act of sexual intercourse with another person against that person?s will by force, fear, or trick. For purposes of rape, sexual intercourse requires penetration of the penis into the vagina. Penetration does not have to result in a completed act of sexual intercourse. There is no requirement for ejaculation or emission by the male for the crime to complete. The classic defense in most rape cases is that the victim consented to sexual intercourse. However, many rapes involve the use of threats or slight force that will result in overcoming the victim?s initial resistance. In these cases, , the defendant will argue that the victim consented, and therefore it was not rape but consensual sexual activity between adults. ...read more.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the idea of law includes fundamental rules of behavior, as well as institutions and devices for changing, clarifying, refining, and applying the rules. Law is a natural outcome of people living and working together. If people are to live among others, there must be a way to resolve the inevitable disputes. Law can be seen as the activity of subjecting human conduct to the governance of rules. Law is a systemic discovery process involving the historical experiences of successive generations. Law reflects and embodies the experiences of all men who have ever lived. Our Government has come a long way to be what it is today. However, without the sweat, blood, and tears that have been shed, our nation would not be as great as it is at present. America, started with a bold but bare Roman Code and has concluded to a revamped and refurbished Constitution. ________________ [1]Roberson, C., &Wallece, H. (2007).Principles of Criminal Law (4thed). Boston: Allyn& Bacon Publishers. [2]Anderson, T, & Gardener, T. (2008). Criminal law (10thed). STATE:Cengage Learning Publishers. [3] Law & Liberty <http://www.lawandliberty.org/justice.htm> [4] Ibid. [5] Cornell University <http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/criminal_law> [6]Arnold H. Loewy.(1987). Criminal Law. St. Paul, MN: west. [7]Roberson, C., &Wallece, H. (2007).Principles of Criminal Law (4thed). Boston: Allyn& Bacon Publishers. [8]Anderson, T, & Gardener, T. (2008).Criminal law (10thed).STATE:Cengage Learning Publishers. [9]LaFave, W, & Scott, A. (1986).Criminal law (2nded). St. Paul, MN: west. [10]Anderson, T, & Gardener, T. (2008).Criminal law (10thed). STATE:Cengage Learning Publishers. [11]Roberson, C., &Wallece, H. (2007).Principles of Criminal Law (4thed). Boston: Allyn& Bacon Publishers. [12] Ibid. [13] Ibid. [14]Anderson, T, & Gardener, T. (2008).Criminal law (10thed).STATE:Cengage Learning Publishers. ...read more.

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