The following discussion comes from your Week 2 readings. Outside research to address these issues is required. Use the online library for additional sources of information and research. In addition, I recommend utilizing the Legal Studies Program Guide. There are two basic elements required for any crime: actus rea and mens rea. A crime must be the result of a voluntary act and it must have the evil intent at the time of the crime. This is established by looking at the state of mind of the offender at the time of the crime. Defenses to a crime can be justifications or excuses. A justification defense indicates that the act was criminal, but the actor was justified, while defenses of excuse indicate that the act was not a crime due to some extenuating circumstance. Read the following scenario and and answer its questions: Maria has been angry with Carlos for a very long time. She had threatened to kill Carlos on a couple of occasions. One day, Maria sees Carlos standing on a street corner waiting to cross the street. There are several people standing around Carlos, also waiting to cross. Maria pulls out a gun and fires at Carlos. The bullet grazes Carlos’s arm, injuring him. However, the same bullet strikes and kills Raquel, who was unknown to Maria.
1) Considering the ideas and concepts covered this week, what crime or crimes has Maria committed? Explain your reasoning, especially with regard to actus rea, mens rea and corpus delicti. What might be some valid defenses that Maria may assert?
2) Now, research the relevant statutes in your state that correspond to the crimes and defenses that you discussed in your answers to Q1. In light of what you see in your state statutes, how might your answers, including about possible defenses, change (if at all)?
3) How did conducting research and going through each step of legal analysis help you to reach this conclusion? Analyze how you applied critical thinking and legal analytical skills to assist you in this regard. What new research and/or analytical tool or method did you try for the first time this week? What do you think you do well and what would you like to strengthen so that you continue to improve?
4) Collaborate with each other as the week goes on to make all aspects of this Discussion as robust as possible.
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