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UNIT 2: Criminal Law and Juvenile Justice Chapter 9 Crimes Against the Person.

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Presentation on theme: "UNIT 2: Criminal Law and Juvenile Justice Chapter 9 Crimes Against the Person."— Presentation transcript:

1 UNIT 2: Criminal Law and Juvenile Justice Chapter 9 Crimes Against the Person

2  Crimes against the person include homicide, assault, battery, and rape  They are all serious offenses that can result in harsh punishments  Various levels of these crimes have been defined by law in order to protect the defendant from overly harsh penalties  In addition, the circumstances of each offense are considered in sentencing  Varying circumstances may influence the severity of the sentence

3 Homicide  Homicide—the killing of one human being by another—is classified as criminal or noncriminal  Murder is the most serious form of criminal homicide  It may be classified as first-degree, felony murder, or second-degree, depending on the level of premeditation that preceded the crime

4  In voluntary manslaughter, the killer loses control in response to the victim's actions  Although the killer is still responsible for the killing, the law recognizes that the killer had an altered state of mind that may have prevented him or her from acting rationally  Involuntary manslaughter is an accidental killing resulting from a person's careless behavior toward others

5 Suicide  Suicide is the deliberate taking of one's own life  Most courts generally treat attempted suicide as a plea for help and demand that the individual seek treatment  The courts may order a psychological examination or treatment for someone who has attempted suicide  Suicide is one of the leading causes of death among teenagers

6 Statistics  Suicide took the lives of 29,350 Americans in 2000  An average of 10.6 out of every 100,000 persons died by suicide  The total number of suicides was 29,350, or 1.2 percent of all deaths  More people die from suicide than from homicide  In 2000, there were 1.7 times as many suicides as homicides

7  Overall, suicide is the 11 th leading cause of death for all Americans, and is the third leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 24, behind unintentional injury and homicide  Persons under age 25 accounted for 15 percent of all suicides in 2000  Suicide rates increase with age and are highest among Americans ages 65 years and older

8  In the year 2000, firearms were the most common method of suicide by both males and females  Males are more than four times more likely (8 th leading cause of death in 2000) to die from suicide than are females (19 th leading cause of death)  However, females are three times more likely to attempt suicide than males

9  During the period from , suicide rates for Native Americans were about 1.5 times higher than the National rate  “Native Americans” is a category that includes American Indians and Alaska Natives, with males ages 15 to 24 accounting for 64 percent of all suicides by Native Americans

10  In 2000, suicide among white and African American males was significantly higher than for females of the same race  However, overall suicide rates for both white males and females were greater than those for African American males and females  Although white teens still have a higher rate of suicide, the gap is narrowing

11  Suicides by gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender teens are substantially higher than other groups of teens  Often, the internalization of society’s negative, hostile, and degrading attitude toward gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals leads to feelings of despair, low self-image, low self-esteem, substance abuse, and depression

12  These risk factors are usually more profound within this group, thus doubling the already alarming likelihood of suicidal behavior and suicide, which already exists among heterosexual youth

13 Strategies  If you suspect that someone you know is considering suicide: Always take a person who talks about suicide seriously Do not enter into any secret pacts—if a friend asks you not to tell anyone, respond that you care too much not to tell someone If you are afraid that telling someone might ruin your friendship, remember that not having the friend around at all would be far worse

14 Tell someone! This could be a teacher, counselor, parent, or other trusted adult Realize that you are not trained to handle this kind of situation, so it is best to put it into the hands of someone who is Encourage the person who is considering suicide to make concrete plans for the future, including the next time you will see each other

15 Making plans with him or her for a future date will provide the person with comfort, hope, and direction It may also provide some time for the person to get professional help Above all—remember that you can only do so much If a person truly wants to take his or her life, there is really no way to prevent it—the final decision is that of the individual

16 Assault and Battery  The law often treats assault and battery as very similar crimes  Assault is an attempt or threat to carry out a physical attack upon another person  Battery is any unlawful physical contact inflicted by one person upon another person without consent  Even if actual injury does not occur, a person may be charged with battery if he or she intended to harm the other person  These crimes—which include simple assault, stalking, and sexual assault—are classified according to how severe they are

17 Rape  The law generally has recognized rape and statutory rape as separate crimes  Rape is sexual intercourse without consent  Statutory rape is sexual intercourse between an adult and a minor child  Rape laws recognize that either males or females can commit or be victims of this crime  This area of law is in transition, however, as many states are replacing their rape laws with criminal sexual assault laws

18  Young people are more likely to be victims of rape than any other age group  Between 1/4 and 1/3 of the rape victims each year are 12 to 19 years old  Roughly 1 in 6 women report that they experienced a rape or attempted rape

19  Rape is believed to be one of the least reported crimes Male rape victims have been even more reluctant to report this crime to the police Approximately 10% of rape victims are boys or men Approximately 3% of American men have been victims of rape or attempted rape in their lifetime

20 Reasons Why People Are Reluctant to Report Rape  Many people feel embarrassed or ashamed after being the victim of rape  Some people fear that they will be treated insensitively by those who investigate their claim  In response, many police departments have created special units to investigate sex crimes and to refer victims to social services agencies that can offer support

21  Some people believe the criminal justice systems has a poor record regarding rape prosecutions  Many times prosecutors are reluctant to pursue a case in which the victim knows the assailant because they do not believe they can win the case

22  Some people worry that a trial might bring back difficult memories and subject them to invasive questions  In some states, victims may be subject to tough cross-examination by defense attorneys, including questioning about their prior sexual conduct

23  Attorneys do this in an attempt to establish that a victim’s past sexual relations with other persons are relevant to whether or not the victim consented in the case in question  The trend, by court decision and statute, is to rule evidence of past sexual relations with persons other than the defendant as irrelevant  Many states have enacted rape shield laws to protect victims from this type of questioning

24  Some people feel further victimized because, to obtain a conviction, some state laws also require other evidence, called corroboration, in addition to the testimony of the victim  These laws have been criticized by those who argue that it should not be more difficult to get a conviction for rape than for any other crime

25 Differing State Laws  Some state laws are gender-neutral; others only protect females from rape and/or statutory rape  Some states don’t allow the prosecution of one spouse who forces the other to have sex  States have different interpretations of what constitutes statutory rape


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