Personal crimes are crimes against a person; they are crimes that are directed to an individual and damage or injury can be traced on the victim. In most cases they are optimistic crimes, whereby the criminal takes the advantage of a situation. They include the following assault; battery, mayhem, rape and statutory rape (Bailey, 2006). This paper analysis the major forms of personal crime.
This is killing of a person by another whether intentional or not. It takes three different forms that are; murder, unintentional homicide, states homicide, and manslaughter.
First degree murder
This is when a person kills another with intent of doing so. The victim is targeted by the murderer and the intention of the murderer is simply to kill the victim. This is a criminal act. In most cases it is a preplanned action where the murderers are not provoked at the time of killing. Despite the reason that a murderer gives as the reason for killing, it is a punishable offence; the main area of interest is whether the act was predetermined. For example if one person makes a plan to kill another, then he executes the exercise; this is first murder.
Second degree murder
This is when murder occurs but the act was not predetermined. It occurred as a result of the consequences. For example if robbers break into a victims house, then when they are running a way hits and kills the owner of the place they were stealing. This is a case of second degree murder since their intention was not to kill but killing came alongside.
A person may kill another without any intent of doing it; this comes as a mistake. The acts of the murderer are in good faith but eventually end up killing another person. As much as it is unintentional, the murderer must prove that there was no intention to kill the victim and no negligence on the murderer’s part. For example if two people are playing football then one accidentally is hit by the ball and dies, even if the ball had been hit by someone else, the is unintentional murder.
There are some offences that are punishable through murder by laws of a country; if one commits such a crime, he may be killed according to the law that exists in the country. The court is the state body that is mandated to sentence a person who has been proven guilty of the capital punishable offence. An example is the hanging of Saddam Hussein.
This is when someone kills another without having preplanned but does so unintentionally. At the point of crime, the accused is always provoked by the victim. An example of this is in cases of self protection; a person may be defending himself from injury or murder by another person but eventually ends up killing in course of defending himself. This is the most common form of murder.
In simple terms rape is having sexual intercourse with a person without his or her consent. In most cases there is violence before the act has been done. It is a criminal offence punishable by law. Most rape cases involve women, children, and young boys as the victims. It is an act of force and the victim is injured sexually, emotionally, and physically. When men are raped, it mostly involves the use of drugs to simulate their bodies to perform the act. Men to men rape are feared to be on the rise in the prisons but it is the least reported. The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (1999) reported that in the United States, only 9% of reported rapes cases reported are men, 91% are women. A family and society at large is an element of peace, security, and comfort. What we do, what we talk, the environment that we live in create a picture in our minds that affects our mental stability. In incidences of rape, the victim is psychologically affected in his/her life time especially if counseling support is not given effectively (Klotter and Edwards, 1998). Rape takes different forms and can be classified into date rape, ancestral, child sexual abuse, prison rape, acquaintance rape, war rape, statutory rape, gang rape, and marital rape or spousal rape
This is said to occur when a sexual intercourse was done on a person who is of the age of a minor and thus is seen not to be of age to give consent to sex. In this case, the raped person may have had consented to the act but since the law perceive him/her as of age that cannot give a consent, then the case is regarded as rape. For example in many countries the age of majority is eighteen years; if an adult engages in sex with sixteen years old, after her consent, then the case stands as rape.
This is physical torture of the victim; this happens to both men and women in almost equal proportions but family violence are more reported with women as the victims. International human rights recognize the need for someone to enjoy his life without being harassed by another. When one is battered for one reason or the other, the accused followed a short cut of punishing the victim instead of reporting the case to the police. The weight of the case when brought to court is determined by various parameters, they range from the intent of the accused, the reason, and situation of the case. The damage that is done on the victim is also gauged before the case can be determined. The extent and the magnitude of the case thus determine the punishment that will be accorded to the accused. It can range from fining the accused, imprisonment or both (Federal Bureau of Investigations, 2009).
Mayhem is defined as a form of battery that is aggravated. It involves the removal or seriously injury of some parts of one’s body so as to hinder his functionality. Such parts may be any part of the body such as eyes, ears, hands legs or any part of the body (Schmalleger, Hall, and Dolatowski, 2010). An example, when two people who are in conflict about a certain issue, then one of the party splashes the other with concentrated acid on the face; then this is mayhem since the acid injures the victim.
This is a threat that results into injury or fear to the victim; the accused must appear to have the ability to cause harm to the victim. If a ten year old boy threatens a 34 year man, there is no assault here since the child has no ability to cause danger. When someone threats another for example using a pen knife, then this is an assault since the accused had the ability to cause damage to the victim and fear has been induced to the victim (Babcock, Massaro and Spaulding, 2006). For example if a husband threatens a wife with a machete, there is fear instilled in the wife this is assault.
Personal crimes are crimes against humanity; they are crime that affects the victim directly. They take different forms; there are those that are intentional by the culprit and others are out of mere accident. Some take capital punishment while others are punished by a small fine. In the context of personal crime; some like murder are crimes against the state and the victim in the court is a witness to the crime, the prosecutor is the one to prove the culprit guilty. Others are civil cases like assault. Personal crimes are rape, statutory rape, assault, mayhem, battery, and homicide.
Babcock, A. B., Massaro, T., and Spaulding, W. (2006). Civil Procedure: Cases and Problems. New York: Aspen Publishers.
Bailey, E. (2006). Personal Crimes. Web.
Federal Bureau of Investigations. (2009). Violent Crime – Crime in the United States 2008. Web.
Klotter C. John and Edwards D. Terry (1998). Criminal Law, fifth edition. Cincinnati, Ohio: Anderson Publishing.
Schmalleger, F., & Hall, D. E. (2010). Criminal Law Today (4th ed.). Boston, MA Prentice Hall.