CRIM CHART FINAL - William Nussbaum Thomas Hatcher Ian...

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William Nussbaum Thomas Hatcher Ian Cotner Lee Futch MPC v. COMMON LAW I. BASIC DEFINITION : Act + Mental State + Result = Crime – Defenses II. ACTUS REUS - a voluntary act, omissions do not usually count Causation -under the CL, cause in fact (“but for) + proximate cause Under the MPC the prosecution must prove “but for” causation and any other specific causal requirement “imposed by the Code or the law defining the offense THEORIES OF PUNISHMENT Utilitarianism -punishment is itself an evil because it deliberately inflicts harm on human beings. Therefore, we should only hurt criminals only if some good is achieved by this act. Under utilitarian theory, if it were possible to threaten punishment but never impose it and yet achieve the same amount of deterrence, punishment itself would be unnecessary. Incapacitation (utilitarian theory)-works on the principle that whoever cannot commit a crime will not commit a crime; it is done for preventative purposes. If we were certain that an offender would not commit a crime then incapacitation would have no purpose, a consequentalist theory of punishment, concerned w/ preventing future criminal conduct. This works under the MPC for attempt. Tends to focus on the nature of the offender, it also deals w/ protecting the public. Critique of this theory is that it ignores the so-called replacement phenomenon in crime. Many criminal activities are market driven-if there is a demand for illegal goods someone will supply them. Rehabilitation (utilitarian theory)-a consequentalist theory of punishment, a justification of punishment in its terms of its beneficial consequences, rather than a good in itself, concerned w/ preventing future criminal conduct. This works under the MPC for attempt. This theory tends to focus on the nature of the offense. Critics say that there was no evidence that treatment during punishment worked Retribution (Just Deserts)-done for its own sake, the offender deserves punishment because he deserves blame. 1
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Retribution would justify punishment even if punishing would make no rehabilitative or preventative sense and even if, punishment would deprive society of an affirmative benefit. Retribution on its face does not require a criminal act (they would punish adulterers). Tends to focus on the nature of the offender, deals w/ the justice factor of punishment; to blame those who choose to do wrong This theory only punishes those who have made moral, willing choices; it would not allow the state to punish those who, such as the mentally ill or duressed, had no choice. Nor would retribution allow criminal confinement based on prediction of future acts. This theory tends to seem like utilitarian because it hopes to affirm society’s mores. Another weakness in this theory is its difficulty in explaining how the punishing the criminal
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CRIM CHART FINAL - William Nussbaum Thomas Hatcher Ian...

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