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Criminal responsibility for crimes against children in USA

Journal: RUDN Journal of Law (Vol.27, No. 4)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 1007-1027

Keywords : crimes against children; child abuse; child neglect; corporal punishment; hot car law; US criminal law; child endangerment;

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Children require special legal protection, including criminal law protection, in all countries since they are one of the most vulnerable categories of population. Crimes against children inflict harm not only to victims but also affect further development of society as a whole. The US experience in the field of criminal law protection of children has significant specifics and is of scientific interest. The purpose of this paper is to identify and describe characteristic features of American criminal law in this area and its applicability in Russia. To reach the goal formal-legal, comparative-legal and other methods are used. American laws create legal duty to report acts that constitute child abuse. Failure to report constitutes crime. Statutes of several US states contain special chapters devoted to crimes against children. Parents or other caregivers may not inflict harm the child directly but also, by inaction, allow third party to do so. Such inaction is deemed a crime. Using reasonable force to discipline children is legal in the USA if the punishment does not inflict harm greater than transient pain and other legal requirements are met. Parents or other caregivers must control children and never leave them unattended at home if they are younger than state`s law or recommendations of state`s authorities prescribe. «Hot car» laws prohibit to leave children unattended in a vehicle if they have not reached the age prescribed by law. Violation of such duties is a crime in some cases. The applicability of such experience in Russia is analyzed for each criminal law prohibition. It is concluded that many rules of the US criminal law are redundant. The features that are of certain interest for our country have been identified and studied.

Last modified: 2023-12-02 18:02:47