Chapter 4 of the textbook talks about criminal law, it explains the types, categories, features and elements of different crimes. This chapter gave us the general ideas of how the criminal law works, it also creates an understanding of how criminal charges are determined using various categories of law, features and elements of crimes. In this paper, I will discuss the five points from this chapter that I found to be interesting, useful and important.
The first topic that I would like to discuss about is The Rule of Law. In the textbook “Criminal Justice Today,” Schmalleger (2010) states that: “The rule of law centers on the belief that an orderly society must be governed by established principles and known codes that are applied uniformly and fairly to all of its members. Under this tenet, no one is above the law.” (p.123). For me, this statement is true for the most part however, it is not entirely true. The case of an Indian Diplomat; Devyani Khobragade, who was the Deputy Consul General of the Consulate General of India at the time is why I disagree with the author’s statements. In December 2013, Devyani was charged with committing visa fraud and giving false statements however, she was protected by diplomatic immunity under the diplomatic law and is now back in her home country. Some might argue that it is out of United States jurisdiction and there was nothing we could do about the case since this case involved the relationships of the two countries, but in my opinion, I think as long as a person is on the American soil, everyone should be treated equally.
Second, I’d like to discuss about a special category of crime called inchoate. In the textbook “Criminal Justice Today,” Schmalleger (2010) defined inchoate offense as “An offense not yet completed. Also, an offense that consists of an action or conduct that is a step toward the intended commission of another offense.” (p.131). Although, the crimes may not have occurred but under this special category of crime, the criminal can be charged with inchoate offense and can be held accountable. I found this offense to be very useful because it may prevent an actual crime from happening and the criminals can be punished by law without the loss to the society as well. In my opinion, inchoate offense can help our criminal justice systems by closing the loophole that we have with the concurrence, which required the guilty act and guilty mind to occur together before it can be considered as a crime.
Third topic, I’d like to discuss about is Guilty Mind or Mens Rea. . In the textbook “Criminal Justice Today,” Schmalleger (2010) defined Men Rea as “The state of mind that accompanies a criminal act. Also, a guilty mind.” (p.132). Mens Rea, in my opinion is probably the most important factors and is responsible for many crimes, at the same time; it is the most challenging and sensitive areas of criminal law since no one has access to the mind of another
people, even with the most advanced technology...