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Criminology Essay

1230 words - 5 pages

Running head: Essay 2: Crimes against persons 1Essay 2: Crimes against persons 7Essay 2: Common Law and Modern Day Murder in North CarolinaRachel McRillPark UniversityAbstractIn the state of North Carolina, the common law of murder is not very different from modern statutes on murder. North Carolina is a state in which murder is not defined by statute, but by common law. A few changes to the definition of murder have been grouping attempted murder with actual murder, and punishing it as such. In this paper, common law and updated statute will be discussed, as well as the reason for changes to the law. Finally, additional changes that would be beneficial for North Carolina's citizens will be examined.Essay 2: Common Law and Modern Day Murder in North CarolinaCommon Law of MurderThe definition of murder under the common law has not changed very much. Common law defines murder as death by poison, lying in wait, imprisonment, starvation, willfull, deliberate, and premeditation killing. A homicide occurring during arson, rape, robbery, or kidnapping is also included under murder. First degree murder is defined as specific intent to kill, second degree is general intent to kill. Punishments for murder were life in prison without parole, and the death penalty; only if convicted of first degree murder. Second degree murder is loosely defined as all murders without premeditation or deliberation. Second degree murder held a punishment of life in prison, or a set term of years. This is a Class B2 felony.Modern Statute of MurderNorth Carolina murder law is unique in that it is not defined by statute, but by common law. There have been additions to the common law, this shapes the current definition and punishments of first and second degree murder. Murder in North Carolina is still defined as murder as death by poison, lying in wait, imprisonment, starvation, willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing. Homicides occurring during an arson, rape, robbery, or kidnapping is also defined in North Carolina as murder. The punishments set forth by the common law are still in effect today. One of the biggest submissions has been the state recognizing attempted murder as actual murder. If the indictment supports the submission of first degree murder, the defendant is charged as such. Attempted murder can also be tried as second degree murder, or a Class B felony. (State v. Jones, 2004) North Carolina has also remained strict on attempted murder by not requiring the ability to carry out the act. This means that someone just has to demonstrate the desire or will to carry out the act. If caught, this person can be tried with second degree murder or a Class B felony.An example of how strictly the state adheres to the common law of North Carolina is State v. Jones. The defendant got into a confrontation with a co-worker, went to his vehicle and returned with a gun. He shot at the co-worker, injuring him in the shoulder and hip. He was indicted of second degree common law...

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