All crimes have elements, which are facts that must be proven in order to obtain a conviction of the crime. The elements of a crime are set forth in criminal statutes. The reason for elements is to provide notice to all citizens of what constitutes a crime. The government cannot arbitrarily determine what conduct is criminal after the fact. The U.S. justice system requires due process (under the 5th and 14th amendments to the Constitution) which requires notice and a hearing before anyone can be convicted of a crime. Therefore, unless all elements are proven, a conviction cannot be made. An example of elements of the crime of larceny would be (1) an unlawful taking of (2) someone else’s property (3) without the consent of the owner (4) with the intent of depriving the owner of his or her property. Every element must be proven in order for the accused to be guilty of the crime. Clearly, if the owner of the property consented to the taking or if the accused did not know the property belonged to someone else, not all elements would be met.
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RE: Week 2 Discussion
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The commerce clause refers to the articles of the constitution giving Congress the power of regulating commerce with several states and foreign nations. The importance of the commerce clause is to control over foreign and interstate commerce (Frankfurter, 2018). The jurisdictional powers granted to the federal government include regulatory power over interstate commerce as well as the admiralty jurisdiction and power to coin money. It can also establish uniform bankruptcy laws, regulate weight and measures, grant copyrights and patents and also establish post roads and post offices (Frankfurter, 2018). An example of a case whose court application was based on the commerce clause includes the West Lynn Creamery Corporation vs. Healy in 1994. In this case, the Supreme Court struck down a state of Massachusetts tax on milk products. This is because the tax blocked interstate commercial activity through the discrimination of non-Massachusetts. This was effective in preventing the protectionist state policies aiming at favoring state business or citizens at the expense of the non-citizens that conduct their business within the state.
· Frankfurter, F. (2018). The Commerce Clause Under Marshall, Taney, and Waite. UNC Press Books.