Personal Crimes and Homicidal Crimes
There are different kinds of personal crimes. These are assault, battery, mayhem, battery, rape and statutory rape. There are also different kinds of homicide such as first degree and second degree murder, manslaughter, felony murder and suicide. This paper is a discussion of personal and homicidal crimes and the relationship between them. According to the Federal Bureau of Statistics in 2009, in every 100,000 people, 500 crimes that occur in their lives are personal crimes (FBI, 2009). Of the crime statistics, 60% are usually assaults, 30% are robberies while rapes and murders stood at 6.4% and 1.2% respectively.
Assault is defined legally as the unlawful attempt or threat to harm someone by inflicting injury upon them. Battery is closely associated with the personal crime of assault. Battery occurs when one is physically against somebody. Battery progresses from assault. In an assault, the person is scared by the individual who is threatening to attack him or her. Battery has happened when the perpetrator has acted on his threats. Mayhem is a serious form of battery; in fact it is referred to as aggravated battery. Mayhem is defined as battery that causes the removal, disfigurement or impairs the use of an individual’s body organs (Schmalleger, Hall & Dolatowski. 2010. 224). A scenario where mayhem has occurred is where an attacker throws acid on the victim’s face and the face becomes disfigured and in other instances even the eyes are impaired. These three personal crimes are closely linked therefore it is not difficult to hear people using them incorrectly. They may report they were assaulted when in fact there was a battery or mayhem and vice versa.
Rape and Statutory rape refers to incidents where someone is coerced into having sexual contact or intercourse. Statutory rape occurs when someone has sexual contact with an individual who is less than eighteen years old. The difference between rape and statutory rape is that statutory rape may be consensual while rape is never consensual. There are rape incidences that are accompanied by assault, battery or mayhem. The attacker may threaten the victim that he will kill her or him if they refuse to comply with his demands. In certain cases, the victim may be injured or beaten up to the extent his or her body parts are impaired. In such an incident, the crime that has been committed is rape or statutory rape accompanied by battery or mayhem.
There is another category of crime known as homicide. A homicide occurs when an individual takes the life. It may be an illegal or legal act. There are different kinds of homicide. There is the first degree murder where a person must have premeditated on the killing. There are instances where if in the event of a crime, someone is murdered; it may be termed as first degree murder. This occurs in some States of America. There is second-degree murder which differs from first degree murder in that there is no premeditation from the perpetrator. It is not a cold-blooded murder. A person could have planned to attack someone and it ended up that the victim lost his life due to the intense injuries. It may be intentional or non-intentional. An example of an intentional instance is where a person loses his life due to the severe injuries.
Second-degree murder may be non-intentional where there is negligence or recklessness. If an individual planned to shoot someone but unfortunately another is killed, this would be non-intentional murder.
In manslaughter, the crime usually occurs in the heat of the moment. There must be some provocation. An example would be where a man finds his wife with another man in a compromising situation. The afflicted husband may kill his wife or both of them out of intense passion. This will fall in the category of voluntary manslaughter. Involuntary manslaughter occurs due to recklessness or negligence. If a person is negligent, his behaviour may expose another person to grave danger and lead to his or her death.
Another category of a homicide is a felony murder. This murder occurs in the event of another crime. There was no intention of killing anyone by the perpetrator but someone got killed in the process. An example of a felony murder would be where an arsonist set fire to a home and someone who was in the house got killed. He was not aware there would be someone in the house at that time. The last crime that falls under the homicide category is suicide. In some States in America, it is illegal for an individual to take his life. It is however not an easy crime to persecute since if one is successful, he or she is dead and cannot be charged for his crime. If it is an unsuccessful attempt, it is still difficult to persecute the individual since the person is usually suffering from mental conditions such as severe depression. Most of the time, these people are
taken for counselling where a personal therapist is attached to them to improve their condition.
The Association between personal and homicidal crimes
There is a very close relationship between personal crimes and homicides. When a personal crime escalates it ends being accompanied by a homicide. In the event of a rape, the victim may end up being killed. There are also instances where the victims in one scenario become the perpetrators in the next scenario. Personal crimes such as assault and battery make the victims experience such strong emotions as fear and rage. There are those victims who will go to the authorities to report the crime however they are those who will take revenge. They will sit down and scheme of how they will get back at their attacker. It is at this point where the victim may act in a way that the attacker ends up dead. The victim has taken the life of his attacker either intentionally or non-intentionally.
Personal and homicide like other forms of crime can be avoided. They occur when an individual gets an opportunity to attack another individual. Perpetrators can be termed as opportunists (Bailey, 2006). There are groups formed to assist victims of personal crime deal with their intense emotions. This helps the victims not to retaliate. It prevents further crimes from occurring. Women have also arisen and started taking classes on karate and other self-help arts in order to be to withstand their attackers as they are a vulnerable section of the society. These crimes occur at a very high level in the society and certain steps have to be taken.
Bailey, E. (2006). Personal Crimes. Retrieved from http://www.cityofindependence.org
Federal Bureau of Investigations. (2009). Violent Crime - Crime in the
United States 2008. Retrieved from http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2008/offenses/violent_crime/index.html
Schmelleger, F., & Hall, D. E. (2010). Criminal Law Today (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Prentice Hall.