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In India, the traditional religion is Hinduism, it is also one of the worlds’ oldest and most organized religions it has an approximately seven hundred and fifty followers today and has been around for over five thousand years. Hinduism, like many indigenous; believe in many deities, each deity has a different meaning, they represent the different aspect of the paths of life. Like the deities in Odinism; the gods and goddesses at in their symbolic forms. Hinduism is a polytheistic religion; there are many god within their beliefs. It believes that God exists in the soul of all humans, plants, trees, and animals. Mullatti, L. (1995).

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                               Check-Point: World Religions Report

 

 

Robert J. Nicol

 

RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD/ HUM/130

 

October 2, 2011

 

Michael Bickford

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

World Religions Report 2

 

 

In India, the traditional religion is Hinduism, it is also one of the worlds’ oldest and most organized religions it has an approximately seven hundred and fifty followers today and has been around for over five thousand years. Hinduism, like many indigenous; believe in many deities, each deity has a different meaning, they represent the different aspect of the paths of life. Like the deities in Odinism; the gods and goddesses at in their symbolic forms. Hinduism is a polytheistic religion; there are many god within their beliefs. It believes that God exists in the soul of all humans, plants, trees, and animals.  Mullatti, L. (1995).

 

In many parts of India today, like in the past many of the people of India were poverty stricken, many died from sicknesses and lack of food. Hinduism gave them hope! Hinduism is a world recognized religion, but its followers consider it more of a way of life then a religion.

 

The traditions and lore of the Hindu’s has been past down from the elders and pasted on to their young for generations as in all indigenous religions.

 

Hinduism has been around for thousands of years, Christianity has also been around for thousands of years (Waspanish, (2006).There are many differences and similarities between Hinduism and Christianity, such as Hinduism is a pantheistic religion compared to Christianity being a theistic religion. Hinduism and Christianity have many beliefs and practices. “Hinduism accepts and embraces Christianity as a valid religion as Christianity believes that they are the one

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and only true religion.” (http://www.allaboutreligion.org/comparison-christianity-and-hinduism-faq.htm)

 

Hinduism is an evolutionary religion whereas Christianity is one of revelatory. Hinduism is constantly evolving, whereas Christianity follows the scriptures of the Bible. Jesus is considered the founder of Christianity, Hinduism has not particular person that is considered as its founder.

When C.S. Lewis converted to Hinduism, he investigated the different world’s religious and narrowed his choice down to Hinduism or Christianity. Religions are like soups, he said. Some, like consomme, are thin and clear (Unitarianism, Confucianism, modern Judaism); others, like minestrone, are thick and dark (paganism, “mystery religions”). Only Hinduism and Christianity are both “thin” (philosophical) and “thick” (sacramental and mysterious). But Hinduism is really two religions: “thick” for the masses, “thin” for the sages. Only Christianity is both. (Kreeft, P, (1987)

Hinduism is more than a religion; it is a way of life that concerns itself more with spirituality and enlightenment of the essence of life. One of the most important elements of these religions is their history. The Hindu religion disputably began around 2500 years before the Common Era (B.C.E.) in India. It was geographically based along the Indus River, which was called “Hindu” by the Persians who had migrated there. They also called the land Hindustan and it’s inhabitants, Hindus. After that, the religion that followed was called Hinduism. Today, almost 800 million people practice the Hindu religion.

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There are two ways in which People follow Hinduism; one, they are born into it and two, it is their choice to follow the Hindu belief.  Hindu’s do not believe in trying to convert people to Hinduism whereas the Christians believe that it is their duty to bring people into Christianity in order to save them from damnation.

 

The Hindu’s believe in Karma which generally means; that if you do good deeds towards other then you will receive good in return. Another believe within the Hindu religion is reincarnation they believe that the body dies and is reborn over and over. As each soul is reborn the mind remains the same and the soul of each new body grows closer to divinity or God like. Hindus also believe in Moksha, which means that they can achieve freedom from the limitations of space, time, and matter through realization of the Immortal Absolute (Fisher, M. P., 2005).

 

 

Hindu’s practice meditation and different forms of yoga’s, they do this in order to obtain oneness with divinity, to become one with themselves and the cosmos. Many Hindu’s will follow a guru, such as; Paramahansa Yogananda, Muktananda and Sri Ramakrishna. A guru is a spiritual teacher or leader that assists in their devotee’s enlightenment.

 

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From the time they are born up until they die, a Hindu’s life is surrounded by the rituals of their religion. They have rituals for conception, birth, name-giving, starting education, , marriage, and death. Every event within a Hindu’s life has a ritual that is dedicated to that aspect of their life. The Hindu’s are very dedicated to the worship of their deities. So much that they look upon their images and statues as living beings. Their goal is to continually elevate the person above his or her basically animal nature. (Fisher, M. P., 2005).

 

Within the Hindu society there were five social groups, the priests were at the top level (Brahmins), under them were the nobles (kshatriyas) and then came the common man (Vaishyas) and then came the shudra, these were the laborers or handy men and the lowest person were the untouchables, these are the ones that nobody wished to be around because of their smell.

 

There are two set of scriptures that the Hindus’ follow, one is the Epics and the other is Puranas. There are two major epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata; the Ramayana is in poetic form, it is believed to be based on old ballads, myths and ancient lore.  The Ramayana depicts stories of good and evil, teaches values and the responsibility one has towards others. The Mahabharata is in the form of verses. The story teaches the importance of sons, the duties of kingship, the benefits of ascetic practice and righteous action, and the qualities of the gods.  Fisher, M. P. (2005)

 

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 The Puranas, are in poetic form like the Ramayana, the Puranas are about the myths and deeds of the three gods Vishnu, Brahma, and Shiva.

 

The following interview was conducted in order to gain insight of the Hindu religion from a person who follows and lives the Hindu Way of life.

 

I have known Mary for over five years now; I first met her when she moved next door to me here in Jensen Beach Florida. In the beginning we would sit outside and talk about different movies and/ or different things that we had done during our lives. One day I had gotten a peek into her apartment and noticed some of the strange statutes that she had, when I asked her about them, she stated that she was into the Hindu religion. We ended up dating and then moved in with each other.

