We hear the word “murder” used in a lot of situations: “This job is murder!” Environmental activists sometimes refer to the “murder” of animals or even trees. But, under the law, it is not murder to kill an animal, a tree, or any living thing except a human being. A person cannot murder a kitten, no matter how cute the kitten nor how mean the human.
Of all the crimes punished by society, none are more serious than the crime of murder, the intentional and unlawful taking of a human life. Apart from the federal crimes of espionage and treason, murder is the only crime for which the death penalty is a potential punishment, though only in some states.
Felony murder is a legal rule that expands the definition of murder. It applies when someone commits a certain kind of felony and someone else dies in the course of it. It doesn’t matter whether the death was intentional or accidental—the defendant is liable for it.
The idea of personal freedom is closely related to the belief that you can travel where you choose without being restrained by someone else. When someone else restrains you or prevents you from moving, this is punishable as a crime, known as false imprisonment.
Kidnapping began as a crime which involved forcibly abducting someone and carrying him or her to a different country. Today, kidnapping occurs when someone forcibly abducts or confines another person against his or her will.
The ability to go where you please, when you please, is one of the most widely cherished liberties in modern society, and one that forms the basis for what most people think of when they think of the word “freedom.”
Even though the Constitution guarantees the right of free speech, that right is not an absolute one. The law has long recognized specific limitations when it comes to speech, such as prohibitions against slander and libel.
Interfering with a witness’s testimony or cooperation in a criminal case is a criminal act that can be misdemeanor or a felony. Intimidating or tampering with a witness involves trying to get a witness to lie, say certain things under oath, alter or destroy evidence, or not testify or cooperate with
Menacing can refer to a few different crimes, all of which share the following characteristics: the defendant has placed the victim in fear of imminent (immediate) bodily harm or unwanted physical contact, or has attempted or threatened to hurt the victim. Usually, no injury or physical contact is required.
The everyday use of the word mayhem has evolved pretty far from its original, legal definition. In the legal context, “mayhem” doesn’t denote a kind of rowdy disorder, but rather force causing serious and gruesome injury. Leave My Subjects Whole Mayhem is an old version of the word maim. The crime
One kind of accessory that never makes you look better is a criminal charge as an accessory to a crime. Aiding and abetting are similar and related charges to being an accessory. This article discusses the crimes of aiding, abetting, and acting as an accessory to a crime.
“Domestic violence” and “domestic abuse” are used in news stories to refer to incidents or allegations of physical violence committed between people who are married, who live together, or are who are dating.
Domestic violence (DV) is a crime of violence, typically an assault, battery, stalking, or criminal harassment, perpetrated by someone against a family or household member. Some states have specific statutes that are separate from the general assault statutes.
Hate crimes, or bias-motivated crimes, are crimes committed because the victim is a member of a certain group, such as a racial or religious minority. Today, 45 states and the District of Columbia have laws against hate crimes.