Among the four mental states that are “purposefully”, “knowingly”, “recklessly” and “negligently”, “recklessly” mental state fits well into John’s conduct as he acts recklessly due to a circumstance that makes him commit an offense by failing to perceive the justifiable risks that exist such obeying traffic rules. This is because the risk that John subjects himself is of nature and degree that failure of a person to be aware of it lead to him breaking the standards of care that are always observed by every reasonable person in such a situation.
It is seen that after the argument John has with his wife whom he believes to be cheating on him, he leaves the house with lot of fury and without minding about the existing traffic rules, he drives at a thrilling speed of 100 miles per hour in the residential areas while ignoring the traffic controls as well. This reckless behavior of him leads to two accidents thus causing the death of three people instantly. His recklessly mental state is also evidenced by the virtue that he continues driving at a high speed even after realizing that he has already killed one person. Therefore, based on John’s behavior it is clear that he is suffering from the recklessly mental state.
The other mental states are not appropriate for John as the evidence available does not guarantee him to be judged on having a “knowingly” mental state as he does not act in a manner that he seems to know the circumstance he is in or act knowingly to a conduct that defines an offense when he is aware that his conduct would lead to a certain circumstance. This is because his behavior is influenced by the stressful state he is in due to the argument they have had with his wife before leaving the house. Additionally, John cannot be said to be in either a “purposefully” or “negligently” mental states as all his act are as a result of him being reckless despite being aware of the traffic rules and also the virtue that one has to stop whenever he commits a traffic offense but due to his state of being stressed and the influence brought about by the argument with his wife, he ends up committing offenses that are as a result of recklessly.
The virtue that John knows traffic offenses and rules as he has always been using the roads before the argument with his wife makes it appropriate to apply the “negligently” mental state as it becomes evident that he ignores the traffic controllers despite seeing that they show him to stop but proceeds to knock people down. This fact makes the “negligently” mental state apply to John through the “recklessly” mental state carries the day for his behavior.
According to Silver and Jim, the main difference between criminal conspiracy and criminal solicitation is that criminal conspiracy mainly involves two or more individuals planning to commit a crime together while criminal solicitation occurs when there is one individual who tries to get other individuals that are not willing into committing a crime (p65, 2008). An example of criminal solicitation is when an individual tries to lure an individual to kill her husband at a certain fee. The person goes to the police department and reports the intention of the individual to hire him to kill the husband and therefore the police arrest the offender on charges of solicitation. On the other hand, an example of criminal conspiracy is when a group of people agrees to commit a crime of selling drugs together by either legally or illegally agreeing to perform the crime together. When police arrest any of the individuals involved, they will be charged with conspiracy.
Silver, Jim. The Crime Junkie’s Guide to Criminal Law: From Law and Order to Laci Peterson. Westport, Conn: Praeger, 2008. Internet resource.