Criminallawoutline - Criminal Law Outline Taylor-Thompson...

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Criminal Law Outline Taylor-Thompson – Fall 2005 PURPOSES AND LIMITS OF PUNISHMENT Criminal Law is an expression of norms/moral judgments. It is concerned with blameworthy conduct. 1. Deterrence a. Aims to prevent future crime by using threats of punishment (i.e. long sentences) i. General deterrence: geared at affecting all potential criminals/society ii. Specific deterrence: geared at this specific offender b. Problems : i. Doesn’t take into account impulsive crimes or irrational criminals ii. Assumes criminal expects to be caught, and understands the legal penalty iii. Deterrence alone may run the risk of abuse (premature enforcement, punishing wholly out of proportion, selective prosecution) 2. Rehabilitation a. Aims to prevent future crime by understanding why the individual committed the crime and altering those tendencies/behaviors i. Correction through separation, obedience, labor, and education ii. Focus on the individual, not the crime—make the individual a productive member of society b. Problems : i. Length of sentence may be grossly disproportionate to the crime committed—sentences are often open-ended, until prisoner is declared “rehabilitated” ii. High cost of tailoring a rehab program to the specific prisoner 3. Incapacitation a. Aims to prevent future crime by taking the offender out of circulation, depriving him of his ability to commit repeat offenses b. Problems : i. Assumes—or discounts—crime within prisons, assumes that prisoners won’t become more violent while incapacitated and commit repeat offenses when he gets out ii. Assumes the criminal won’t be replaced on the outside by a similar criminal iii. High cost of incarcerating so many people, prison crowding and deterioration of prison conditions 4. Retribution a. “An eye for an eye” theory—exacts suffering the offender ‘owes’ for past wrongs i. Focus on the crime, not the individual—doesn’t look at intent at all ii. Satisfying to the public—discourages public vigilantes, creates respect for and belief in the legal system b. Problems : i. Takes crime out of its social context ii. Assumes criminals are rational actors iii. Only corrective of past crime, not preventative of future crime 5. Social Contract a. Uphold the strict meaning of the law and social order Sentencing Reform Act (1984) severity of offense + seriousness of prior criminal acts = sentence State guidelines take personal characteristics of offender into account Fed guideline system more restrictive, distinguishing characteristics of offender are forbidden CRIME = (actus reus (act) + mens rea (mental state) + circumstance + causation + result) - defenses DEFINING CULPABILITY I. ACTUS REUS—Culpable Conduct 1
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Punishment must be for (1) past (2) voluntary (3) conduct [not a thought or status, but can be an omission] (4) committed within a jurisdiction (5) specified (6) in advance (7) by statute 1. The Criminal Act/ Voluntariness a. Proctor v. State (OK, 1918)
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This note was uploaded on 04/20/2008 for the course CRIMINAL L 101 taught by Professor Sm during the Fall '08 term at Florida Coastal School of Law.

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Criminallawoutline - Criminal Law Outline Taylor-Thompson...

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