Crimes Against the Person Chapter 9 Street Law Text pp. 106-114
Crimes against the person include homicide, kidnapping, assault, battery, and sexual assault. • These are considered some of the most serious crimes in our society thus there are protections not only for the victim but also the accused. • Each “crime against the person” is usually broken down into levels of seriousness.
Homicide • Homicide is the killing of one human being by another. • It is the most serious of all crimes, but can be classified as criminal or non-criminal. • Criminal Homicide is committed with intent, and possibly a plan. As well as committing a reckless or negligent act that takes a life. • Non-Criminal Homicide is “excusable” or “justifiable”.
Non-Criminal Homicide • Killing that is justifiable or excusable, the killer is deemed faultless. • Examples: • Killing an enemy soldier in wartime • Execution of condemned criminal • Killing of a criminal by a police officer in the line of duty • Self Defense or Defense of another person
Criminal Homicide • Murder is the most serious type of criminal homicide. Murder is killing that is done with Malice- the intent to kill or seriously harm a person, or acting in an extremely reckless manner, that shows no regard for human life. • Most states have laws that classify murder according to the killer’s state of mind or the circumstances surrounding the crime. • First Degree Murder- killing that was Premeditated- thought about beforehand [planned], deliberate, and done with malice. Also known as Capital Murder, because the death penalty is an option in many states. • Felony Murder- killing that takes place during the commission of certain felonies. Examples would be arson, rape, robbery, or burglary. There is no need to prove intent to kill. Most state consider Felony Murder First Degree Murder.
Criminal Homicide Cont. • Second Degree Murder- killing that is done with malice, but without premeditation or deliberation. Intent to kill did not exist until the moment of the murder, spontaneous killings that are unplanned. • Voluntary Manslaughter- killing that would otherwise be seen as murder but that occurs after the victim has done something to the killer that would cause a reasonable person to lose self control or act rashly. The killing must occur before a “cooling off” period. • Involuntary Manslaughter- killing in which there is no intent to kill at all. Usually from reckless conduct. • Negligent Homicide- causing death through criminal negligence. Negligence- failure to exercise a reasonable or ordinary amount of care in a situation that causes harm. Vehicular Homicide.
You Be the Judge p. 109 Read each of the following accounts carefully. For each one, determine who can be charged with the crime of homicide and the degree of homicide for which he or she should be charged. Give reasons for your answers. • Walt decides to shoot his ex-girlfriend Yolanda, whom he blames for all his troubles. As he is driving to her home to carry out the murder, he accidentally hits a jogger who darted out into the road from behind a tree. Stopping immediately, Walt rushes to help the jogger, who is already dead. Assume that Walt was driving at a safe speed and that the collision with the jogger was unavoidable. b. Belva is cheated when she buys a car from Fast Eddie’s Car Mart. She attempts to return the car, but Eddie just laughs and tells her to go away. Every time Belva has to make a repair on the car, she gets angry. Finally, she decides to wreck Eddie’s car to get even with him. Following him home from work one evening, Belva tries to ram his car, hoping to bend the axle or frame. Instead of bending the frame, the collision smashes Eddie’s gas tank, causes an explosion, and kills him. c. Alison and Brad need money to pay their bills and decide to rob a bank. Brad drives the getaway car. Alison goes into the bank and pulls out her gun, announcing, “This is a stickup. Don’t move!” The bank guard, Gordon, shoots at Alison but misses, killing Dawn, a bank customer.
Homicide in Nebraska • Murder in the First Degree class I felony [Death] or Class IA felony [Life in prison] intentional, with malice, and premeditated • Murder in the Second Degree class IB felony [Max= Life, Min= 25yrs] intentional without premeditation • Manslaughter class III felony [Max= 20yrs, Min= 1yr] without malice, upon sudden quarrel, or unintentionally while committing an unlawful act • Motor Vehicle Homicide class I misdemeanor [Max= no more than a year, Min= Nothing] unintentionally when in violation of the motor vehicle law of Nebraska or any county or city • A class IIIA felony [Max= 5yrs, Min= Nothing] reckless, willful reckless driving, or DUI • A class III felony [Max= 25 years, Min= 1yr] previous conviction of DUI
Suicide • Suicide- the deliberate taking of one’s own life. • Was once considered a crime [think about that]. Today some states make attempted suicide a crime, so that they can try to help the individual. • In the United States a suicide takes place, on average, every 15 minutes. • Even though many people will have the thought enter their minds sometime in life, very few will actually carry out this act. • There are many agencies, hotlines, and counselors that are available to help those in emotional and or physical need. • Always remember suicide is almost always a very selfish act…. It usually only leaves great despair behind, and sometimes great loathing of the individual that commits it.
