Sample Essay On Criminal Law

The Criminal Justice System has many components that make up its system. The police, corrections, and the courts all play the role and act together in trying to maintain the most respectable and functional CJS. A system where each uses their own judgments on how to play their role. The views of each can vary from how they each feel the court system works and the integrity of it. Many factors can play a role in the way in which these people feel on the actual court system process. Such factors being where they work within the system, if they are judges, cops, lawyers or social service officers can change the way they feel the system works. Factors of where they work geographically and the views and opinions of those areas can also shape the way the person feels about the system.

The Police are the gatekeepers of the CJS. They are the ones who find the people who are violating laws and arrest them based on their discretion and situation of the case. Since, the patrol officers are who start many of the cases that go to court. They are the ones that should be interviewed on whether or not the court system works, the court system has integrity and what would that specific officer do to change the court system.

The first patrol officer that was interviewed was from the Mount Prospect police. When he was asked the first question on if he felt the court system worked, he paused and then smiled the word “yes”. He felt it did for the most part, as he felt most Americans did as well. He believed it all mattered on what side you might be on. He mostly found this question to be elementary and found himself confused, but he concluded it with determining it the best system in the world, but could use much improvement. The second question given to the officer was if he felt the court system had integrity. He thought that most people within the system do have integrity. However, he has seen situations where it has caused absolute murder towards the system. He thinks that internal and external pressure on the police, attorneys, judges, etc., can cause for some to turn the dark side. But he noted that every other profession has the situation for anything to occur that can hurt their system.

When the officer was asked the final question on what he would like to do change the court system he seemed to get excited, as if he had a lot to say. He first off felt that their should be better monitoring of all the pieces within the system. He felt that from the judges to the police officers they all should be better monitored. He felt last of all that the citizens as a whole, consisting of the police, judges, etc, should not allow the System to be manipulated by the powerful and therefore cost the weak to lose their rights and privileges.

The second officer that was interviewed was from Hawthorne Woods and he and their department are located Lake County. He was younger than the first which figured he might have a different opinion, and the fact that the Counties were different may also play a role. Lake County is more conservative and has far more Republicans than Cook county. Therefore, the Court system in Lake may differ from those of Cook due to the political background and lobbying that may be done in the system.

When the officer was asked the first question whether he felt the court system worked, he confidently replied in favor. He believed that for the most part the court system does work. He felt with the right people and right direction then the court system will work. However, he also noted that just like anything in life there are faults and clinks. Not everything is perfect, therefore, the system worked with little problems. He concluded the question with saying it was the best game in town.

Meaning possibly that he felt that in many games, organizations and such, that there are corruption, cheating, stealing, fraud, etc., but the court system was the best. Which leads into the second question on he felt if the court system had integrity and he replied again with approval, that it did. He thought most people involved in the court system were people with integrity. He felt that most people who pursued jobs in the system were ones who have integrity. He felt people looking for corruption look elsewhere in other lines of work. He thinks people in these jobs work towards justice.

The officer was then asked his final question on what would he like to do the change the current court system. He felt much the way he did about the integrity question. He felt that he would want to strive to find people in the system that believe in just, and fairness. The people would have to be able and willing to stick by their convictions. He would like to take these people and promote them to top jobs and replace any of those who did not follow in these feelings.

Another aspect to the CJS is the branch of corrections. This is where people go when they are arrested and the judge will give out supervision, supervised supervision, and probation. All three mean different and have more serious consequences, but all three mean that you are to be under the watch of a probationary officer. Probationary officers will either meet with the felon on a schedule, or have some kind of contact with them. They make sure that the felon follows their sentence and can violate them and send back in front of the judge with harsher penalties. The last interviewee was a probationary officer from Lake County.

The officer was also asked the same questions as the first two police officers. When he was asked on if he felt the court system worked, he was unsure. He felt that the court system works when it is able to keep offenders from repeating the crimes they have committed. He felt that some sentences, or, probation time, counseling hours, etc. are not enough sometimes and can’t change all people. That most offenders do not like to have to pay fines and go to court. Tightening around the edges he feels needs to be done to keep offenders from committing more crimes. When the second question was asked to the officer on whether he felt the system had integrity he responded with a common answer. He felt that some people in the court system could be blinding by bias views. That for the most part the court system is fair. That judges use good discretion and if you think the system is not fair, then don’t go out and commit the crime.

The final question asked to the last interviewee was what would he like to do to change the court system. He responded to this question with more humor than he did any of the others. He first of all thinks that the court system works the best when it is not over crowded. He would like to decrease the flow of traffic through a court house.

Even though he didn’t have much to much insight on the changing of the court system, the idea is one that should be honestly looked at. Each of the officers that were interviewed seemed to be of short answers and not much insight. Each would always say or start off staying that there is so much they could say but then wouldn’t say much. And that to stick them with these basic questions which could send discussion groups into the morning were hard to tackle at the moment. The main difference was the atmosphere of that of the probationary officers, office and that of the police stations. The two seemed miles apart, but continue to work together to keep the CJS in flow.

