Essay: Corpus Delicti

21 Aug No Comments

Corpus Delicti

Columbia Southern University


There are many things that can change a decision that can be made during a trial. Corpus delicti is one of those rules that can change the outcome of someone getting life in prison or not getting a couple years and getting out on parole. The thin line that keeps people from going to jai is very unclear and can be deciphered many different ways. The only way to really determine if corpus delicti is being used correctly or if it applies to thoroughly look at the evidence to determine if it analysis is done correctly to see if corpus delicti can be used under these circumstances.

Corpus delicti is the evidence that says that shows the person committed a crime (Schmalleger, F. & Hall D.E, 2017). If someone is being accused of a robbery there need to be some evidence showing that he took the item or items in question without the consent of the victim or they took it by force. If someone has evidence by video surveillance by an establishment or even someone recording it on their phone and showed the defendant in question committed the crime would be enough proof to show that he committed the robbery. If the items that were said to be stolen were on the person in question that makes it theft and falls under corpus delicti.

The reason why the court said that the evidence does show that Hoke’s was taken by force. The evidence that they was circumstantial evidence. They did not have any evidence showing that they defendant in question took the purse from Hokes. Even though there were signs that she had been robbed there was evidence that said that the defendant was the one that injured Hoke’s. The question was did they find it on the ground or somewhere that was not in Hoke’s possession. Hoke’s might have been to variously places and just left her purse somewhere. There is no clear cut answer as to how the defendants has her purse. The evidence does show that she was robbed because the defendant had Hoke’s purse in their possession and used her credit card to buy something.

I absolutely agree that the girls had taken a substantial step in trying to commit a crime. They actually brought the rat poison to school. If they had just talked about it and didn’t take the step bring the chemicals that could potentially kill someone then that would be another story. They had a clear plan and took steps to execute that plan. The test that Tennessee took to determine whether or not a substantial step was taken was them using the Model Penal Code as their guidelines. I think my opinion would be the same if the other 2 tests were used because the still followed through with what they said and if the teachers had not intervened then they probably would have killed that lady. I think that it modifies the enactment to a certain degree. Laws were put in place but there are different cases that need to be taken into consideration and that is why altering laws to make them be understood in every situation is the best thing law makers can do. I do not think that the courts are using their own judgement. In the notes of for purposes of criminal attempt, what constitutes a “substantial step” toward commission of the targeted offense Judge Holmes, “stated that preparation is not an attempt but some preparation can turn out to be an attempt. It is a matter of the degree” (Schmalleger, F. , Hall, D. E., & Dolatowski, J.J., 2010). I believe what he is trying to say is that when someone takes a step to commit a crime and they are close to committing the crime but are stopped by someone the preparation turns into an attempt. Without the interference of someone the crime would have been completed.

The corporation said that a corporation can not run someone over it has to be done by a person and that should make them not responsible for the accident. How could a corporation serve prison time if the company is not a person was their argument. The court looked concluded that the victim is a person but whatever committed the crime not have to be a person at all and the statute states that. If a corporation is considered a person, it can be subject to fines.


Schmalleger, F. & Hall, D. E. (2017). Criminal Law Today. (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson

Schmalleger F., Hall, D. E. , & John J. Dolatowski, J. J. (2010). Criminal Law Today. (4th ed.) Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson. Retrieved from

Schmalleger F., Hall, D. E. , & John J. Dolatowski, J. J. (2010). Criminal Law Today. (4th ed.) Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson. Retrieved from

Schmalleger F., Hall, D. E. , & John J. Dolatowski, J. J. (2010). Criminal Law Today. (4th ed.) Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson. Retrieved from

Supreme Court of Indiana (2017). Johnson v. State, Leagle. Retrieved from

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