When this assignment was presented I went to Mary and asked if she would be willing to allow me to interview her, about her religious believes; and these are the questions that I presented to her at that time.

 

Bobby:    How do you get into Hinduism?

 

 

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Mary:      I have been in it most of my life. My mother is into the Hindu religion and she raised me and my brothers under this philosophy

 

Bobby:    Do you believe in any god other than those of your faith?

 

Mary:      Even though I prefer to follow the Hindu faith, after living with you I have found that faith in any religion and the existence of God or gods is a matter of preference and I do believe that there are other Gods out there.

 

Bobby:    Do you think that pagan gods are any less real then the Christian god?

 

Mary:       If a person believes that their gods do exist then how can I say that they do not exist. My gods are very real to me, and your gods are real to you. Whether it is the Christian God or pagan gods, they are real to the people who believe in them.

 

Bobby:     How did you choose your guru?

 

Mary:       I followed the same guru that my mother did for years, but I never did feel any kind of a bond with his teaching, so I started reading books by other gurus until I found Paramahansa Yogananda.

 

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Bobby:     Do you think that your religion is the only true path.?

 

Mary:        There is no such thing as one true path, if there was then there would not be so many religions in the world. Look at Christianity, even a religion that believes in the same God, are divided into many different sects.

 

Bobby:      If there are some many different religions then how do you know that what you believe is truth?

 

Mary:         I may be wrong, but it what I believe and it feels right to me.

 

Bobby:      Why do you feel that you have to believe in any form of religion?

 

Mary:        It helps me to feel good about myself, and to keep my mind and soul in sync.

 

Bobby:      How can we be sure that there is actually a divine being?

 

Mary:        Just about every religion proclaims a divine being or beings, but we can never    honestly be sure that there is actually one. In the religious sense, it is the divine being that gives us hope that there is something bigger than us out there.

 

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Bobby:      Are you following the religion of your parents or the religion the dwells within your heart?

 

Mary:        My mother believes in the Hindu belief, but I follow it because it is my heart and it feels right for me

 

Bobby:     Would you be willing to study and follow another indigenous religion for one year without bias towards that belief?

 

Mary:        I know about Odinism and some aspects of the Christian religion. I would study other religions as long as I am not required to give up my Hinduic beliefs.

 

Bobby:    What are the important holidays and traditions of this religion?

 

Mary:      There are just too many to name and to describe them all, but to name a few that are important to me are; Krishna Janmashtammi, this is the day of Krishna’s birth, then; we have the Spring Festive of Holly and the Diwalli; the festival of the lights and many, many more.

 

 

Bobby;     How has religion shaped your life?

World Religions Report 10

 

 

Mary:       I do not believe that it has shaped my life as much as it has given me a more solid ground and perspective in dealing with life.

 

Bobby;   What are the challenges, if any, to practicing this particular religion?

 

Mary:     There are not any challenges to practicing Hinduism, the only challenges that I deal with is when talking to other people, they look at me like I am weird or something. Most people do not understand it, so when I try to tell them about it they usually just walk away from me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

World Religions Report 11

 

 

References

 

Comparison Christianity and Hinduism – What are the differences?

http://www.allaboutreligion.org/comparison-christianity-and-hinduism-faq.htm

 

Fisher, M. P. (2005), Living religions (6th ed.), New Jersey: Prentice Hall Inc.

Kreeft, P, (1987), “Comparing Christianity & Hinduism.” National Catholic Register

Mullatti, L. (1995). Families in India: Beliefs and realities, Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 26(1), 11; Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Waspanish, (2006), Compare and contrast Hinduism and Christainity.

http://www.writework.com/essay/compare-and-contrast-hinduism-and-christainity#36031

 

 

 

 

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I agree with this statement, because in all reality it does not matter. In week four of American National Government, we learned about a system called Electoral College. This system is a body of electors chosen in each state to elect the President and Vice President of the United States. During elections the citizens of our nation are voting to persuade the electors of this system who to vote for.

 

 

 

Voting in America

Melissa Pereira

POS/110

March 23, 2012

Scott Racek

 

 

 

I agree with this statement, because in all reality it does not matter. In week four of American National Government, we learned about a system called Electoral College. This system is a body of electors chosen in each state to elect the President and Vice President of the United States. During elections the citizens of our nation are voting to persuade the electors of this system who to vote for. Although one president may win a states popular vote, it still would not matter unless he/she won the electoral vote as well. This system completely ruins voting for the citizens of America. I ask myself “What is the point of voting, if my opinion really doesn’t matter?” This system has been around for many of many years, and I believe it is outdated. It is the only reason as to why I would say voting does not matter in American elections. Instead we should just have the electors vote, because that is basically what is happening anyways. In a way it sort of degrades America’s voice of opinions. If a president wins by popular vote, then that is who our nation would like as a president. The Electoral College system, in my opinion, has ruined voting in our country.

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Prior to the invasion of the Americas by European mercenaries, “[n]ative peoples of North America had their own culture, economic systems, societal structures, laws, and methods of enforcing good behavior.”1 In all respects, they were sovereign entities and although today we collectively term every one of them Indians or Native Americans, these native peoples had distinct tribes, with each representing its own nation and having its own culture and set of laws.

Prior to the invasion of the Americas by European mercenaries, “[n]ative peoples

of North America had their own culture, economic systems, societal structures,

laws, and methods of enforcing good behavior.”1 In all respects, they were sovereign

entities and although today we collectively term every one of them Indians

or Native Americans, these native peoples had distinct tribes, with each representing

its own nation and having its own culture and set of laws.Finally, Native

peoples have been subject to forcible “movements” and coerced into signing corrupt

treaties that have resulted in the loss of the control of their land. For

instance, in 1835, members of the Cherokee nation were presented with the

Treaty of New Echota, which purported to sign away all their land in Georgia

and also moved Cherokee tribe members west of the Mississippi into allotted

territories.9 However, not all Cherokee leaders were present at the treaty’s signing

and even the elected chief of the tribe was not there.10 Thus, many in the triberefused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the treaty or leave Georgia.11 In

response, “[i]n 1838, as the deadline for removal approached, thousands of federal

