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1.   Identify and make specific and general comments of the four criminal law elements of self-defense.  Use examples as necessary concerning the four elements. Are there any exceptions to any of these elements regarding self-defense, if so, explain.  

The 4 elements are:

Unprovoked attack-The defender didn’t start or provoke the attack

Necessity-Defenders can use deadly force only if they reasonably believe its necessary

Proportionality-Defender can use deadly force only if the use of the nondeadly force isn’t enough to repel the attack

Reasonable Belief-The defender has to reasonably believe that it’s necessary to use deadly force to repel the imminent deadly attack


2.    Define and discuss the four major “tests of insanity.”  Which one do you think is best?  Explain your position on the one in which you select. What percentage of cases that are adjudicated in state courts do defendants use the insanity defense.


  • The Mnaghten Rule (Right Wrong Test)-Defendant either did not understand what he or she did, or failed to distinguish right from wrong, because of a “disease of mind.”
  • The Irresistable Impulse test- As a result of a mental disease, defendant was unable to control his impulses, which led to a criminal act.
  • Product test (Durham Test) – Regardless of clinical diagnosis, defendant’s “mental defect” resulted in a criminal act.
  • The “Model Penal Code” Test (Substantial Capacity test) – Because of a diagnosed mental defect, defendant either failed to understand the criminality of his acts, or was unable to act within the confines of the law.

3.    The “excuse of age” dates back to common law regarding children that comment criminal offenses.  Comment on the three age groups for determining childrens’ capacity to commit crime and explain the “judicial waiver” process for transferring children to adult criminal courts where they can be tried as adults.

3 ages are: Under 7 (children had no criminal capacity, Ages 7-14 (children were presumed to have no criminal capacity, but the presumption can be overcome, Over 14 (Children had the same capacity as adults)

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