Joseph Morissette V. S. 1952 Case Summary

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In the Morissette v. U.S 1952 case, Joseph Morissette a scrap metal dealer took it upon himself to take what he believed was abandon casings from a government property. Because the casings belong to the government Morissette was taken to court and charged him for the violation of Article 18 USC Sec. 641 which makes it an offence to “knowingly converts” government property. Mr. Morissette knew he was taking property but did not know it belong to anyone since it had been there for many years. The trial judge did not think that was a defense so he did not instruct the jury to consider that in their deliberations. Unfortunately, because the trial judge misinterpret the definition of the statue believing it fell under a tort law at the beginning …show more content…

Cases that fall under the strict liability laws are a lot easier to proof in court and take less time to resolve. The public are encouraged to comply with the laws which helps prevents unreasonable defenses to be use as an excuse. For example, statutory rape falls under the strict liability crimes. In the majority of the cases is hard for the defendant to avoid been criminal liable because of their excuse of been naïve, or didn’t bother to take the extra steps of making sure the victim was of consensual age. It may seem unfair to prosecute someone for statutory rape even if the minor showed a fake ID, or appeared to be older than 18, but that is one of the reasons strict liability laws exist to express to the public ignorance will not be tolerated.
In conclusion, the most important reason for the benefit of strict liability is that it protects the public from individuals that try to use the “I didn’t know” excuse to get away with crimes and not takes some type of responsibility for their actions. In most cases strict liability defendants are part of either a small local to nationwide businesses. The burden of proof is hard to be proof by the defendant because all the prosecution team has to demonstrate the jury is that harm was caused by the defendant’s

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