soldiers and Georgia volunteers entered the territory and forcibly relocated

the Cherokees. Americans hunted, imprisoned, raped, and murdered Native

Americans. Cherokees surviving the onslaught were forced on a 1,000-mile

march to the established Indian Territory with few provisions. Approximately

4,000 Cherokees died on this “Trail of Tears.”The following sections will explore the history of

the treatment of Native Americans by Europeans and discuss how this treatment

impacted the way the United States government viewed Native Americans. This

history provides a background for the reasons why Native Americans are as quasi-states

by the United States’ government today.{GeorgeWashington} as the Natives were not on the side of the colonists

during the revolutionary war, there could be no dealings between them and

the newly formed country.21 While he did not believe that war was a viable

option, he did think that separation, buying out their land, and moving them

was the only key to peace.22

In 1786, the United States began to implement this plan and established its

first Native American reservation and claimed that its intent and future approach

was to treat each tribe as an independent nation.For instance, in a letter from President Jefferson

to William Henry Harrison, in 1803, Jefferson expressed his goal of

“draw[ing] [Native Americans] to agriculture [because it would] cause them to

[withdraw themselves to the culture of a small piece of land.”However, what he meant was that he would take their land and or make them

assimilate. This is why just months after his address, Jackson had Congress pass

legislature forcing Native Americans to leave certain areas and settle in the

‘Indian Territory’ west of the Mississippi River.For instance, in 1814

Mr. Jackson commanded a U.S. military force that defeated the Creek nation

and in victory, took 22 million acres of land in southern Georgia and central

Alabama.29 Then, in 1818, Mr. Jackson led troops to war against the Florida

Seminole tribe, when the government wanted to punish them for harboring

fugitive slaves.30 Finally, notwithstanding his “war efforts” Mr. Jackson had also

assisted in the negotiation of nine out of eleven treaties that divested several

tribes of their eastern lands in exchange for lands in the west.31 He was the man

to get the job done.Congress later implemented his address into law by passing the Indian Removal

Act.33 With a warning from the president and a mandate from Congress, it is

obvious that Native American tribes had no real option but to enter into treaties

to sell much of their land. Still, although forced to sell their land, at least the

Native peoples could initially try and sell to the highest bidder, to get the most

out of their land. This would change by Court mandate.

In Johnson v. M’Intosh, a plaintiff by the name of Thomas Johnson had bought

land from the Piankeshaw Indian tribes in 1773 and 1775.34 However, the

defendant, William M’Intosh had later obtained the same land from the United

States government.35 The plaintiffs brought an action for ejectment and the district

court held that the defendant’s claim was superior because Native Americans

did not “own” land in the United States. The Supreme Court of the United States has long dealt with the idea of tribal

sovereignty and because of some of its decisions, although this paper takes a different

position, an argument can be made that it supports the idea of tribal sovereignty.in 1885, in the case of Ex Parte Crow Dog, the Court addressed a

murder conviction in federal court of an Indian who had murdered another

Indian in Indian country.51 In that case, Crow Dog, a Brule Sioux, was tried,

convicted, and sentenced to death for the murder of another Sioux, Spotted Tail,

in a Dakota court.52 The Court stated that tribes retained their right of “self-government

[and] the maintenance of order and peace among their own

members.”53 Thus, it held that the tribal sovereignty enabled the tribe to deal with

the matter itself and it was a right that had not been specifically limited by congressional

mandate.54 In Williams v. Lee, Lee was the proprietor of a general store

located on a Navajo Indian Reservation in Arizona.55 He sued Paul and LorenaWilliams in Arizona state courts for their failure to pay debts to him, based on a

contract.56 Paul and Lorena were members of the Navajo tribe and argued that

because the dispute took place on Navajo land, a Navajo tribal court should

decide it.57 The Supreme Court agreed, holding that state courts did not have

jurisdiction in civil cases that involved a non-Indian who sued Indians for breaches

of contract that happened on reservations.58 The Court believed that allowing

state jurisdiction would necessarily have the undesired effect of undermining

tribal sovereignty by displacing the authority of tribal courts to decide matters

that arise on their reservations.59 In United States v. Mazurie, bar owners who

operated their bar within the Wind River Reservation and who had been denied

a tribal liquor license by the Wind River Tribes were convicted of introducing

spirituous beverages into Indian country in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1154.60 They

sued for relief but the Supreme Court held that Congress could delegate the

authority to regulate liquor licensing to tribes, in part because the tribe could

exercise sovereign powers of its own.61 Thus, the conviction was upheld.62 Finally,

in Merrion v. Jicarilla Apache Tribe, the Court addressed the issue of whether non-

Indian lessees, who produced oil and gas from within tribe’s reservation pursuant

to leases granted them under auspices of Secretary of Interior, could sue the Jicarilla

Apache Tribe and its tribal council to prohibit enforcement of the tribe’s oil

and gas severance tax.63 The Court held that the tribe had sovereign power to

impose a severance tax on a non-tribal business that was mining the tribe’s land,

based on their power as a nation and treaty rights to exclude others.64 These cases

set precedent for lower court decisions on the issue of tribal sovereignty.

In Wisconsin Potowatomies of Hannahville Indian Community v. Houston, the

Potowatomy tribe sued the director of the Wisconsin state Department of Social

Services for the right to determine the custody, care and control of orphans of an

Indian father and a non-Indian mother, who were enrolled members of the tribe

and domiciled on the reservation at the time of the death of their parents.65 The

District Court upheld tribal sovereignty and ruled that the tribe had not waived

its right nor consented to jurisdiction of the state probate court.66 Thus, custody

should be determined by tribal council rather than the laws and procedures ofWisconsin.67 In Native American Church v. Navajo Tribal Council, a church sued

the Navajo tribal council because the council outlawed the introduction of peyote

onto Navajo land.68 The church alleged that this was violation of the First

Amendment, because peyote was used by the church as part of its religious ceremonies.

