The Elements Of Robbery Under Common Law

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Throughout history violent crimes against person had been an ever-growing concern among the populous. In response to this concern, English judges created the common law felony of robbery. While the common law of robbery has existed throughout the centuries, not much has changed in some of the modern state statues found today with the exception of creating degrees.
Robbery, under common law is “the face to face threat or use of force to obtain property directly from an individual or from their proximity with the intent to permanently deprive them of that property” (Bower, 2014). The elements of robbery under common law are robbery actus reus and robbery mens rea (Samaha, 2013). The actus reus refers to the criminal act of use of force, or threat of force during the crime. However, the amount of force used has to be greater than the force necessary to take and carry away the person’s property. For example, taking a woman’s wallet from inside of her purse would not constitute a robbery since the amount of force used was enough to acquire it. Conversely, if the woman resisted and the person pushed or made a threat, then it would be considered robbery. The second element, mens rea, is the intent to take someone else’s property and permanently depriving them of it. Additionally, unlike normal theft, robbery mens rea includes the additional intent to use force or threat of force to acquire it (Samaha, 2013). Similarly, other than creating degrees and types of robberies,

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