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Criminal Law Paper Essay

Maryland v. King, 569 U.S., on June 3, 2013 the United States Supreme Court ruled that it is not a violation of the fourth amendment right by having your DNA swabbed while being booked into a detention facility. And that a simple swab on the inner cheek was no different than taking a photo or being finger printed during the booking process. This case came to be after an individual was arrested and booked for assault and during the booking process the individual had the inner cheek swabbed as part of the booking process as part of Maryland DNA Collection Act (Maryland Act). After this individual DNA was processed per the Maryland Act, the DNA matched that of an unsolved rape from years earlier. Because of the match DNA, this individual argued that his fourth amendment right was violated. What interested me about this case was the taking of the DNA during the booking process. I have always thought that giving a DNA sample was something that was voluntarily given, rather than being forced. Or if there was a court order to obtain one’s DNA.

I know that many states across the country have been creating laws regarding the collection of DNA from individuals who are involved in the criminal justice system. Some states collect DNA during the booking process, while other states only collect when you are a repeat offender. However, I understand that deterring crime and criminals is the main goal behind these laws and agree that taking this step will cause for individual criminals to think twice before they live a lifestyle of crime. I believe these laws allow for some sort of closure for victims of crimes and feel that justice was done in regards to the Maryland v. King Supreme Court ruling. Criminal liability is something that is needed to prove that the individual being accused is guilty of a crime. Therefore, to ensure that a person is criminally liable the court system needs to prove that the individual did commit the crime being accused of and that the individual being accused had the criminal mindset to commit the crime.

Accomplice liability is when the court finds an individual criminally liable for crimes that were committed by a different person. If an individual participates, helps, or plays any role when another individual is committing a crime. This individual may be charged as a accomplice to the crime. Because of the nature of the Supreme Court case that I selected neither criminal liability nor accomplice liability pertained to this case. This case was about an individual who’s past caught up with him, after thinking that he got away with rape. During this case the individual never denied guilt for the rape but argued his rights were violated by the state law, which I feel was used as a tactic to get out of the sentences that was imposed by the court. The elements of a crime are the facts that need to be proven in order to find the accused guilty of a crime. Before an individual is found guilty of a crime, the prosecution must show the This evidence must be credible and sufficient enough to prove without a doubt that the accused did in fact commit a crime and that each of the elements of the crime exists.

There are three major elements of crime that are considered during this process. Mens Rae is when the mental elements of the accused are looked at as it relates to the intent of committing a crime. The defendant’s state of mind during the crime can be used to prove or disapprove the intent of the crime. Actus Reus is a criminal act or an unlawful confession of an act. Basically an individual who is accused must profess their guilt of committing a crime. An individual cannot be found guilty of thinking of committing a crime. Concurrence is the combination of Mens Rae and Actus Reus when they happen at the same time. The criminal intent must go alongside the criminal act, or be connected some way to the crime. Actus Reus and Mens Rae do not directly relate to the case that I selected. It is my opinion that occurrence is the best fit for my case. In my opinion for an individual to commit a crime of rape intent is always present and the individual who is accused never denied the charges against him, but rather that his fourth amendment right had been violated.


Supreme Court of the United States, Maryland v. King June 3, 2013 retrieved August 10, 2014 from http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/12-207_d18e.pdf Freeman, C.G.
(2013). Supreme court cases of interest. Criminal Justice, 28(1), 46-49. Retrieved August 10, 2014 from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1353616933?accountid=458

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