Inchoate Offenses – Research Paper Example

INCHOATE CRIMES In order for someone to be convicted, it is necessary to prove an actus reus and a mens rea: an act and the intention to commit the act. That is not so hard with most crimes. If you rob a bank, you clearly commit the act of entering the bank with a gun and saying, “Give me all your money.” And you intend to rob the bank. However, inchoate crimes are somewhat different. These are crimes that have not yet been committed, but have only been planned. There is not actual act, just a plan.
The reason why the crime of conspiracy, for example, exists is so that the government can arrest people who are about to commit a crime. The truth is that the system would not work very well if the police knew that criminals were about to rob a bank, but had to wait until they had completed the crime (and perhaps injured people) before they could make an arrest. Crimes against conspiring to commit a crime help solve this issue. There is liability for putting in place a serious plan to commit a crime. The law will not recognize half-baked schemes. If you pass by a bank and joke to your friend, “I wish I was rich. Maybe I should rob a bank and become a millionaire!” it is highly unlikely you will be arrested. But if you have guns and the blueprints for the bank and have been casing it out, you are likely to be charged with conspiracy. However, it is clearly not fair to punish someone for conspiracy as much as someone who has actually committed a crime. They should be punished, just not as much.