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Melissa Hinton

CJUS 2093
eHomework 3
1. What is the difference between causation in fact and proximate cause? What is meant by "but
for" causation? By "legal cause"? Give an example of each.
a. Causation in factan actual link between an actors conduct and a result
i. A person running a red light causes another to be injured
b. Proximate causethe primary or moving cause that plays a substantial part in bringing
about injury or damage. It may be a first cause that sets in motion a string of events
whose ultimate outcome is reasonably foreseeable.
c. But for rulea method for determining causality which holds that without this, that
would not be, or but for the conduct of the accused, the harm in question would not
have occurred.
i. Ex: Speeding driver causes an accident
d. Legal causea legal recognizable cause. The type of cause that is required to be
demonstrated in court in order to hold an individual criminally liable for causing harm
2. Explain the concept of corpus delecti. How does the corpus delecti of a crime differ from the
elements of a crime?
a. A principle of law that says that an out-of-court confession, unsupported by other facts,
is insufficient to support a criminal conviction.
i. Ex: A person may confess to a crimebut if there is not any independent
evidence showing that such a crime has ever taken place, the individual making
the confession cant be prosecuted.
b. It is different from the elements of a crime because there is actual evidence.
3. Sometimes people mistakenly say that the body of a murder victim provides the corpus
delecti of the crime of murder. What actually constitutes the corpus delecti of murder?
a. That the crime has been committed
b. A person is criminally responsible for the act
c. The actual death of the person, not the body, because the death is the crime
4. What is an ex post facto law? Why is the creation of ex post facto laws regarded as
impermissible in our legal system?
a. Formulated, enacted or operating retrospectively. Literally, after the fact.
i. Makes an action done before passing of the law criminal, and punishes such
ii. Aggravates a crime, or makes it greater than it was, when committed, or; at the
time the crime was committed
iii. Changes the punishment, and inflicts a greater punishment, than existent law
did at the time the crime was committed
iv. Alters the legal rules of evidence, and requires less, or different testimony than
the law required at the time of the commission of the offense, in order to
convict the offender.

b. Because its unconstitutional. Article I, Section 9No Bill of attainder or ex post facto
law shall be passed.
5. What is felony murder? How does it differ from other forms of murder?
a. Murder liability for a defendant if another person dies during the commission of certain
b. Other forms of murder are often premeditated.