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Criminal Law Sample Answer

The following is a sample answer to the Criminal Law Practice Exam. If you have not already done so, take the exam and then compare your answer to this sample. If necessary, you can also review the Criminal Law Rules of Law for this exam. Since law school professors vary in what they consider excellent work, this answer is only presented as a sample.


The agreement to commit rape gives rise to the issue of whether any of the students are guilty of conspiracy to commit rape.

The common law rule for conspiracy requires that two or more people actually agree and intend to agree to commit a crime and that one conspirator commits some overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy.

Here, A asked whether the other men would forcibly have non-consensual intercourse with a woman who was not their wife, which is the definition of common law rape (see below). B agreed by nodding his head. If any of the defendants had intended to just play along, then the intent element required for conspiracy would be absent and the party would be not guilty of the charge. However, there is nothing shown on the facts to suggest that any of the defendants had a different intent than that which their words and gestures showed. When A actually locked the door of the room, this was an overt act, which prepared for the crime. These elements, taken together, are sufficient to make A and B guilty of conspiracy without any further action on their part. Since C, D and E never agreed, they are not guilty of conspiracy.

B effectively withdrew from the conspiracy because he engaged in an affirmative act that gave notice to the other conspirator - A- that he was withdrawing and there was enough time for A to halt his plan to rape Mary. While this does not provide B with a defense for the conspiracy charge, it does give him a defense against the charges of subsequent crimes by A.


The next issue is whether any of the students are guilty of rape.

The rule on common law rape requires sexual intercourse between a female and a male, who is not her husband, and where the female does not consent. The lack of consent can be shown if the intercourse occurs by force, threats of force or if the female is unable to consent because of unconsciousness.

Here, A and D are both males who had intercourse with Mary, a female, who was not the wife of any of the guys. B, C and E never had intercourse with Mary and thus are not guilty of rape.

Mary showed a lack of consent to have sex with A before the actual conspiracy began. She again showed her lack of consent when she objected as the conspiracy began. Finally, the mere use of force in A's case showed that there was no consent.

In the case of D, the issue is not as clear cut. Although she had agreed to have sex with D prior to the conspiracy, the fact of the conspiracy, false imprisonment and rape by A would probably result in any reasonable person changing their mind. Furthermore, since she was in a state of unconsciousness, this manifests a lack of consent under the law. While D may have a defense of consent, it all likelihood, he is also guilty of rape.

Attempted Rape

The issue is whether C is guilty of attempted rape.

Under the common law, a defendant is guilty of an attempted crime when the criminal shows intent to commit a crime and comes dangerously close to successfully completing the crime.

Here, C showed his intent to commit the crime of rape by stating that he intended to force Mary to have sex. He came dangerously close because he took his clothes off and got on the bed until he finally passed out. Although he never actually had intercourse with Mary and thus is not guilty of rape, he came quite close to completing the crime and thus can be charged with attempted rape.


The next issue is whether any of the defendants is guilty of murder.

Common law murder requires a killing of a human being with malice aforethought. Malice aforethought exists if there is intent to kill, intent to cause substantial injury, reckless indifference to the risk that a person may die or intent to commit a felony.

Here, Abe choked Mary, another human being, until she was dead. Malice aforethought is shown because Abe's choking Mary was, at very least, reckless as to the risk that a person will die. It is common knowledge that cutting off the air to a person by choking him may cause him to stop breathing and die. Abe has no reasonable defense under these circumstances. If a jury finds that he was not reckless, then he can be brought in under the felony murder rule.

Common law felony murder exists if a death occurred while a criminal committed a felony that is inherently dangerous. Rape is considered an inherently dangerous felony.

Since A and D both committed rape and Mary died while still within the time and place of the crime, both are guilty of felony murder. It is less clear whether attempted rape is an inherently dangerous crime and whether C would also be guilty of felony murder. Here the issue probably hinges on intent. In Felony Murder, malice is inferred from the intent to commit the underlying dangerous felony. Since C intended to commit the crime of rape, malice should be inferred to the same degree that it is in the case of A and D. Therefore, following that theory, it was as if C had actually committed the rape and therefore would be guilty of the crime of felony murder.

Since B withdrew from the conspiracy, he is not responsible for the crimes of his fellow co-conspirators and therefore is not guilty of felony murder or murder.

Accessory to Rape and Homicide

The issue is whether B is guilty as an accessory after the fact to rape and murder.

The common law rule on accessory after the fact requires that a defendant have knowledge that a felony was committed and aided or assisted the felon in some way to avoid being caught by the authorities.

Here, B knew of the crimes because A, C and D told him. Because he let them stay in his room in order that they wouldn't be found with a dead body, one can reasonably conclude that he was helping them escape detection by the police. Thus, B is guilty of being an accessory after the fact to rape and homicide.

It should be noted that E had no part in any of the crimes. Although he was a witness to the events, that does not make him guilty of the crimes since he neither acted nor showed any intent to act. Furthermore, he was not an accessory after the fact because he did not aid in the others escape. He went to his own room after the events. Although an argument could be made that he complied in the crimes, there is no actus reus that suggests he could be found guilty for any of the crimes.

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