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Criminal Law Outline

Criminal Law Outline

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Published by: Ghost1L on Apr 12, 2011
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02/15/2014

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Criminal law: Professor Cunningham
2010
Policies
b
ehind
Cr
iminal
L
aw:
 
I.
 
Ut 
ili
a
r
ian
Purposes of Punishment: believes that justification of punishment lies in theuseful purposes that the punishment serves
.
Since punishment involves pain, it can only bejustified only if it is accomplishes enough good consequences to outweigh this harm
.
Waysthat punishment can be justified is if it serves:1
.
 
G
ene
r
al
D
e
e
rr
ence
: is the knowledge that punishment will follow crime deterspeople from committing crimes, thus reducing future violations of right and theunhappiness and insecurity they would cause
.
That is, D is punished in order toconvince the general community to forgo criminal conduct in the future
.
Dspunishment serves as an object lesson to the rest of the community
.
Ds punishment teaches what conduct is impermissible; it instills fear of punishment in would to beviolators of the law
.
 
2.
 
Sp
ecific
D
e
e
rr
ence:
 
is meant to deter future misconduct by the defendant himself 
 3.
 
I
nca
p
aci
a
ion:
there is specificdeterrence by incapacitating D
.
Ds imprisonment prevents him from committing crimes outside society during the period of segregation and second upon release, there is the intimidation deterrence that reminds D that if he returns to a life of crime, he will experience more pain
.
 4.
 
R
eha
b
ili
a
ion:
 
involves using positive steps to alter basic character or improveskills, in order to make the offenders less antisocial
.
By educating the offenders , it can lead to legitimate employment that will attract the offenders than criminalendeavours
.
 
II
.
 
R
e
r
i
bu
ivis
 
:
 
A
ll guilty persons should be punished, not because their punishment willreduce future crime, but rather because they need to be / deserve to be punished
 
a
.
 
Positive Retributivist: always punish the guilty; dont take it easy on themi
.
 
Sends symbolic message: provides general deterrence to a degreeii
.
 
Protective: criminals have right to be punished, restoring moral equilibriumbtw criminal and greater societyiii
.
 
V
ictim-oriented: reaffirms the value of victim and restores equilibriumbetween criminal and victim
BA
S
I
C
S
 
y
 
Burden of Proof in a Crim Case: beyond a reasonable doubt 
 
o
 
this standard is very high, b/c the consequences are very high
.
 
o
 
versus civil = preponderance of the evidence (50+1%)
 
y
 
V
erdict in a crim case = guilty or not guilty (there is no innocence here)
y
 
I
n any crime the prosecution has to prove:
 
1
.
 
Someone committed a crime
AN
D2
.
 
That D actually did it 
y
 
E
very crime has
 
1
.
 
A
mental state (
mensrea
)
AN
D
 a
.
 
I
ntent b
.
 
Recklessc
.
 
Strict liability2
.
 
A
n act (
actusreus
)
AN
D
 3
.
 
Causationa
.
 
But-for
AN
Db
.
 
Proximate cause
 
Criminal law: Professor Cunningham
2010
4
.
 
E
xample: killing someone + intent to kill +
causation
= homicide
i.
 
(actusreus) + (mensrea) +
causation
y
 
F
elony v
.
Misdemeanor
 
o
 
Misdemeanor is less serious than a felony
 
o
 
I
f max punishment is 1 year or less than it is a misdemeanor
 
o
 
I
f max punishment is for 1 year or more then it is a felony
 
ME
N
S
 
R
E
A
 
 Handout 
 
COMMO
N
L
AW
 
(
4
mental states)
 
1)
 
Sp
ecific
Cr
ime
/
Sp
ecific
 
I
n
en
 
a)
 
Crime requires the desire to do the act and requires the desire to achieve aparticular result 
.
 b)
 
11 Specific intent crimes:i)
 
A
ssault ii)
 
Murder  1
st 
degree (intent to kill
.
 
