CJ 101 Unit 2 Assignment: Zodiac Killer Matrix

Unit 2 Assignment: Zodiac Killer Matrix

Key Term Hint Question Insert answers below.
Actus reus The first general feature of crime is that there has to be an act in violation of the law. What act was committed in violation of the law? Murder.
Mens rea A guilty mind is the second general feature that has to be established and is probably the most complex because it involves subjective evaluation of the mind. Should the Zodiac be held to blame for this crime? Did the Zodiac intend the consequences of his or her actions? Yes, the Zodiac should be held to blame for this crime. He had the mental capacity to commit the crime. The Zodiac shows the possibility of premeditation.
Concurrence The third element is the concurrence of the act and the intent. Were the Zodiac’s actions linked with the intent? The Zodiac killer’s actions such as confirming the results of his crime demonstrate that it was his intent to cause death.
Harm The harm in this case, the death of another human being, is easily identified. What is the harm caused by the Zodiac killer? The taking of a human life.
Causation There has to be a link between the act and the harm. What is the link between the act and the harm? The planning, and the overt act of committing the crime.
Legality There has to be a law on the books to punish someone for his or her behavior. What law is on the books that the Zodiac would be punished for? First degree murder
Punishment Not only must there be a law on the books, but that law must provide a punishment for the crime. Statutory punishments for murder are among the severest punishments available to judges. What is the punishment for murder in California? Every person guilty of murder in the first degree shall be punished by death, imprisonment in the state prison for life without the possibility of parole, or imprisonment in the state prison for a term of 25 years to life.
Necessary attendant circumstances This element refers to the facts surrounding the incident. Even if each of the statutory elements can be established, a defendant has the opportunity to raise defenses that could excuse his or her actions. What would the Zodiac argue regarding a defense? The Zodiac killer could argue that he or she did not have the mental capacity to be held responsible for the crime in question.