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Defenses and Excuses and Their Effects on Victims

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Defenses and Excuses and Their Effects on Victims

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There are a number of defense and excuses which can be used by the criminal victim and the defendant in the criminal justice system. Some of them include Cultural defenses and excuses, Forensic criminal defense and excuse, psychosocial approaches, private defense and criminal excuse, Federal Common Law Defenses of Duress and Necessity, membership of minority culture defense and many more. The following shows how these defenses and excuses affect the victims.

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Cultural defenses and excuse: This affects the criminal victim based on the statement which says that ignorance of the law is no excuse which perhaps is the most famous maxim of criminal law. The accused in this case cannot ague that he or she committed the crime because he/she is not aware of the law that governs the crime already committed. Therefore the criminal victim may easily find himself or herself guilty of the criminal act within the context of criminal justice system (Sams, 1986).

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Forensic criminal defense and excuse: In this case, the digital or computer method of investigation is used to detect criminal offence. The computer system in this case can be used to capture all events that took place before and after the crime as well as the actions and behavior of the victim in the course of those events. An example is the capturing of the victim’s fingerprints used to touch particular devices during criminal act. This kind of investigation is carried out by specialists whose final results of investigation can be used in the criminal court to execute judgment on the criminal victim (Young, 2015).

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Psychosocial approaches: In this case, the survey is carried out on the general population by asking questions to the representative samples of the population concerning the criminal act of the particular victim. The response gotten from the vast majority of the respondents is used to judge the victim. If the vast majority response favors the victim, then the victim remains innocent as far as the judgment is concerned, otherwise the criminal victim is declared guilty through the judgment (Jones, 2013).

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Private defense and criminal excuse: Here, the victim defends himself or herself, explaining why he/she carried out the action that resulted in the purported crime. If the victim manages to convince the judge as per the prevailing criminal system of justice, then he/she is declared innocent of the crime. The victim will on the other hand judge as guilty if the argument made in the process of self defense weak or not convincing at all, signifying that the victim actually committed the crime (Allen, 2013).

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Federal Common Law Defenses of Duress and Necessity: In this type of defense, the defendant may argue out why he/she committed the crime in order to evade or avoid a greater evil that can come as a result of natural forces. The defendant may also argue that he/she committed the crime with an aim of avoiding the physical threats from another third party. In overall, this can be viewed as the wrongful act carried out by the defendant while still remaining innocent of the act. Therefore, if indeed the defendant acted wrongly in order to avoid bigger problem from taking place, then the victim in this situation is not guilty and thus can be judged as innocent as far as the criminal justice system is concerned, otherwise the victim is declared guilty (Bedi, 2011).

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Membership of minority culture defense and excuse: A good example of the minority case is the deaf people in the criminal justice system or other disabled persons due to subtle damage of the brain. Several people with mental problems are known to have challenges which make some of them commit serious criminal act which in real sense they are not aware themselves. Since the criminal justice system is not always well prepared to accommodate such individuals, the membership of minority culture can be used as a mechanism to defend them by the defending lawyers. The hearing official also argues from the legal perspective in the process of this defense with an aim of ensuring that mentally disabled persons are not just left free to commit crimes despite their status. Nevertheless, if the lawyer representing the membership of minority wins the argument, then the disabled victim is declared innocent, else guilty (O’Rourke, Glickman, & Austen, 2013).

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Explanation and justification on whether successful use of excuses or defenses could prevent an accused from going to prison

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The Federal Common Law Defenses of Duress and Necessity for instance can be used successfully to avoid the accused from going to prison. It basically involves committing a lesser magnitude of crime with an aim of preventing great disaster from taking place. If the defendant proves that the crime committed could truly avoid the greater disaster from natural forces (Necessity) then the accused in this case free from prison. The crime made in this case is said to be necessary because it is the only solution to the problem that could have led to great loss.

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In addition, if the defendant proves that there was indeed greater possibility of physical threat from the third party that led to committing of the crime a the last resort, then the victim will also be free from prison (Duress). Physical threat is also a bigger crime that should be avoided by all means. For that reason, in case a victim is able to commit a small magnitude of crime to prevent the physical threat, then the victim is innocent and thus may not go to prison if the evidence is clearly proved in the criminal court of law.

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How excuses or defenses affect victims in a particular situation

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The Cultural defenses and excuse for example affects the victim in lets say, cigarette smoker who decides to smoke in public, simply because he/she is ignorant on the law that governs cigarette smoking. In such a situation, the victim will be guilty since ignorance has no defense. Forensic criminal defense and excuse can affect the criminal victim who may happen to steel a computer or digital information and the forensic investigation finds him guilty via fingerprints. For the case of psychosocial approaches, if for example, a population sample survey is carried out to find out who might be the likely notorious thief who is fond of stealing chickens in the village and in case the responses from the majority of the sample says it is Mr. X, then the victim X is likely to be judged guilty of the criminal offence.

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In the Private defense and criminal excuse, if the defendant, Y is able to convince the court hearing official of say, being innocent of killing an individual, then he/she is innocent in the judgment outcome. In the case of Federal Common Law Defenses of Duress and Necessity, if the defendant is for instance able to justify that he/ she opted to commit the criminal act of killing a pedestrian while driving for the sake of saving the lives of many passenger, then the defendant a the driver is considered innocent since he/she found it necessary to avoid the biggest tragedy of killing many passengers by killing only a single pedestrian walking o the road. In the membership of minority culture defense and excuse, if the representative lawyer of the membership minority proves or demonstrates why the blind person stepped on the flowerbed of the city while walking, then the blind man is considered innocent before the court of law of the criminal justice system.

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References

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Allen, M. (2013). Textbook on criminal law. Oxford University Press.

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Bedi, M. (2011). Excusing Behavior: Reclassifying the Federal Common Law Defenses of Duress and Necessity Relying on the Victim’s Role. The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 575-632.

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Jones, D. W. (2013). Understanding criminal behaviour: Psychosocial approaches to criminality. Routledge.

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O’Rourke, S., Glickman, N. S., & Austen, S. (2013). 9 Deaf People in the Criminal Justice System. Deaf Mental Health Care, 323.

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Sams, J. P. (1986). Availability of the Cultural Defense as an Excuse for Criminal Behavior, The. Ga. J. Int’l & Comp. L., 16, 335.

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Young, G. (2015). Causality in criminal forensic and in civil disability cases: legal and psychological comparison. International journal of law and psychiatry.

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