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					UNIT 2: Criminal Law and Juvenile Justice
                               Chapter 9
               Crimes Against the Person
   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
 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
 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
 Suicide is the deliberate taking of one's own
 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
 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
 In 2000, there were 1.7 times as many
  suicides as homicides
 Overall, suicide is the 11th 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
 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
  (8th leading cause of death in 2000) to die
  from suicide than are females (19th leading
  cause of death)
 However, females are three times more
  likely to attempt suicide than males
 During the period from 1979-1992,
  suicide rates for Native Americans were
  about 1.5 times higher than the National
 “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
 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
 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
   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
   If you suspect that someone you know is
    considering suicide:
     Always take a person who talks about suicide
     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
 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
 Making plans with him or her for a future date
  will provide the person with comfort, hope, and
 It may also provide some time for the person to
  get professional help
 Above all—remember that you can only do so
 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
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
   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
   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
 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
   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
     Approximately 3% of American men have been
      victims of rape or attempted rape in their lifetime
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
 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
 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
 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
 Many states have enacted rape shield laws
  to protect victims from this type of
 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
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
 States have different interpretations of what
  constitutes statutory rape