69 The 10th Circuit Court held that the First Amendment does not apply

to Indian nations because they are sovereign entities and Congress never said it

would apply to them.70 Finally, in Teague v. Bad River Band, a state court had to

decide whether a tribal court judgment could be denied full faith and credit

because a complaint concerning the same subject matter was filed first in state

circuit court.71 In that case, a suit arose between the Bad River Band of the Lake

Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians and Jerry Teague, a non-tribal member,

because of a contract dispute from when Teague worked for the tribe’s casino.72

Teague sued in state circuit court, while the tribe sued in tribal court.73 The

tribal court reached judgment first, invalidating the contract, and Teague

appealed.74 The State Court held that under doctrine of comity, courts would

give effect to the judgments of tribal sovereigns out of mutual respect, and for

the purpose of furthering the orderly administration of justice.75 Thus, it upheld

the tribal decision.76

All of these decisions support the notion that tribes have some independence

from the United States and they term this independence, sovereignty. However,

what all of these cases admit is that the United States government can choose to

limit tribes’ independence at any time. Thus, the “sovereignty” referred to, is no

sovereignty at all.

 

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The representative who represents my district and who I will be writing this paper on is Eliot L. Engel. He is a native of Bronx, NY and currently resides there. The committee assignments that he serves on are energy and commerce and foreign affairs. Mr. Engel represents the 17th district of NY state. This district consists of Bronx, Westchester, and Rockland counties. When beginning this assignment we were told to make an important list of characteristics describing our district and then to go to the House of Representatives website and look at the jurisdictional duties of each standing house committee. We were then to see which committee we thought our representative might have served on based on the list.

 

 

Get to know your member of congress

Melissa Pereira

POS/110

April 1, 2012

Scott Racek

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The representative who represents my district and who I will be writing this paper on is Eliot L. Engel. He is a native of Bronx, NY and currently resides there. The committee assignments that he serves on are energy and commerce and foreign affairs. Mr. Engel represents the 17th district of NY state. This district consists of Bronx, Westchester, and Rockland counties. When beginning this assignment we were told to make an important list of characteristics describing our district and then to go to the House of Representatives website and look at the jurisdictional duties of each standing house committee. We were then to see which committee we thought our representative might have served on based on the list.

I started listing the characteristics of my district and this is what I got: urban, industry, Large international airport, transportation, and education. Based on that list I then went to the house of representatives website and looked at the jurisdictional duties of each standing house committee. The first one I picked was transportation and infrastructure. I thought this would be a great choice since here in my district it is very urban with many modes of transportation. We are also based right off of NYC and two major airports. On first entering the page I saw six subcommittees so I chose Highways and transit subcommittee. The representative from my district was not a member of this committee. After choosing several more committees such as financial services; small business; and Education and workforce, I did not see my representative serving any of these committees. I then went to his website.

Mr. Engel serves on two committees and several subcommittees. He serves on the Energy and commerce and the Foreign affairs committee. The subcommittees he serves on are the Health, Energy and Power, and Europe and Eurasia. He is also the ranking member of the subcommittee of the Western Hemisphere. Twelve years prior to Mr. Engels election to congress, he served in the New York State Assembly from the years 1977 to 1988 (Wikimedia, 2012). He was the committee chair on alcoholism and substance abuse. Eliot Engel has served in the House of Representatives for New York’s 17th district since 1993. Previously before that he served New York’s 19th district.

When looking at the committees that my representative serves on I think overall he serves on committees that are beneficial to our district. Mr. Engel serves on the committee of energy and commerce and this committee involves; commerce, energy, public health, and technology. I find this beneficial to our district because commerce is big here along with energy, public health, and technology. Mr. Engel serves on the committee of foreign affairs and this committee involves; HIV/AIDS in other countries, strategic planning and agreements, peacekeeping, and peace enforcement. He also serves on two subcommittees under this committee, the Western Hemisphere and the Europe and Eurasia. I did not find this beneficial to our district because this is dealing with broader issues out of our district. Mr. Engel serves on the subcommittee of Energy and power and this committee involves; energy conservation, energy regulation and utilization, utility issues and regulation of nuclear facilities, and the clean air act and air emissions. I find this beneficial to our district because energy regulation is a big issue in our district along with utility and clean air. Mr. Engel serves on the subcommittee of health and this committee involves: hospital construction, mental health and research, health protection in general including public and private health insurance, food and drugs, and drug abuse. I find this beneficial to our district because health is a rising issue here along with drug abuse.

I wouldn’t place my representative on another committee. He serves very good committees for our district. I would however choose another subcommittee for him to serve under the energy and commerce committee. I would like my representative to serve under the subcommittee on environment and the economy. I would want Mr. Engel to serve under this subcommittee because it deals with matters relating to soil and water contamination; the regulation of solid, hazardous and nuclear wastes; the regulation of industrial plant security; the regulation of drinking water, and the regulation of toxic substances and noise (house energy and commerce committee, n.d). I think some of these matters are serious within our district such as soil and water contamination and the regulation of drinking water.

Mr. Engel is more involved with the committee that focuses on much broader issues rather than the district level committees. He serves on district level committees as well. My representative serves on the foreign affairs committee. He serves on two subcommittees of the foreign affairs committee; the western hemisphere and Eurasia. My representative is greatly involved in this committee. At first I thought this was not a good committee to be involved in because my first reaction was war with other countries but after reading my representatives web page I can see that it is more than that. He reaches out to these foreign countries and tries to reduce poverty and curb drug related violence. One objective my representative has reached out to do is to eliminate child and adult forced labor in the growing and processing of cocoa beans and their derivative products in the countries of Ivory Coast and Ghana.

Congressman Eliot Engel is a great representative for my district. He strives to improve the health care here. He focuses on improving the education and providing financial aid for the needed. His website is very helpful and we can learn a lot about him and his goals for our district and what he is involved in. Eliot Engel is involved in many committees that are very beneficial for our district and not only that he also reaches out to other countries to help the rising problems occurring there.  Eliot Engels main goal is to improve our society.