Problem 9.1 “The Case of the Dying Cancer Patient” a. Was Wilfred’s request related to suicide? Explain. If you were the district attorney in the state where Martha lives, would you file criminal charges against her? Explain. If manslaughter charges were filed and you were on the jury, would you vote to convict Martha? Give your reasons. If Martha were convicted, what sentence should she receive? Why? If the bottle of pills had been given to Wilfred by a physician instead of by his wife, would your answers have been different? Give your reasons. If you were a state legislator, would you be in favor of or against a law allowing assisted suicide? Explain.
Suicide in Nebraska • No Statute found for attempted suicide • Assisted Suicide is a class IV felony [Max=5 yrs, Min= Nothing]
Kidnapping • Kidnapping/ Unlawful Imprisonment/ Abduction- taking away a person against their will. • An age old crime that originally referred to stealing children, obviously today it refers to anyone taken against their will. • In NEBRASKA: • Kidnapping is a class I A felony [life imprisonment] • If the victim was voluntarily released unharmed class II felony [Max= 50yrs, Min= 1yr] • False Imprisonment first degree class III A felony [Max= 5yrs, Min= Nothing] second degree class I misdemeanor [Max= not more than 1 yr, Min= Nothing]
Assault and Battery • Assault- any attempt or threat to carry out a physical attack upon another person • Battery- any unlawful physical contact inflicted by one person upon another person without consent • Usually these words are used interchangeably today. • There are different classes or degrees of assault and battery just like in homicides.
Assault & Battery in Nebraska • No distinction between terms Assault and Battery • Assault in the 3rddegree- A person commits the offense of assault in the third degree if he or she: • Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person; or • Threatens another in a menacing manner. • Assault in the third degree shall be a Class I misdemeanor [Max= not more than 1yr &/or $1000/ Min= nothing] • unless committed in a fight or scuffle entered into by mutual consent, in which case it shall be a Class II misdemeanor [Max= 6 months &/or $500/ Min= nothing] • Assault in the 2nddegree- A person commits the offense of assault in the second degree if he or she: • Intentionally or knowingly causes bodily injury to another person with a dangerous instrument; • Recklessly causes serious bodily injury to another person with a dangerous instrument; or • Unlawfully strikes or wounds another (i) while legally confined in a jail or an adult correctional or penal institution, (ii) while otherwise in legal custody of the Department of Correctional Services, or (iii) while committed as a dangerous sex offender under the Sex Offender Commitment Act. Assault in the second degree shall be a Class III felony [Max= 20yrs &/or $25,000/ Min= nothing] • Assault in the 1st degree A person commits the offense of assault in the first degree if he or she intentionally or knowingly causes serious bodily injury to another person. Assault in the first degree shall be a Class II felony[Max= 50yrs/ Min=1yr]
Stalking • Stalking- when a person repeatedly follows or harasses another person and makes threats, causing the victim to fear death or bodily injury. Cyberstalking- harassment using electronic communications. • IN NEBRASKA- Any person who willfully harasses another person or a family or household member of such person with the intent to injure, terrify, threaten, or intimidate commits the offense of stalking. • Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, any person convicted of STALKING is guilty of a Class I misdemeanor [Max= not more than 1 yr &/or $1000/ Min= nothing] • Any person convicted of STALKING is guilty of a Class IV felony if: • The person has a prior conviction under such section or a substantially conforming criminal violation within the last seven years; • The victim is under sixteen years of age; • The person possessed a deadly weapon at any time during the violation; • The person was also in possession of a deadly weapon, had a protection order or restraining order against them at any time during the violation; or • The person has been convicted of any felony in this state or has been convicted of a crime in another jurisdiction which, if committed in this state, would constitute a felony and the victim or a family or household member of the victim was also the victim of such previous felony. • Bullying- peers or acquaintances intimidate, or put a person in fear of injury. One study showed that 60% of indentified bullies in grades 6-9 had been convicted of at least one crime by age 24. Bullying is seen by many as a “gateway” crime.
