Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Today's schedule is B-A-Lunch-D-C

B- Social Studies 10 - Today with Mr. Luxemberger you are going to look at Canada's population. You'll work on comparing Canada's population to those of other countries and make sense of our population density.

A - Social Studies 11 - Today with Mr. Luxemberger you are going to start by reviewing the political spectrum work from yesterday's class. You'll complete a quiz to find out where your beliefs fall on the political spectrum. Next you'll take a look at aboriginal governance both pre and post contact. Ms. Shopland will be along in class to present you with some ideas (don't forget that you'll need to take notes down on the "big ideas" in her presentation) and afterwords you'll break into groups to develop some questions for your mid-unit test.

C - Criminology 12 - Today we'll wrap up the work we began last week on Chapter 1 in the Criminology: The Core textbook. We'll quickly review the history of criminological thought (see the pictures above) and discuss the differences between criminal and deviant behaviour. Next I will take you through a brief history of crime and end with contemporary perceptions on crime, the elements of a crime, and criminal defences. You have two things to accomplish today:
  1. You need to complete your list of things that are criminal but not deviant and deviant but not criminal. Choose one and explain why we should make that behaviour criminal or why we should decriminalize that behaviour (From last Thursday's class).
  2. Complete the Chapter 1 Crime and Criminology question below (The Elements of a Crime)
Chapter 1: Crime and Criminology The Elements of a Crime

The discipline of criminology tends to focus on crimes that are defined by criminal law as stated in the Criminal Code. In this case, a crime has occurred if the accused committed an illegal act and had the intent to commit the act. The act, or actus reus, can be any number of things such as the commission of a sexual assault, theft of someone’s money, or arson (i.e., the burning of a building). Criminal intent, or mens rea, refers to a “guilty mind” and this demonstrates culpability (a concept that indicates blame). Both elements must be present in order for an incident to be deemed a crime.

It is important to note that intent is not the same thing as motive. Suppose a person sticks a knife through his co-worker’s chest during a fight where the knife wielder is clearly attempting to harm the other man. The act of assault and possibly murder is present, as is the intent (since a reasonable person can assume that beating a person with fists can cause harm and that stabbing someone with a knife could produce death). The motive in this case could be a number of things. Perhaps the victim provoked the aggressor, taunting him and embarrassing him in front of his co-workers. Or, more likely, the act is motivated by jealousy or revenge (as could readily be the case if the aggressor found out his co-worker was having an affair with his wife). Thinking about committing an act is not the same thing as actually engaging in the behaviour and would not be considered a crime. Finally, the act must be voluntary and intentional. Even though an act may cause harm or damage, it is not considered a crime if it is an accident.

In some cases, the connection between an actus reus and the mens rea is not readily apparent and the alleged crime must be considered within the context of the overall incident. Perhaps there are some important considerations involving the person who committed the act that negate one or both elements that would deem the incident a crime. For example, suppose you are playing with your three-year old son one evening in your home. Your little boy is pretending to be a dinosaur and making growling noises. Suddenly, he pulls a dinosaur out of his pocket and starts to play with it. You realize the dinosaur is not part of his collection and must be from the day home he attends while you are at work. You ask your son if he took the dinosaur from the day home and he replies that the dinosaur sneaked into his pocket. Has your three-year son committed a crime? Explain your answer using what you have learned about the elements of crime. Would you change your answer if the same example took place, except your son was thirteen years old? What other factors are important in the determination of mens rea and actus reus? Hint: In most situations, for an act to constitute a crime, it must be enacted with criminal intent. In the legal sense, this means carrying out an act intentionally, knowingly, and willingly. To satisfy the requirements of actus reus, guilty actions must be voluntary.
Don't forget to e-mail me your blog site URL's for your weekly journal mark.

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