 

Eliot l. engel. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://engel.house.gov/

house energy and commerce committee. (n.d.). Retrieved from

http://energycommerce.house.gov/subcomms/subcommittees.shtml

Wikimedia. (2012). Eliot engel. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eliot_Engel

 

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When we look at the two phrases “a belief in equal rights has often led to the belief in equality of opportunity” and “American society does not emphasize equal results or rewards” we have to consider Thomas Jefferson’s statement in the Declaration of Independence. He said “all men are created equal.” This didn’t mean he thought everybody was alike or there were no difference among the human race.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Equality in America

Melissa Pereira

POS/110

March 15, 2012

Scott Racek

 

 

 

When we look at the two phrases “a belief in equal rights has often led to the belief in equality of opportunity” and “American society does not emphasize equal results or rewards” we have to consider Thomas Jefferson’s statement in the Declaration of Independence. He said “all men are created equal.” This didn’t mean he thought everybody was alike or there were no difference among the human race. Throughout most of Jefferson’s life he thought that the African Americans were genetically inferior to Whites(Edwards, G.C., Wattenburg, M.P., and Lineberry, R.L., 2008). The Declaration also speaks about “inalienable rights”, that is where everyone is equally entitled so everyone should have a chance. When reading this I think everyone is given the same chance, it is what they make of it, and nobody is treated more or less. 200 years ago, a lawyer from Virginia stated, “I am speaking of the rights of a people, rights imply equality.” (Edwards, G.C., Wattenburg, M.P., and Lineberry, R.L., 2008) This man was trying to get a point across but many colonists avoided slavery issues and woman rights even got less attention than slavery. There were other people speaking out for equality like the Virginian lawyer. The French Revolution was for liberty, equality, and fraternity. Also the American Revolution was for independence. All these things show to me equality of opportunity that the lawyer, France, and America was standing up for.

 

 

 

References

Edwards, G. C., Wattenburg, M.P., and Lineberry, R.L. (2008). Government in America: People, politics, and policy (brief 9th ed.).

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Before the Europeans ever set foot on North America the native people had their own way of living, their own laws, and economic system. They were separated by distinctive tribes, with each one representing their own beliefs. Then the Europeans arrived and that all quickly changed. The Native Americans quickly became a minority group. The following sections will explore a brief history of the treatment of Native Americans by Europeans and discuss how this treatment impacted the Native Americans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Civil Liberties and Civil Rights

Melissa Pereira

POS/110

March 18, 2012

Scott Racek

Before the Europeans ever set foot on North America the native people had their own way of living, their own laws, and economic system. They were separated by distinctive tribes, with each one representing their own beliefs. Then the Europeans arrived and that all quickly changed. The Native Americans quickly became a minority group. The following sections will explore a brief history of the treatment of Native Americans by Europeans and discuss how this treatment impacted the Native Americans.

Race is a very sensitive subject for me and also I am good talking about it so this is why I have chosen race, the constitution, and public policy as my main subject in Civil rights. Native Americans are a part of my history. I never want to stop learning about this beautiful race. I am half Native American, so I find a closeness when doing this assignment.  My descendants suffered a lot of discrimination. My own mother, a full blooded Native American from the Lumbee tribe, suffered from discrimination growing up.

Before the Europeans tried to seek out helping the Native Americans, they wanted to get rid of them, relocate them and keep their land for themselves. The Native Americans were forced to relocate, give up their land and tricked into signing treaties. In 1835 the Treaty of New Echota was presented to the Cherokee nation, which intended to sign away all their land and also move the Cherokee west of the Mississippi into assigned territories (Ford, A.R., 2010). Not all of the Cherokees leaders were present and the time of the treaty signing though. This caused a lot of Cherokees to refuse to even acknowledge the treaty. In 1838 the deadline had come for the removal of the Indians so thousands of soldiers from the United States went on to Indian territory and forcibly relocated the Native Americans. The Indians were murdered, raped, hunted, and imprisoned by Americans (Ford, A. R., 2010). The surviving Indians were forced to march a 1,000 mile long march to the Indian territory out west. Approximately 4,000 Indians died on this “Trail of Tears.”

The “Trail of Tears” is worst thing ever done to the Native Americans but there are other accounts before this one. In 1814 Andrew Jackson commanded a U.S. military force against the Creek nation that took 22 million acres of land in southern Georgia and central Alabama (Ford, A. R., 2010). Also in 1818, Andrew Jackson led troops to war against the Florida Seminole tribe for harboring fugitives.

Almost 100 years later the United States government started passing civil rights that would give the Indians rights as a group. The first civil right I am going to talk about in this paper that was created to benefit the Indians is the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924. This act was also known as the Snyder Act. It was proposed by Representative Homer P. Snyder and granted full U.S. citizenship to America’s indigenous peoples, called “Indians” in this Act (The indian citizenship act of 1924, 2012). President Coolidge signed the act into law on June 2, 1924. The second act created for good toward the Indians would be the Indian Civil Rights Act. The Indian Civil Rights Act (ICRA) also known as the Indian Bill of the Rights was passed in 1968. The ICRA prohibits Indian tribal governments from enforcing or enacting laws that violate certain individual rights. It is like the United States Bill of Rights (Indian civil rights act, 2001).There are many other civil rights the Native Americans have fought for such as sovereignty, fishing, voting, and traveling. I don’t oppose to none of these public policies. I believe that the Native Americans have rights just as every other race does.

Native Americans have made several strides within the last 10 years in (a) population (b) education attainment, and (c) poverty levels. The Native American population increased by five times between 1960 and 2000, from about 500,000 to nearly 2.5 million (Dedrick, M. 2009). The Native Americans also show strength in their civil and tribal rights. They are cutting back on poverty rates and unemployment. The rates for gaining a high school diploma among Native Americans are making a significant improvement. In 2000, three-quarters of the population age 25 and older received a high school diploma (Dedrick, M., 2009) Native Americans are only half as likely to receive a bachelor’s degree compared to the rest of the population. The poverty levels for Native Americans living on reservations had made a great improvement between the years 1990 and 2000. The percentage of Native Americans living in poverty nearly dropped in half from 47.3 percent to 28.4 percent.  While the percentage of people living in poverty over the rest of the country actually increased from 10.0 percent to 12.4 percent.

While the Indians have been growing or building back up themselves I would say after what the Europeans did to their ancestors’ culture one federal court ruling that I found affected public policy is the Indian removal act. This act alone was a drastic change for the Indians future. Another federal court ruling I found that affected public policy and the citizens was the Johnson v. M’intosh case. The Supreme Court held that private citizens could not purchase land from Native Americans. One more federal court ruling is the Worcester v. Georgia case. The United States Supreme Court prohibited non-Indians from being present on Indian lands without alicense from the state.

