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Discussion of Classification of Crimes

Conducting legal analysis is of high practical value, as it allows for a deeper understanding of the nature of crime and a better understanding of the science of criminology. In this assignment, the purpose of the work was to examine the proposed scenario to identify all of the criminal acts committed by the three gang members. Thus, a careful reading identified at least five acts for which the offenders should be prosecuted according to Missouri jurisdiction. The essay consistently discusses these offenses in order of priority so that the most serious are analyzed first.

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It is paramount to clarify precisely what is the subject of this legal analysis. This scenario discusses the case of three gang members (Joe, Larry, and Bob) who intended to shoot two enemy gang members standing nearby. The men were traveling in a stolen car, with one of them, Bob, having been previously released from prison under parole rules. For this reason, Bob refused to participate in the shooting and tentatively left the car before Joe fired two shots. One of the rival gang members was killed, and the other was seriously wounded in the leg.

It is not difficult to see that the above case has the complexity of the offenses, so a comprehensive legal analysis is required. Such a fact supports claims that offenders often commit multiple offenses in a single act (Ryberg et al., 2018). This is not surprising when one considers the need for transportation, weapons, and motive to commit murder or harm. While there is no question of their absolute illegality with murder and carjacking, carrying a gun is worth discussing separately. Under state law, a firearm may be freely carried if it is (i) unobtainable, (ii) transported in disassembled condition, (iii) or unloaded, and ammunition is not available (Guns In Public, 2021). Consequently, the mere fact of carrying a gun freely in Joe’s case is already a misdemeanor. Thus, the discussion of the crimes committed by all three men requires more attention in light of the plurality of offenses.

The order of seriousness dictates the need for a consistent discussion of the men’s criminal acts. Therefore, the most crucial offender in this short story is Joe, who committed the murder. It is appropriate for Joe to establish the following order of the seriousness of the crimes committed, each of which was committed within the mens rea: murder, grievous bodily harm, carrying a firearm, and carjacking. Murder is a direct crime against the person, for which, under state law, Joe faces either life imprisonment or the death penalty (Murder and homicide, n.d.). Causing injury to a second party is punishable by up to one year in custody and/or a $1,000 fine (Misdemeanor assault, n.d.). Free carrying is also prohibited and must be punished because, in Joe’s case, he did not meet any of the three pre-determined criteria. This offense is a Class D felony and is sanctioned with up to four years in custody and a fine of up to $5,000 (Ben, n.d.). Car theft, in Joe’s case, would be punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and/or imprisonment of up to seven years (McClain, 2020). Thus, in Joe’s case, the court should look at the pool of offenses comprehensively and make a related decision.

Larry should be called the second most serious offender because he did not recant the crime. Thus, Larry’s priority order of offenses can be labeled as: aiding and abetting murder, grand theft auto, and speeding. Aiding murder (actus reus/mens rea) should be considered felony murder. Such an offense entails the offender’s incarceration for 10 to 30 years (Keegan, 2019). The theft of a car (actus reus) is punishable in the same way as in Joe’s case since it is unknown who initiated the act and committed the theft. Against the background of these two offenses, speeding (actus reus) does not seem serious, but it is still a violation of Missouri law. Thus, a driver faces a $1,000 fine and/or up to six months in jail for speeding (McCurley, 2020). Again, the court should consider Larry’s case in its overall context, which means that the penalties for the offenses should add up.

Finally, Bob should have less responsibility, although the rules of his parole should be taken into account. Parole refers to an offender’s conditional release associated with the achievement of his goals or repeated demonstration of positive social behavior, whereby he may be conditionally released until the end of his actual sentence (Kaeble & Alper, 2020). At this point, Bob is prohibited from committing any offenses, or the sanction could result in an increased prison sentence. In the man’s case, the priority order of offenses only includes the carjacking because Bob refused to participate in the murder. The penalties for car theft (actus reus) are the same as they were in Larry and Joe’s case. However, the court will have to find out Bob’s responsibility in assisting in the murder because he did not go to the police as required by law, which means that this act can be viewed as inaction under mens rea (Smith, 2018). In all likelihood, he could be charged with complicity in a severe category of crime, and thus his liability would be increased.

In conclusion, the unconditional guilt of each of the participants in the scenario should be emphasized. However, although each of the men committed an actus reus and mens rea, liability for the offenses must be differentiated according to the degree of participation. For Joe, the most severe penalties are required, while Bob is less culpable for the incident. The court must consider all aspects of the plural offense to impose a just sentence.

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References

Ben. (n.d.). Unlawful use of a weapon. SL.

Guns In Public. (2021). Guns in vehicles in Missouri. GLC.

Kaeble, D., & Alper, M. (2020). Probation and parole in the United States, 2017–2018 [PDF document].

Keegan, H. (2019). How you can be convicted of murder in Missouri without killing anyone. Springfield NL.

McClain, K. (2020). Auto theft laws in Missouri. CDL.

McCurley, J. (2020). Missouri’s speeding laws and penalties. DL NOLO.

Misdemeanor assault in Missouri. (n.d.) CDL.

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Murder and homicide information. (n.d.). KornerLaw.

Ryberg, J., Roberts, J. V., & De Keijser, J. W. (2018). Sentencing multiple crimes. Oxford University Press.

Smith, G. N. (2018). In Missouri, what happens if i violate my parole or probation? The Law Office.

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