Crimes against Property
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This case is about a man named Henry Kennedy. The court convicted Kennedy for first degree of arson after he failed to prevent the fire incident that destroyed his log cabin as an accident. In his appeal, Henry claims that it was a question of error and the courts were unfair to charge him with arson because the evidence against him was insufficient. He also challenges the court through an alibi that it was an accident. He further claims that he was away from his home when the fire consumed his cabin. The major issue in the court was defendant’s action of seeking defense for alibi and the belief that the court was mistaken in its decisions. However, there is no error in the courts decisions because the available evidence is able to convict the defendant.
The evidence at the court indicated that Kennedy started the fire when he poured kerosene accelerant on a hot plate. Other evidence was that Kennedy’s business was deteriorating and Kennedy had taken insurance five days before the fire broke out. Therefore, the court’s decision dismissed Kennedy’s excuse that the fire was an accident because Kennedy poured kerosene accelerant on the hot plate, which started the fire. He was responsible for starting the fire and the possible reason was because his business was not doing well and he wanted compensation from an insurance company to stabilize it. The courts also dismissed his defense alibi and claim that juries were erroneous in their judgment. The defendant counsel raised opposing opinion and tried to defend an alibi through telling the jury that he was not at the scene of crime when the incident occurred. However, the prosecution is able to prove that the incident was not an accident, the defendant was solely responsible through leaving hot plate on, which had kerosene accelerant, and some of his clothes were not in the cupboard when the fire broke up. Therefore, the defendant knew that the fire was to break up, which makes it less of an accident. Moreover, he did this because he was expecting to have profit from it. He intentionally plans fire and disappears for some time. He expects to benefit from the fire but unfortunately his request is turned down.
There was no error in this case because the prosecutor provided very strong evidence. Additionally, the jury considers any evidence with alibi nature as the possibility that the accused was involved in the crime (O’Hara & O’Hara, 2003). It is only after reasonable defense of an alibi that the accused is set free of the charges. However, the accused fails to defend his alibi and the evidence from the prosecution side is too strong. The court convicted the defendant for arson because he failed to defend his alibi and dismissed his argument that the jury was erroneous. Moreover, the prosecutor provided very strong evidence proving that he was involved in the incident of burning his log cabin for personal benefits.
The definitions of burglary, breaking and entering and home invasion are almost the same and all these activities may include entry into premises. However, Cromwell & Olson (2003) argue that during burglary, the premises are always vacant and inhabitable though the criminal intend to commit larceny, while home invasion is a criminal act where the suspect uses force to get into an occupied home with an intention of committing misdemeanor. Moreover, during home invasion, the criminal may be armed thus there is a possibility of harming the victims or killing them. Thus, home invasion compromises with the security of inhabitants of a given place. All these crimes attract jail sentences (Cromwell & Olson, 2003).
Initially, the laws defined larceny as the act of taking of another person’s property or developing interest in another people’s property. Larceny also involves taking of other people’s property without their consent and with the use of force. Carper, D & McKinsey, J. (2011) argue that this interest further made people to use crude means to acquire other people’s property. Today different states constitutions across America have extended the definition of the term larceny and accommodate other vices like theft by court officers, purse theft at lending and fraud. Theft by court officer is a scenario where court officers charge their client more than what is required by the law. Moreover, the court officers may take advantage of client’s naivety and trick them of their property or take lump sum of money from these individuals. The clients might be unaware in the beginning but they will discover when they have knowledge about the case.
The other form of larceny is theft at lending. This mostly occurs in money lending agencies where those in charge take advantage of their clients/customers. They may opt to overcharge their clients on the interest rates. They may ask for more than what they may have signed with the client or charge their clients extra cash, which might not exist (Cromwell & Olson, 2003). Fraud is an intentional presentation of falsified information to unsuspecting persons for personal benefits by trusted perpetrators, which always make the victims get financial losses, for example, presentation of falsified expenses to employers or giving of false sales information to potential buyers (Carper & McKinsey, 2011). Lawyers usually have hard time in justifying or prove cases of fraud because the evidence provided by prosecutors is usually unclear. The court expects the complainant to prove that the accused had prior knowledge when committing the crime, which is always a difficult task. Moreover, there is a variety of laws from state to state regarding fraud.
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