Attempted Murder Case Essay
While murder is regarded as one of the most serious crimes in the United States society, proving that someone attempted to commit it may prove somewhat difficult (Samaha, 2013). Preparation alone, namely thinking or talking about the crime, is not a sufficient enough reason to charge someone with attempted murder (Theoharis, n.d., par. 4). A prosecutor has to demonstrate that the person took direct action toward killing the victim: for instance, that they were stalking or luring them (Theoharis, n.d., par. 5-6). Moreover, a prosecutor also needs to prove that the accused had the intent to act, or go through with the plan, and the intent to kill, and not merely maim or disfigure the victim (Theoharis, n.d., par. 11-12).
While Sally is guilty of attempted murder because she solicited someones help to kill her husband, Mr. Assin is not guilty in the present case (Theoharis, n.d., par. 9). Firstly, he did not take any direct steps toward committing the crime as this was his initial contact with Sally. Moreover, even his meeting with Sally cannot be used as evidence that he wanted to be hired for the task since Sally arranged the meeting with another person with a police officer. Even if the prosecutor claims that Mr. Assin took the money because Sally asked him to kill her husband, there is no evidence indicating that he was not just going to keep the money and take no further action.
At the same time, Mr. Assins crime is not likely to be classified as a robbery because the money transaction that took place was voluntary and he did not use force or threat thereof to coerce Sally to put the money on the table. Violence is a necessary condition for a crime to qualify as robbery (Mince-Didier, n.d.). If Mr. Assin was guilty of accepting to kill someone for money, his crime would be considered a violent crime, as contract killing is treated as a first-degree murder (England, n.d.). If he accepted the money to kill Sallys husband but did not go through with his part of the deal, Sally could not raise any charges against him as contracts to kill a person are void (Samaha, 2013).
The distinction between violent and property crimes is as follows. Violent crimes are those offenses that result in harm to an individual, regardless of whether the violence was the end or the means to something else. An example of a violent crime is murder, or a premeditated taking of someones life (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2015b). Property crimes refer to the act of stealing someones belongings, both completed and attempted, as well as gaining unlawful entry to someones property. The latter is considered a burglary, even if theft has not occurred (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2015a).
Legally speaking, violent crimes are not necessarily more serious as property crimes (although usually they are), as particular case circumstances will determine whether the crime will be treated as a felony or misdemeanor. For instance, a simple unarmed assault may be treated as a misdemeanor while robbery usually constitutes a felony (Samaha, 2013). However, from a personal standpoint, I believe that actions intended to physically harm an individual are worse than property crimes.