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Johnny Juneau Case - Essay Example

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Name Class Professor Date Johnny Juneau Case: illustrating actus reus, mens rea and mistake of fact I. Defense for Johnny Juneau Johnny Juneau must be an unfortunate chap. Aside from not making much out of his life, he is now facing serious criminal charges of which he does not have the intention to commit…
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Download file to see previous pages To begin with the defense of Johnny, it is important to stress the elements of a crime. Crime should constitute actus reus and mens rea or the intention and execution of such unlawful act. The mistake of information shall also be invoked to profess that it was never an intention of Johnny to defraud the gas station that prompted the owner to file theft charges against Johnny. The actual act of the crime is actus reus. It was derived from the principle stated by Edward Coke that stated actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea, which means: "an act does not make a person guilty unless (their) mind is also guilty". Such, the guilt of a crime requires culpability and proof of fault both in intent and act. Following the principles of actus reus, criminal act is committed by doing it, omission and possession. Acting on a crime meant a “bodily movement whether voluntary or involuntary” to consummate the crime (Robinson v. California, 370 U.S. 660, 1962). Applying this principle to Johnny, the alleged criminal charge of murder was not a product of his bodily movement. Omission pertains to the failure to act the necessary bodily movement that resulted to harm which in Johnny’s case, the electrocution of his neighbor of which he was charged for being responsible of the neighbor’s death. ...
For the act to be exempted from voluntary act that would constitute the culpability of actus reus, exemption falls under the following elements; 1. A reflex or convulsion; 2. A bodily movement during unconsciousness or sleep; 3. Conduct during hypnosis or resulting from hypnotic suggestion; 4. A bodily movement that otherwise is not a product of the effort or the determination of the actor, either conscious or habitual. Mens rea as a component of crime on the other hand is the intent, process or planning to commit the crime. It is the deliberative aspect of committing a crime which in Johnny’s case must be satisfied to qualify the electrocution of his neighbor as murder. To illustrate actus reus and mens rea, we would be compelled to cite an example to differentiate these two concepts. Planning to kill or rob as a mens rea is not a crime until it acted upon (mens rea). These two concepts when linked together constitute a crime that often leads to conviction. a. Defense on murder charge The death through electrocution of Johnny’s neighbor was never intentional. In no circumstance did Johnny demonstrate intent, deliberation or any motivation to inflict harm or death to the neighbor. In fact, Johnny was even grateful for borrowing the ladder. In fact, Johnny Juneau himself could have been killed by the unfortunate incident because he was still using the ladder on his way down when it touched an uninsulated part of the gas store’s sign that made it electrified. There was no way Johnny could have known that would happen.  Yet, he is still charged with murder on the ground that his behavior led to the electrocution of his neighbor that falls on the ground of omission of actus ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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