Answers To Critical Thinking Questions In The Text

Answers To Critical Thinking Questions In The Text

1. Give an example of a criminal law whose main purpose seems to be teaching societal boundaries rather than protecting citizens from harm. By searching the Internet, can you find examples of other countries where this behavior is not considered criminal? How is the behavior perceived in those countries?

ANS: An example would be the private use of marijuana. There is nothing “natural” about drug laws. Whereas alcohol is legal, marijuana is illegal – despite the fact that alcohol has been consistently linked to violence. Drunk drivers are also dangerous on the road. In other countries, such as the Netherlands, marijuana use is permitted. There are even differences within the United States; that is, some states like Colorado and Washington allow marijuana use, whereas other states only allow medical marijuana, and some states prohibit marijuana use per se.

2. Why is murder considered a mala in se crime?

ANS: Murder is considered “naturally wrong.” Murder is considered wrong across countries.

3. Nine-year-old Savannah lies to her grandmother Jessica about eating candy bars. As punishment, Jessica forces Savannah to run for three hours without a rest. Severely dehydrated, the girl has a seizure and dies. What should be the criminal charge against Jessica, and why?

ANS: Involuntary manslaughter: Jessica had no intent to kill Savannah, but she was careless in her actions.

4. Keith lends his car to Jermaine, who drives with two other friends to the home of a drug dealer, intending to steal a safe full of cash. The drug dealer is unexpectedly at home, however, and in a struggle Jermaine winds up murdering him. What rule allows local prosecutors to charge Keith with first degree murder? Why?

ANS: If Keith knew that the car was used for a crime then he can be charged with first

degree murder because he was an accomplice. He aided Jermaine in his criminal act.


1. The intent to aid the person who committed the crime

2. The intent that such aid would lead to the commission of the crime.

5. Suppose that Louisiana’s legislature passes a law allowing law enforcement officers to forcibly remove residents from their homes in the face of an imminent hurricane. Why might a court uphold this law even though, in most circumstances, such forcible removal would violate the residents’ due process rights? If you were a judge, would you uphold Louisiana’s new law?

ANS: I would uphold the law. Substantive due process requires that the law must be fair. In this case the law is supposed to prevent harm to citizens. Thus, even though people cannot usually be forcibly removed, the law is not a violation of due process rights because it is meant to save lives. For instance, people may risk the life of their children or other defendants by not evacuating. They could also risk the life of emergency personnel if they don’t evacuate on time, because the emergency personnel could be in danger later by trying to rescue them.

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