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Parental Responsibility for a Child's Criminal Actions

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I think that parents shouldn’t be criminally liable for their children. There are many reasons to why they shouldn’t be help criminally liable. The one reason that sticks out to me the most is that there are many type of family make up and I believe that parents can’t be watching to see what their kids are doing 24/7. In America there is a high rate of single parent households. These single parents are trying to provide for the children and parent the children at the same time. Sometimes the kids are put on the back burner for work, but that is just reality.

These parents cannot be watching their kids all the time and be working it is impossible. Even if a parent could watch there kid 24/7 there are still times when the parent isn’t around where the kid can get into trouble. That is why I believe that parents shouldn’t be held criminally liable for their kids actions. For example, there may be a situation why the parent should be held criminally liable. That situation is if the parent pushes the kid to do violent acts and gives the kid the means to commit a violent. An example that shows how the parents shouldn’t be held criminally liable is if the kid is 17 years old and he oblivious knows right from wrong and he goes out and commits a violent crime. How on earth is it fair to charge a parent when this kid is basically grown and is going to find a way to do whatever he or she wants. According to a study done by the website everyday health children from single parent households are more prone to commit crimes.

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There are four test that are used to test people’s sanity. The first test I’m going to talk about is the MNaghten rule. This is the right-versus-wrong test, the defendant has to not know the nature and quality of the act committed and the defendant did not know the act was wrong. The second test is the irresistible impulse test and it says a defendant can be found not guilty if he or she is unable to control themselves even though they know the act is wrong. The next rule is the Durham rule it is described as the defendant cannot be charged with a crime if the unlawful act was a product of metal heath. This test decides if a person has a mental health issue or not. The final test I am going to talk about is the Substantial capacity test says a person is not responsible for criminal conduct if at the time of such conduct as a result of mental disease or defect he lack substantial capacity either to appreciate the criminality of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of law, and as the term “mental disease or defect” do not include an abnormality manifested only by repeated criminal or otherwise antisocial conduct. All of these test were used in the John Hinckley Jr, trial.

After they Hinckley trial there was a strong push for reform and change when it comes to insanity defense. Accomplice can be defined as a person who shares in the guilt, even though he or she did not engage in the crime. Accessory can be defined as a person who assisted in the crime or who encouraged another person to commit a crime. Accessories are people who participate in crime after they are done. For an example the escape car driver is an accessory. Accomplices are people who help commit the crime. For example if there is a bank robbery there is the robber who is holding everyone gun point the accomplices are the people with him holding the people gunpoint while the money is being gathered up. Accessories are punished for misdemeanors, a much less serious offense because accessories are looked at as obstructers of justice not as felons. Accomplices are charged with felonies because they are participating in the crime itself. I do believe that it was fair to subject the Los Angeles police officers to the expense and emotional stress of these two trials because what they did was unnecessary and honestly illegal. They used way to much force on this man. I do agree some force was need but what they did was excessive and unnecessary. I would have advised President Bush to bring federal charges against these officers even though there was an acquittal by a California jury, because in this country we don’t stand for this type of behavior. The President doing this would set a standard that this country isn’t going to stand for its police officers acting like criminals. The legal test that was used took the Model Penal Code and used it to see if his actions fell into the code at any of its category.

The verdict was overturned because of insignificant evidence and evidence that leads to question on how true the evidence is which grants it to be impossible for a jury to find him guilty beyond reasonable doubt. Barnes starts off by saying that the evidence was used was not disputed by either side during their oral arguments and the evidence was the factor that was supposed to be relied on to help the jury reach a verdict. She says the most important factor in this case is the substantial step. She defines the substantial step as the direct step taken to takes someone’s life. Barnes states that this cases is very unique when it comes to any other attempted murder case. Barnes pointed out that attempted murder shouldn’t be treated and punished any differently than any other class A felony. She states that the case points out many different situation that can prove intent by Collier to kill Nancy with the ice pick. Barnes said she doesn’t believe that he was passed out when police arrived. Also, she says that him being passed out shouldn’t disqualify his intent to commit murder. She concludes by saying that she agrees with the decision made by the jury and it should not have been overturned during the appeal process. No, I would not have voted to convict Collier because there are way too many questions about this case and I do not believe Collier ever got close enough Nancy to attempt to murder her.


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