Types of Crime and Justification
Many crimes have changed over time, either to broaden the scope of prohibited behavior or in reaction to novel developments through the years. Looking specifically at two crimes, burglary and rape, discuss how the definitions and elements of the crimes have changed as the crimes have developed from common law crimes to statutory crimes. Using the Internet, find information on the Pennsylvania law. Refer to this law for the statutory definitions of burglary (18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3502) and rape (18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3121). On the basis of your analysis about crimes, share your response to the following question:
Do you feel that definitions of crimes should be changed to include new prohibited behaviors, or do you think new crimes should be created?
Affirmative defenses fall under the categories of justification and excuse. Choose one justification defense (self-defense, duress, etc.) and one excuse defense (infancy, mistake of fact, intoxication, etc.).
Explain how these defenses can be used at trial. Should these types of defenses relieve a person of his or her criminal responsibility?