Should gwenyth be subject to criminal prosecution


Should Gwenyth be subject to criminal prosecution or just civil liability



Read the example highlighted in color and answer the questions in Bold


Gwenyth P. is a working mother of two. Monday, after returning from a

weekend trip to Paris,  she is running late for work.  She tried to feed her

children kale for breakfast; they revolted.  So they missed the school bus,

which caused Gwenyth to have to drive them to school.  After drop-off and

while driving to work, she was texting her good friend Jennifer A. about a

recent Hollywood divorce when, as a result of not paying attention, Gwenyth

fails to see a stop sign and runs it. An officer sees the violation and stops her

and issues her a citation.

(1) What would a fair punishment be based on the nature of her

conduct/act? Should she be subject to possible incarceration based on

the nature of the act or just a fine? Why?

Now, suppose while Gwenyth is texting and driving, and running the stop

sign, Brad P. is legally walking in the cross-walk on his way to his divorce

lawyer’s office when he is struck by Ms. P’s vehicle. Brad is instantly killed.

Gwenyth was traveling just slightly over the speed limit at the time of the


(2) Should Gwenyth be subject to criminal prosecution or just civil

liability? Why? What is the difference between criminal liability and

civil liability? What is a tort? What is a Wrongful Death suit?

(3) What is actus reus and mens rea? Did Gwenyth have the requisite

mens rea for criminal liability? If so, what would the appropriate mens

rea be? Other than the actus reus and mens rea , what are the other

basic elements of criminal liability and describe each as it relates to the

above factual scenario?

(4) Most accidents involve some negligence on the part of one of the

vehicle operators. Should all of those at-fault drivers be subject to

criminal prosecution and possible incarceration? If injuries occur,

should the at-fault driver always be subject to criminal prosecution?

Why or why not? Is it the severity of injuries that should control

whether or not a particular accident is a criminal matter or the conduct

of the driver?

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