Theories Of Liability In Criminal Law

Decent Essays
In a typical court, determinations of criminal liability require a voluntary act and intent to commit a criminal act. Legal theory refers to this as Actus Rea and Mens Rea, and liability as the state of being responsible for something. The legal requirement rests on Mens Rea to determine culpability and the actor’s mental state. A general example of this in criminal law is how liability or no liability in a murder case rests on the actor causing the death intentionally. The goal of this paper is to survey the legal requirements of liability, present opposing arguments, and present theories to enhance the accuracy of legal proceedings when determining fault and liability in legal. Did the actor cause harm? When is one act considered the cause …show more content…
At first glance, most would presume that firing a loaded weapon into a crowd of people would show a strong causational link to victims who suffered gunshot wounds or even mortal wounds. However, if we take the same example and add more detail, perhaps the actor with the gun is a policeman or a homeowner, and the crowd of people are a group of looters or violently parading down the street or into your home. If some of the crowd members suffer damages from bullet wounds, even losing their life, can we say definitively that it was the actions of the man with the gun that led to the …show more content…
In law, cause in fact, refers to the notion that for an act becomes a necessary condition for any succeeding occurrences to have occurred. However, in the simple example that I have suggested, it is plausible to argue that if the homeowner had never fired his weapon, there would be no loss of life or grave wounds experienced by the crowd. On the other hand, if the crowd had not become violent or attempted to enter the property, they may not have been present to receive any wounds or instigate the homeowner. This leads to my following point and problem with the concepts of strict liability and negligence.
Schopenhauer observed that the cause of some effect is not a single prior object or changed condition but rather a set of conditions, each of which is necessary for the set to be sufficient for the change in a different condition that constitutes the effect. While we often designate as the cause the last change to occur that completes the sufficient set, scientifically and philosophically, the cause is the entire set. (Chi.-Kent L. Rev.

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    • Why do you think a society would address liability for civil wrongs separately from criminal wrongs? First, it is very necessary to understand what “civil wrong and criminal wrong” is, so we can have a better climate to discuss what is at stake. Civil wrong is “An action with a tort, an act against another person or their property, and, a breach of the terms of a contract”. (The law dictionary). On the other hand, a criminal wrong is the breaking of rules or laws for which some governing authority can ultimately prescribe a conviction.…

    • 1286 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    You can use deadly force to protect yourself as long as the intruder has a weapon or is threatening you, to where you feel like that person is going to harm you or your family. A person should not be punished for protected their home or personal belongings, especially if you feel threatened. There is no point in getting shot for living in your own home when an intruder comes in threatening you with your life, you should be able to protect yourself with whatever it takes to keep you and your family safe. Why should you get in trouble for pulling the trigger first? It is written up in the castle doctrine that you basically have to let the person that is trying to harm you make the first move, when sometimes that person might have a gun or a deadly weapon and the first move is not always something that you can come back from.…

    • 1391 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Introduction Criminal law has been shaped by various ideas about its purposes (Duff, 2002a in Crime and Justice). One purpose served by the criminal law is to ensure that those who act wrongly receive the pain which is their just desert (Johnston and Ward 2010, 8). This simply put means that the community expectations of the criminal justice system is to see a wrongdoer reprimanded for his or her crime. The Elizabethan era is a prime example of this, as punishment for crime was often a public spectacle and in the form of hanging or flogging. The criminal justice system was also thought to shape human conduct.…

    • 1355 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The three main types of torts are negligence, strict liability, and intentional torts. In this paper we will discuss torts of negligence. When going to court for a negligence case the plaintiff must have all elements in order to prove that that defendant was negligent and liable for the injuries sustained. In negligence cases that outcome of the case depends on whether the defendant owes a duty…

    • 1473 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    correctly. When the police are trying to get someone or trying to achieve a goal. More and more death is being caused by some cops shooting and killing someone in the public because the police may think they have no choice. The police see people with guns or a weapon and may think of them as a threat to them and the public. Some police may think they see a weapon and try to say something to them.…

    • 1483 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    One recommendation will also be made on an alternative model of responsibility for the criminal law system that can provide a just and effective method. A core principle of criminal responsibility that embodies aspects of individualised responsibility is subjective fault. Subjective fault, known as the mental fault element of a crime and linked to mens rea, distinguishes whether the individual had a clear state of mind and understood the consequence of his or her actions when committing an offence. This would then result in the individual possessing a “guilty…

    • 1587 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    In some cases an act of omission can be a crime, but only when a person has legal duty to perform the omitted act, such as filing a tax return. State of Mind—A wrongful mental state, mens rea is also typically required to establish criminal liability. The mental state, or intent, is indicated in the applicable statute or law. Murder, for example, involves the guilty act of killing another human being, and the mental state is the desire, or intent, to take another’s life. When analyzing criminal law problems, students must always look for these two major elements: Guilty Mind and Guilty Act (mens rea) and (actus rea) 44: There are two areas of constitutional law students must know well in order to be successful on a constitutional law test.…

    • 1597 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Criminal law has tried to clear the intention necessity by making the perception of "specific intent" and "general intent." Specific intent, in the law, is a perspective which somebody must be into meet the standard for specific sorts of feelings. In such cases, the individual expects to take part in a particular activity and is mindful of the results. Unlawful acts which oblige verification of secific intent are known as specific intent crimes, and they incorporate things…

    • 765 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Substantive law is primarily the rationale of setting rights and responsibilities to each party involved in a case (Melvin, 2011). This can be done in many types of cases such as criminal, property, contract, and tort law. Procedural law is different because it establishes what the rights and responsibilities are but not who is the entity. For example in a substantive law that is used in a criminal case, the law shows that the act of committing murder is illegal. It would be the responsibility of the prosecutor to show without a reasonable doubt who committed the murder.…

    • 873 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Crime Control Model Essay

    • 811 Words
    • 4 Pages

    1. We discussed two models of criminal justice in class: Due Process versus Crime Control. Clearly define each model and provide an example, fictional or real, of each model in practice. The due process model is known as an obstacle course which consist of fairness as a main goal. Criminals defendants are actually brought forth as innocent; thus, allowing the defendant the best chance for justice.…

    • 811 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays