Questions in Criminal Law

Questions in Criminal Law

  1. Explain the differences between international terrorism and domestic terrorism. Describe an example of each.

International terrorism and domestic terrorism differ both in quality and effect. According toMartin(2012) a criminal act is considered domestic terrorism when it reflects several characteristics. These, the author identified as: the incident must be confined to an internal location; the terrorist act must have targeted a domestic symbol of nationhood; and the terroristic effects of the act-both political and psychological- are domestic to the country’s boundaries.For a terrorism act to be considered domestic terrorism, it must have no foreign direction, and is carried out by individuals who fit the mainstream citizen category. According toLevin, Eubank, & Weinberg(2006), Domestic terrorism is an internal affair confined to a single country in terms of the origins of the perpetrators as well as the target of terrorism.On the other hand, Martin(2012) states that for a crime to be regarded as international terrorism, the violent acts must reflect an international element, must target an international symbol, and must be in violation of international norms. That is, international terrorism involves individuals whose terrorism activities are based in foreign countries, are overseen by foreign governments or groups based outside a target country, and its operations transcend national boundaries(Bennett, 2007). According toSmith(2007)international terrorism creates a situation in which more than one government has an interest since it involves the government, citizen, or territory of more than one state.

The attack on the World Trade Center in 2001 is an example of an act of international terrorism. It was planned by the Al Qaida terrorist group which is an international network of terrorists and foreign terrorist cells who used transnational resources to position operatives in the US. The target, the World Trade Center, was an important symbol of power and international trade, and the target victims being citizens from various countries reflects involvement of many countries.An example of domestic terrorism would be the 2010 suicide attack on an IRS building in Texas. In the incident, a plane was flown into the Echelon Office Complex that hosts IRS offices. It was carried out by a mainstream citizen, Joseph Stack, out of contempt for the IRS, health insurance companies and bank bailouts.

  1. Please explain the criminal act element required for larceny and the criminal act element required for larceny by trick. Is there a difference between the elements required and why? Compare and contrast the elements for the two crimes.

Larceny is the wrongful seizing or stealing of another person’s property with the intention of converting it into one’s own use and keeping it permanently. Seven elements characterize larceny under common law. These are: A trespassory; taking; and asportation (carrying away); of the personal property; of another; with the intent; to permanently deprive the owner possession(Brody & Acker, 2011).The actus rues of larceny is the stealing and asportationof another person’s property of another. The men’s rea is the intention to fleece the owner of possession permanently.

Larceny by trick is one of the ways in which larceny may be committed, not a separate crime. According toMcCord, McCord, & Bailey(2011)larceny by trick involves taking of custody of another person’s property but not title to property using written or spoken misrepresentation of fact (trick) or false promises to achieve temporary custody in order to remove the property from the owner. The crime is completed when the thief takes the property under unauthorized control by selling it or keeping it for the thief’s own use. The essential elements to the crime of larceny by trick are knowingly making a false representation, about a material fact, generally pecuniary in nature, with intent,that the victim relies on it to their detriment(Angus, 2012).

There is a difference between the elements required for each crime albeit one. For a crime to be considered larceny by trick, the change in possession of property between the owner and offender must be through some misrepresentation either by fraud or deceit. On the contrary, In larceny, the change in possession of property involves stealing.



Elizabeth Angus, The Professional Paralegal Workbook (2012).

Brian Bennett, Understanding, Assessing, and Responding to Terrorism: Protecting Critical Infrastructure and Personnel (2007).

David Brody & James R Acker, Criminal Law (2011).

Jack Levin, William Lee Eubank & Leonard Weinberg, Domestic Terrorism (2006).

Gus Martin, Understanding Terrorism: Challenges, Perspectives, and Issues (2012).

James W McCord, Sandra L McCord & Suzanne Bailey, Criminal Law and Procedure for the Paralegal (2011).

Paul J Smith, The Terrorism Ahead: Confronting Transnational Violence in the Twenty-First Century (2007).


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