Besides Hispanics, Native Americans are the next minority group to least likely have health insurance according to a census data collected between 2004 and 2007 (Dedrick, M., 2009). One third of Indians reported not having coverage while other races and ethnic groups remained the same throughout the years 2004 and 2007. Indians without insurance increased by a whole 2.6 percentage as well. This is not good since the Indian Health Service is trying to increase the amount of native americans covered by insurance.  Apparently Native Americans need more protection of this right in contemporary American society. Native Americans are twice as likely to die from diabetes as non-Hispanic adults. They are 60 percent more likely to have a stroke and 20 percent more likely to have heart disease (Dedrick, M., 2009). Native Americans are living in poverty on their reservations. The real per-capita income on reservations in 2000 was $7,942, far below the $21,587 figure for the U.S. as a whole (Dedrick, M., 2009).  This is something that should seriously be handled.

The article I chose touched on many spots in the history of the Native Americans that my book did not mention. It mentioned the Indian Removal act. The article talked about Andrew Jackson and a couple of incidences he had with the Indians. It also mentions several cases that occurred between the Indians and the united states.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Dedrick, M. (2009). Challenges to native American advancement: the recession and native

America. Retrieved from recession and native america.pdf.

Ford, A. R. (2010). The Myth of Tribal Sovereignty: An analysis of native American tribal status

in united states. Retrieved from web.hks.harvard.edu/publications/getFile.aspx?Id=118.

The indian citizenship act of 1924. (2012). Retrieved from

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Citizenship_Act_of_1924

Indian civil rights act. (1996-2001). Retrieved from

http://www.lawhelp.org/documents/1594719202.pdf?stateabbrev=/WA/

Native American civil rights. (2012). Retrieved from

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_American_civil_rights#Indian_Civil_Rights_Act_.281968.2

 

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Most people wake up in the mornings and usually do their regular routines and move on throughout the day not considering what involvement the federal bureaucracy has in their daily tasks. After doing a daily journal of my daily routines and researching which bureaucracy was involved with what activity I was doing, I came to find out that the government is much more involved with people’s day to day tasks. I have chosen five regular tasks from my daily life that the federal bureaucracy regulates. Those five tasks are listening to the radio station, eating food, working with household chemicals, smoking cigarettes, and watching TV.

Bureaucracy and you

Melissa Pereira

POS/110

April 15, 2012

Scott Racek

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most people wake up in the mornings and usually do their regular routines and move on throughout the day not considering what involvement the federal bureaucracy has in their daily tasks. After doing a daily journal of my daily routines and researching which bureaucracy was involved with what activity I was doing, I came to find out that the government is much more involved with people’s day to day tasks. I have chosen five regular tasks from my daily life that the federal bureaucracy regulates. Those five tasks are listening to the radio station, eating food, working with household chemicals, smoking cigarettes, and watching TV.

The daily task that I perform and the federal bureaucracy regulates that surprised me the most was me listening to the radio station. I had never thought the local radio station was regulated by the bureaucracy. I was just thinking one or two DJ’s got in a studio and played the newest hits and rambled on about what was going on in today’s society. I didn’t consider what had to take place to form these radio stations and keep them going. The radio station I wake up to and listen to frequently (103.5KTU) is Clear Channel Media and Entertainment.

The daily task that I perform and the federal bureaucracy regulates that surprised me the least was the regulation of food and drugs by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. I wasn’t surprised by this because people are taught this at a young age in school, some parents talk with their children about it, and we can see the labels from the FDA on meat products when we go to the supermarket. Also sometimes we will reports on the news about recalls on medications and other things that the FDA evaluates and oversees.

The agency that most surprised me was Clear Channel Media and Entertainment. I had no idea our radio channels were so in depth. I was imagining that each company created their own station. After research a little on the website of C.C. Media and Entertainment, I have learned that radio stations are more than one man or several people just joking around and playing songs. Clear Channel is a global media and entertainment company that promote their selves through outdoor, radio, and digital platforms. They specialize in providing mobile and on-demand entertainment and information services for local communities (clear channel, 2012). This company is based in San Antonio, Texas and was founded in 1972. Today it now operates two businesses. One is outdoor advertising, which is ran by Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, and the other business is broadcast and digital media and entertainment services, which is ran by Clear Channel Radio.

Clear Channel has not been in the new recently but they do broadcast very widely. Clear Channel Outdoor operates close to one million displays in 45 countries across five continents (clear channel, 2012). This company also operates airports, rail, and mall advertising businesses worldwide. There are more than 850 Clear Channel radio station in the U.S. reaching out to more than 110 million listeners per week (clear channel, 2012). The only new rules were set in 2008, when Clear Channel announced the merging with the corporation of C.C. Media Holding. This new company is the parent company of Clear Channel Communications. In 2011 Clear Channel Radio released a new version of I Heart Radio.

The last three tasks I do daily are smoking, working with household chemicals, and watching TV. I researched the websites of the bureaucracies who cover these areas as well. For smoking I researched the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF). I found that this agencies main job is to protect against the crimes of illegal diversion of alcohol, tobacco, and firearms. I then researched The FDA website and found that this website relates to me in many areas. This bureaucracy regulates me with the food I eat, the medication I take, the cigarettes I smoke, and even the cosmetics I put on almost every day.  I didn’t have no idea they inspected such things as medical devices and cosmetics. Also they pre-warn people about the hazards in tanning and cellphones. I was totally shocked when I saw information about cigarettes there. I believe the FDA has more to do with tobacco than the ATF from what research I did, although I could research more on the ATF site. I do believe both companies are important though. It seems the FDA wants to prevent smoking in underage children. The FDA even issued new rules on a variety of cigarettes, mainly the warning label. These new laws are expected to decrease the amount of tobacco uses. The FDA site was wonderful.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is the company who regulates the household chemicals I work with on a day to day basis. They have to insure that these products aren’t hazardous. The way the CPSC does that is by printing a label on every cleaning supply the label is known as the, Policy of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). The GHS is a voluntary system created by the U.S. and many other countries for the classification and labeling of hazardous chemicals according to their health, physical, and environmental hazards (U.S. consumer product safety commission, 2006).

