Criminal Justice Paper

Cultural Defenses


1. Define the following three italicized terms and then explain how mens rea and actus reus can be both related to and separate from the corpus delicti.

2. Describe cultural defense. Do you think cultural defenses should be available? If so, under what circumstances should they be used? If not, why not?

3. Research pharmacist Jerome Ersland’s murder case. Conduct online research to learn more about the case. Then write a short description of 250-300 words of the case and the verdict. Then include what you would have decided in this case if you were a jury member.

4. Use the internet to locate websites containing state criminal codes. Choose the state you live in and locate the statutes pertaining to the FBI’s eight major crimes. (Remember that the terminology may be different. Whereas the FBI uses the term rape, for example, the state you’ve selected may use sexual assault.) After studying the statutes, describe the corpus delicti of each major offense (list the elements of each offense that a prosecutor must prove in court to obtain a conviction). Now choose a second state, preferably from a different geographic region of the country. Again, list the elements of each major offense. Compare the way in which those elements are described with the terminology used by the first state you chose. What differences, if any, exist? Submit your findings.

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