Development of Substantive Criminal Law

USA law is based on judicial legislation. It means that the verdict for every unique case is taken according to judge and jury decision, because there are no case specific laws in legislation system. Every next case, which key features are similar to the first case, will be studied in the same way. The thing is that each special case creates a rule for lawyers and judges, and that is why the legislative system of the USA is so diversified. One more thing that influences legislation variability is that every state has its own test cases, and federal law has its specific aspects. The abovementioned reasons made conditions for development of substantive criminal law of the USA.In legislation sphere insanity means the degree of mental malfunctioning, which allows a defendant to be relieved of legal responsibility for committed crime. In 2009 Robert O’Ryan attacked the set of “Dancing with the Stars” band. The man was found guilty of carrying guns and burglary. In the court O’Ryan got a verdict that said he was legally insane. After the court the man was sent to mental hospital for examination, and probably he will spend the whole life there. Though the criminal escaped imprisonment, he will be isolated from the society and will have no possibility to commit another crime. Of course he is not guilty of been ill, but the people who suffered because of his actions are victims anyway.In 1992 one man from Nebraska was accused of receiving child pornography via e-mail. During the study process it was discovered that that man had a predisposition for his actions. As far as no pornographic materials were found in criminal’s home, the judge Byron White believed that that man was entrapped and did not deserve to be imprisoned. I disagree with court verdict, because every person should take responsibility for his/her actions, even if these actions have been influenced by external factors.In 1988 the Court of Appeal in Conway dealt with a case of man accused of reckless driving. The defendant was recognized as not guilty, because he was forced to break the rules by another man, who threatened to kill him or his passenger. The driver acted in a way to prevent the possible death, and that is why the court verdict was “duress of circumstances”. The defendant had to make a choice, and out of two evils he took the lesser one.Mark Weston became the first person in the USA who was retried. In 1995 he was accused of murder of Vikki Thompson, but due to the absence of evidences he was set free. In 2009 the case research was started once more, and new aspects were revealed. In 2010 Mark Weston was accused of murder again and this time recognized as guilty. In accordance with court decision the criminal was sentenced to 13 years of imprisonment. Despite the fact the Fifth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution says that “No person shall … be subject for the same offence …
Posted by: Lissa Kimble

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