.
 
.
)iii)
 
Larcenyiv)
 
E
mbezzlement v)
 
F
alse Pretensesvi)
 
F
orgeryvii)
 
Burglaryviii)
 
Robberyix)
 
Solicitationx)
 
Conspiracyxi)
 
A
ttempt 
2)
 
M
alice
 
a)
 
When D intentionally or with reckless disregard of an obvious known risk b)
 
Common law malice crimesi)
 
A
rsonii)
 
Murder  2
nd
degree
3)
 
G
ene
r
al
 
I
n
en
 
a)
 
D need only be generally aware of the factors constituting the crime; he need not intend a specific result 
.
 i)
 
(Jury infers general intent simply from the doing of the act)b)
 
E
xamples of G
I
crimesi)
 
Battery,
F
alse imprisonment, Kidnapping,
F
orceable rape
.
(
A
ll crimes against theperson)
4)
 
S
r
ic
L
ia
b
ili
ty
 
a)
 
When the crime requires simply doing the act; no mental state is neededb)
 
2 types of strict liability crimesi)
 
Public welfare crimes: regulatory or morality offenses that typically carry smallpenalties
.
 
E
xamples:(1)
 
Selling alcohol to a minor(2)
 
Selling contaminated food(3)
 
Corrupting the morals of a minor
 
Criminal law: Professor Cunningham
2010
ii
)
 
Statutory rape: having sex with someone who is under the age of consent 
.
 
MODEL
P
E
NA
L CODE
(5 mental states)
1)
 
I
n
en
ionall
y
(
p
ur
p
osel
y
)
: when it is the Ds conscious object to accomplish aparticular result 
.
 a)
 
(in other words, that is what the D mean to do)2)
 
nowingl
y
: when the D is
aware
of what he is doing
.
 3)
 
R
ecklessl
y
: when the D is
aware
of a substantial and unjustifiable risk and
consciously disregards
that risk 
4
)
 
N
egligen
l
y
: when D should have known about a substantial and unjustifiable risk 
.
 5)
 
S
r
ic
L
ia
b
ili
ty
: no mental state required (similar to common law)
y
 
These are the mental states adopted by
NY 
 
INT
E
NT
/ ME
N
S
 
R
E
A
 
y
 
E
very crime required intent or particular mental state(
mensrea
)
y
 
Mental state (for intent/mensrea) of the D is inferred from the circumstances
unless
you havean actual statement from a person
.
 
y
 
People v
.
Du: this case is all about why
.
 The jury found that she meant to pull the trigger
.
But the problem is that we dont really know what Dus intent was
.
 
y
 
ou just have to intend the act,
NO
T the consequence (pg 26 p
.
1 2
nd
half)
o
 
I
ntend means simply a purpose or willingness to commit the act 
.
 
y
 
There are generally 3 classifications of Mens Rea
o
 
I
ntent 
 
General intent: intending the action (and not necessarily the result or intent tobreak the law)
 
Specific intent 
o
 
Recklessness
o
 
Strict Liability
A
C
T
U
S
 
R
E
U
S
 
handout 
 
(COMMO
N
L
AW?
)
A
S
 
y
 
O
rdinarily if you dont have an act you dont have a crime
 
y
 
A
ct = a voluntary bodily movement 
o
 
V
oluntary = of own brain sending signal to your body
.
 
y
 
E
xamples of non-acts
o
 
Sleepwalking or any unconscious movement 
o
 
Reflex or convulsion (ex: epileptic seizures)
o
 
Someone else who moves the D (D acting as a missile)
y
 
O
missions Rule: sometimes a failure to act can be the basis for criminal liability
o
 
There are three requirements (and you need all three)
 
F
irst, you need a legal duty to act which can be created in 5 different ways
y
 
By statute:
o
 
ex
.
 
F
iling tax returns, professionals reporting child abuse

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