Assignment question #7 | Criminal homework help


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Assignment Question

Understand and explain the elements of bigamy, polygamy and incest.

1- student response

The Elements of Bigamy, Polygamy and Incest

            The crime of bigamy is marrying somebody while legally  married to somebody else. Polygamy means the practice of having several  wives or husbands at the same time. Incest, on the other hand, is  defined as sexual interactions between persons who are too closely  related to marry. The components of the offense of bigamy are that the  guilty party was legitimately hitched; that the primary marriage has not  been legally broken up or, on account of a missing life partner, that  the missing mate can’t yet be assumed dead under the Civil Code; that he  gets a second or ensuing marriage; and that the second or resulting  marriage meets each of the fundamental prerequisites for legitimacy  (California et al., 2020). In every jurisdiction, the presence of a  legitimate marriage entered into by the defendant previous to the second  valid marriage is a necessary element of the charge of polygamy. There  are four elements of incest which include the accused must have  participated in an act of sexual penetration with another person; the  sexual penetration must have been deliberate; the parties must have been  in a specified familial connection; and the accused must have known  about the relationship (Coleman, 1984).


California, S., Review, L., & Nov, N. (2020). Criminal Intent  and Bigamy Author ( s ): Delger Trowbridge Stable URL : Criminal Intent and Bigamy. 7(1), 1–19.

Coleman, P. (1984). Incest: A Proper Definition Reveals the Need for a Different Legal Response. Missouri Law Review, 49(2), 2.

2- student response 

Bigamy was not considered a crime at common law, but was considered  an offense of ecclesiastical law with punishment in the hands of  ecclesiastical tribunals rather than the common law courts. The elements of bigamy are (1) a prior marriage and (2) a second marriage before the first marriage is dissolved. 

Polygamy was considered an offense of having a plurality of  husbands or wives. The elements of polygamy, the state must prove a  valid marriage entered into by the accused before the alleged bigamous  marriage. 

Incest is the marriage or sexual relationship between two (2)  related people (related by consanguinity, blood).  The elements of  incest, are marriage or sexual intercourse between the persons within  the degree of relationship proscribed by statute, with knowledge of the  existence of the relationship (under some statutes).

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