The thing I usually do at the end of the day is watch TV. I don’t have basic cable; I am subscribed to Netflix and Hulu Plus. Netflix and Hulu are companies you subscribe to over the web and pay a low monthly fee of $7.99 and can browse a wide variety of T.V. shows and films. Netflix was founded in 1997 and the corporate headquarters is based in California. There are over 23 million members now subscribed to Netflix. Hulu was founded in 2007. It is a little different then Netflix. It is operated independently by a dedicated management team. NBC Universal, News Corporation, The Walt Disney Company, Providence Equity Partners, and The Hulu team share in the ownership stake of the company (Hulu plus, 2012).

After researching on all the agencies websites, I have learned a lot about the federal bureaucracies who regulate my daily tasks. The one who mostly surprised me was the Clear Channel Bureaucracy. I found two interesting things about this agency.  One is that the Clear Channel Media and Entertainment agency has the largest radio and television outlet in America. It serves over 150 cities through 850 owned radio stations. Another thing I found interesting was all the other companies that helped promote Clear Channel Radio such as; Premier Network, I Heart Radio, Total Traffic Network, and Katz Media Group. Researching all these agencies helped me to better see how involved the bureaucracy is in my daily life. I learned a lot in this assignment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Clear channel. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.clearchannel.com/

Hulu plus. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.hulu.com/about

Netflix. (2012). Retrieved from https://account.netflix.com/MediaCenter/Overview

U.S. consumer product safety commission. (2006). Retrieved from

http://www.cpsc.gov/phth/GHSpolicy.html

U.S. food and drug administration. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.fda.gov/default.htm

 

 

 

 

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I don’t know if this would have any relation but a few weeks back I saw on msn.com that they were considering passing a law where parents could check their children’s text messages on their cell phones. Well when reading The Bill of Rights I thought about amendment IV Searches and Seizures. I am thinking if this were to go to court this argument would fall under this amendment and possibly several others. I just wonder if it applies to minors. I think it would be discriminating against them to say “Hey they don’t need privacy, they’re just kids.” I found this amendment very important for a person’s privacy.

 

 

 

 

 

Bill of Rights

Melissa Pereira

POS/110

March 12, 2012

Scott Racek

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t know if this would have any relation but a few weeks back I saw on msn.com that they were considering passing a law where parents could check their children’s text messages on their cell phones. Well when reading The Bill of Rights I thought about amendment IV Searches and Seizures. I am thinking if this were to go to court this argument would fall under this amendment and possibly several others. I just wonder if it applies to minors. I think it would be discriminating against them to say “Hey they don’t need privacy, they’re just kids.” I found this amendment very important for a person’s privacy. This amendment was created so that a person may not be searched; rather it’s their house, personal belongings or themselves without a reasonable cause. The amendment I found least important was Amendment II-The right to bear arms. I find this amendment least important because I feel that guns get in the hands of the wrong people. I know that many people buy guns illegally off the streets but there are people who go to the store and buy the gun legally. These people have these guns in their homes and also have little children and do not properly lock up their guns. I am not saying every gun owner is this way. There are too many gun accidents each year. In 1999, 3,385 children ranging from the ages of 0-19 were killed by gun shots (university of Michigan health system, 2012). It included unintentional deaths, homicides, and suicides. The age group mostly included kids around 15-19. If I were arrested and tried for a crime I would find several amendments useful for me. I find that Amendments V, VI, VII, and VIII are all useful to me if I am being tried for a crime that I have committed or not.

 

References

University of Michigan health system (2012) n.a. http://www.med.umich.edu/yourchild/topics/guns.htm

 

 

 

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Today’s society is based on pretty much morals, individual freedoms, and liberties. Government officials that are elected are put in office to support these civic values based on society’s wishes. Most of the time civic values are individually and community based justice or general considerations for other people. America’s values act as a reinforcement of American civic values.

American Civic Values

Melissa Pereira

POS/110

March 1, 2012

Scott Racek

            Today’s society is based on pretty much morals, individual freedoms, and liberties. Government officials that are elected are put in office to support these civic values based on society’s wishes. Most of the time civic values are individually and community based justice or general considerations for other people. America’s values act as a reinforcement of American civic values.

There are many things that undermine American civic values. Many large corporations and very wealthy people are often criticized into believing that they influence the government and the decision making process. This is one assumption because their large financial contributions help to elect candidates that support their interest. Also the media is also something in today’s society that undermines American civic values. The media focuses on negative issues such as unemployment and crime which intensifies already apparent problems. These issues broadcast negativity into American culture and as it spreads so does the lack of American civic values.

Civic values help make America’s political and civil culture better because it is a guideline for Americans to follow. It allows each person or group of people to have their own decision rather its individual or government mandated. These values are considerate of its members and help keep communities peaceful.

There are penalties for failing to adhere to civic values. Some examples are losing jobs, fines, or prison. There are many instances when not adhering to civic values is the issue and the people are simply dealing with regret, guilt, a disappointed neighbor, or even becoming the neighborhood outcast.

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In the third paragraph of chapter 1 we find the definition of criminal law. The definition tells us that criminal laws are rules and regulations that stipulate punishments for acts performed in public that are wrong and offend the community. Criminal laws are also considered penal laws which are located in penal codes of certain communities. Criminal law distinguishes what acts are criminal and describes these acts as crimes. If we did not have laws there would be no order, there would be Caousse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Characteristics of Criminal Law

Tonia Tamayo

CJA/354 – Criminal Law
September 5, 2011

Lora Terrill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Characteristics of Criminal Law

Criminal Law

In the third paragraph of chapter 1 we find the definition of criminal law. The definition tells us that criminal laws are rules and regulations that stipulate punishments for acts performed in public that are wrong and offend the community. Criminal laws are also considered penal laws which are located in penal codes of certain communities. Criminal law distinguishes what acts are criminal and describes these acts as crimes. If we did not have laws there would be no order, there would be Caousse.

Criminal Law is the rules in which we must all follow and if we do not we enter the Justice system. So in reality criminal law is the stepping stone. Our text book describes criminal law in the justice system as a way “to declare public disapproval of an offender’s conduct by means of public trial and conviction and to punish the offender by imposing a penal sanction.”

Jurisdiction

          Our country was has been divided in many different ways. We currently have  50 states across theUnited States of America. Each individual state has many cities, towns and counties, each with their own set of laws including the state and federal laws. Jurisdiction is the division of each entity, which has its own authority within its own boundaries.

