SU Criminology & Justice the

Jordan and Cristina have asked for your help. While searching for clues about who might be stealing or destroying evidence in the case they are working on, Jordan and Cristina overhear three people talking. It sounds like the three individuals might be planning to commit a crime, but Jordan and Cristina are unsure. They need your help to decide if the situation is one that should be reported to the police, who are already busy with the recent surge in local criminal activity.

Read Cristina’s notes about what she and Jordan overheard. Then answer the questions.

Cristina’s Notes:

Jordan and I overheard three people talking about a nearby house that contains a lot of expensive electronic items, such as tablets, laptops, stereos, and video game consoles. One woman thought the homeowners were away on vacation. She commented that it would be a good time for someone to break in and steal all that expensive stuff. She sounded like she was joking, but the two guys she was with seemed intrigued by the idea.

The first man commented, “If someone was going to break in, I wonder how they would do it without making a big scene.” The second man suggested that it would be easy to pick the lock on the back door at night. The woman commented, “Someone sure could get a lot of money selling all the stuff they have in that house.”

The guy who suggested picking the lock stated that he had never broken into anyone’s house before, but he thought that it seemed easy. He mentioned being curious to see if he could really pull it off. The other guy shared his curiosity and also wondered how easy it would be to do something like that. The woman then responded, “Maybe you guys should try it. I mean, you’ll never know if you can pull it off unless you try, right? What better time than when the house is empty while everyone is on vacation?”

The two guys left together to look for potentially useful tools in the back of the first man’s truck. The woman said she didn’t want to take any chances and left to go home.

Assume that the men attempted to break into the house but discovered they couldn’t pick the lock. What inchoate offense or other crime has each person committed? Explain your reasoning.

What possible legal defense(s) could these individuals use in response to criminal charges?

Now assume the two men managed to break into the house. They steal several laptops and some audio equipment. The woman suggests they take their haul to a sketchy pawn shop she knows about. What crimes is each person guilty of now?

What possible legal defense(s) could they use for criminal charges related to the burglary?

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