Bullying • Bullying- peers or acquaintances intimidate, or put a person in fear of injury. • One study showed that 60% of indentified bullies in grades 6-9 had been convicted of at least one crime by age 24. Bullying is seen by many as a “gateway” crime. • IN NEBRASKA- Bullying is NOT a crime • Bullying is covered in Nebraska School Law • Nebraska Statute 79-2,137-BULLYING- any ongoing pattern of physical, verbal, or electronic abuse on school grounds, in a vehicle owned, leased, or contracted by a school being used for a school purpose by a school employee or his or her designee, or at school-sponsored activities or school-sponsored athletic events. • Nebraska Statute 79-267- The following student conduct shall constitute grounds for long-term suspension, expulsion, or mandatory reassignment, subject to the procedural provisions of the Student Discipline Act- • (8) Engaging in bullying
Sexual Assault and Rape • Sexual Assault- unwelcome sexual contact or sexual verbal threats against another. • Both Men and Women are capable of committing and being victims of sexual assault. • Rape- sexual intercourse without consent. • Statutory Rape- intercourse with someone under the legal age of consent. • Criminal Sexual Assault- simply sexual assault • Acquaintance Rape [date rape]- sexual assault by someone known to the victim… usually not a separate crime from rape [sexual assault]
Sexual Assault in Nebraska • Sexual Assault in the 3rd degree class I misdemeanor [Max= not more than a year, Min= Nothing] no penetration, contact without consent or unable to consent, DID NOTcause serious personal injury • Sexual Assault in the 2nd degree class III felony [Max= 20yrs, Min= 1yr] no penetration, contact without consent or unable to consent, DID cause serious personal injury • Sexual Assault in the 1st degree class II felony [Max= 50yrs, Min= 1 yr] sexual penetration without consent, unable to consent, or when actor is 19 or older and victim is at least 12 but less than 16
Other Possible Related Crimes • Debauching a minorAny person not a minor commits the offense of debauching a minor if he or she shall debauch or deprave the morals of any boy or girl under the age of seventeen years by: • Lewdly inducing such boy or girl carnally to know any other person; or • Soliciting any such boy or girl to visit a house of prostitution or other place where prostitution, debauchery, or other immoral practices are permitted or encouraged, for the purpose of prostitution or sexual penetration; or • Arranging or assisting in arranging any meeting for such purpose between any such boy or girl and any female or male of dissolute character or any inmate of any place where prostitution, debauchery, or other immoral practices are permitted or encouraged; or • Arranging or aiding or assisting in arranging any meeting between any such boy or girl and any other person for the purpose of sexual penetration. • Debauching a minor is a Class I misdemeanor[Max= not more than 1yr &/or $1000/ Min= nothing] • Contributing to the Delinquency of a Child- Any person who, by any act, encourages, causes, or contributes to the delinquency or need for special supervision of a child under eighteen years of age, so that such child becomes, or will tend to become, a delinquent child, or a child in need of special supervision, commits contributing to the delinquency of a child. • Delinquent child shall mean any child under the age of eighteen years who has violated any law of the state or any city or village ordinance; and • A child in need of special supervision shall mean any child under the age of eighteen years (i) who, by reason of being wayward or habitually disobedient, is uncontrolled by his parent, guardian, or custodian; (ii) who is habitually truant from school or home; or (iii) who deports himself so as to injure or endanger seriously the morals or health of himself or others. • Contributing to the delinquency of a child is a Class I misdemeanor[Max= not more than 1yr &/or $1000/ Min= nothing]
Problem 9.2 For each case below, assume that the two people have sexual intercourse. Assume that the police find out about the sexual activity in each instance. How should each situation be handled? • At midnight, a man breaks into the home of a woman he does not know. He goes to her bedroom, awakens her, pulls out a knife, and threatens to stab her unless she has sex with him. She tells him that she does not want to have sex. But then she says, “If you are going to do this, you’d better use a condom.” He agrees. b. A famous boxer serves as a judge at a beauty contest. After the contest, he invites an 18 year old contestant to his hotel room. She meets him there. Later, she says he forced her to have sex. • A male high school student, aged 17, and a female high school student, aged 14, go out on a date. After attending a party, they agree to have intercourse in his car. The legal age of consent in this state is 16. The next day, he brags about this at school, and she goes to the police. There is some evidence that he is part of an informal organization of high school boys who are involved in a competition to have sex with as many girls as possible. d. Leo and Nina are college juniors who have had three dates. On these dates they have never engaged in any sexual activity beyond a brief good night kiss. On their fourth date, he invites her to an all night drinking party at his fraternity house. She drinks too much, goes up to his room alone around 1:00 am, and falls asleep. In the morning, she wakes up to discover that she and Leo had intercourse during the night.