This country uses federalism, two governments that preside over citizens of theUnited States. These governments consist of federal and state governments. The federal government has the authority over foreign relations, immigration, civil rights, warfare, bankruptcy and crimes that are committed at sea or against international law. (Schmalleger, 2010, p.26) The state governments preside over the welfare of the people within the state and local boundaries. The state has the power to create laws to protect the well being of the citizens within the state boundaries. Local and state law enforcement officers along with the court and state correctional facilities uphold and enforce these laws.

Cities, Towns, or Counties usually create local laws; they can be parking laws, walking laws, zoning laws, curfew laws, etc. These laws usually involve minor civic charges that might consist of a fine or possibly jail time depending on the seriousness of the crime. These cases are usually heard within the Justice court.

State laws are passed and enforced by the state; these laws do not contradict federal laws and apply only to that state. State officers are responsible for ensuring these laws are kept. States create most of the criminal laws within its own borders. The state will also ensure the punishment with a fine or time in a state correctional facility. These cases can be heard in the justice court or the Supreme Court.

Federal Laws are passed and enforced by the Federal Government. There are laws concerning crimes against the Government these laws would fall under Federal jurisdiction. Federal Crimes are punishable by fines or time in a federal correctional facility. These cases are usually held in the federal court. Federal law includes local and national governments. Federal jurisdiction covers the nation. So under the federal system there will be two governments with the same jurisdiction. Individuals who attempt to harm a federal official or steal from a federally insured bank can be charged by both state and federal governments. If there should ever be a conflict federal always takes president over state or city. States do keep their power over activities in their boundaries.

Civil disputes are sometimes handled by state law; common law is also ruled by the state. Besides the United States Constitution each individual state also has its own constitution that its residents must handle.  There are two jurisdictions, each state has its own boundaries and federal also has boundaries. State jurisdiction has power to control property, businesses and people within the states boundaries. Federal jurisdiction is limited to areas outside of state powers and territories. However, the two jurisdictions have become mis-conceptual.

The Adversarial System and Standards of Proof in Criminal Cases

When the police department conducts an investigation and an arrest has been made, the State prosecutor then becomes involved. This is what is called the adversarial system, which includes a defense attorney and a prosecutor. The prosecutor must provide evidence to support the case. The defense has no obligation to prove its innocence. If the standards of proof were not present in an adversarial system there would be no case.

There are two standards of proof that must be proven to have a case. The first standard is that there was a result of the crime, there is an injury to someone or something. The second standard is that there is an individual responsible for the crime; an act was committed to cause the injury. An example used in our book is that a person admitted to committing a murder, however if there is no evidence, the murder cannot be proven. In both criminal justice and adversarial systems a crime must first be distinguished, then proven, without a doubt, that a crime happened. There would be no case without standards of proof in either system, criminal or adversarial. There are no cases that can stand trial without evidence; there must be sufficient evidence to have a trial.

Criminal Liability and Accomplice Liability

According to the Free Dictionary, liability means legal responsibility for one’s acts or omissions. Criminal Liability is a crime committed against the state, any officer of the state may take legal action. Society is affected when a criminal breaks the law; there is no statue of limitations for criminal liability. Criminal liability means the actual criminal must be held responsible for the criminal act committed.

Accomplice liability is when someone assists in a criminal act. This individual would be responsible for being an accomplice. Each state has different laws concerning liability. There are states that hold the accomplice as responsible as the suspect for assisting in the crime even if they did not take part in the actual crime. This would include anyone who drove the criminal to the store to commit a robbery, or was present when a friend commits murder. This individual may receive a lesser sentence if they can prove they did not take part in the action.  This individual must also have no part in the act, and benefit in no way.

Three Types of Inchoate Offenses

Inchoate crimes are crimes that usually lead to other crimes. There are three characteristics to inchoate crimes, the first is the attempt, the second would be the solicitation and the third is conspiracy. The problem with Inchoate crimes is that the police need to be involved immediately, the longer it takes for the police to be involved the greater the risk of preventing the crime.

An example of an inchoate crime is burglary. An individual may break into a building with the intent to take an item of value, however if the individual gets scarred they may leave without ever taking anything. The fact is that the individual performed the act of breaking into the building.  This act of burglary would be the attempt to commit a crime. Schmalleger lists two elements to attempt, ‘a specific intent to commit a criminal offense, and the substantial step undertaken toward the commission of the intended offense’.  An act must be necessary for the individual to be charged with attempt.

Conspiracy is when two or more individuals agree to commit a crime. Conspiracy was a misdemeanor at one time; however most states are classifying conspiracy as a felony today. Conspiracy includes three elements, first there is an agreement between two or more individuals, and next there is the intent to commit an act that is a crime. Third is the culpable intent of the defendant (Schmalleger, 2010).  Conspiracy combines attempt and solicitation to cause harm to an individual or group. An example of conspiracy would be individuals planning to bomb a building. The individuals would have maps of the building, they would acquire bombs, there would be communication discussing the act. However it is possible to catch the individual’s before the act is committed. Conspiracy is an agreement to commit a criminal act.

Solicitation would involve persuading an individual to commit a criminal act. Solicitation could involve money, force, or even sexual acts traded for a crime. An example of solicitation would be to ask an individual to commit murder in exchange for a cash payment. Another example could be a captain of a gang persuading a member of his or her gang to commit a robbery in exchange for his or her safety.

 

 

 

 

References

Criminal Law Today, Fourth Edition Chapter 1: The Nature and History of Criminal Law ISBN: 9780135042618 Author: Frank Schmalleger, Daniel E. Hall, John J. Dolatowski copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, retrieved on September 5, 2011.

 

Criminal Law Today, Fourth Edition Chapter 2: Criminal Liability and the Essence of Crime ISBN: 9780135042618 Author: Frank Schmalleger, Daniel E. Hall, John J. Dolatowski copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, retrieved on September 5, 2011.

 

Criminal Law Today, Fourth Edition Chapter 4: Extending Criminal Liability: Inchoate Offenses and Parties to Crime ISBN: 9780135042618 Author: Frank Schmalleger, Daniel E. Hall, John J. Dolatowski copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, retrieved on September 5, 2011.