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Crim Law - Spring 2004 - Garvey3

Crim Law - Spring 2004 - Garvey3 - CRIMINAL LAW What is a...

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CRIMINAL LAW What is a crime? That which attracts the moral condemnation of the community . We want to condemn and morally censure. This condemnation is largely attracted by intentionality in the infliction of emotional harms. What are the sources of criminal law? Statutes, not judge-made, it is not within the judicial power to make crimes. Constitutional outer limits and protections. What does the “presumption of innocence” mean? Rule : A conviction based on circumstantial evidence alone is not enough to convict, unless the circumstances are inconsistent with any reasonable hypothesis of innocence. (Owens v. State , man found asleep behind the wheel with open in a driveway after reports of reckless driving). Rule : The evidentiary standard to prove guilt at trial is beyond a reasonable doubt. Rule : The standard of appellate review is could a trier of fact have reasonably reached the result it did? What are the principles of punishment? Punishment defined: An agent of the government acting pursuant to granted authority, by virtue of the D’s criminal conviction, intentionally inflicts pain or otherwise cause the D to suffer some consequence that is ordinarily considered to be unpleasant. The aims of punishment are: o Justifying (why we punish) o Distributive (whom and how much) The underlying theories are: o Utilitarian Punishment serves a useful social purpose. General deterrence – Convince the general public not to so act. Individual deterrence – Deter the likelihood of repeat offense. Incapacitation – Removing the criminal Reform – Reform the criminal o Retributive Looks back at the crime to assess punishment Punishment rectifies the wrong. o Negative Retributivism (Mixed retrib//util 1) Don’t punish without a good reason, punishing innocents is morally wrong, no more punishment than is deserved, and release the redeemed criminal o Positive Retributivism (Mixed retrib//util 2) The guilty must be punished, retribution is a necessary + sufficient condition of punishment, and punishment needs to be carried to term, no early release for redemption.
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How much punishment can be imposed? The 8 th Amendment says that cruel and unusual punishment shall not be imposed. There is read into this a proportionality element. o How much is too much in a capital case? Rule : A penalty is grossly disproportionate if it (1) makes no measurable contribution to acceptable goals of punishment; or (2) is grossly disproportionate to the crime. (Coker v. Georgia , death penalty is grossly disproportionate to the rape of an adult woman). The test for gross disproportionality has an objective element (what do legislatures, juries and other jurisdictions do); and subjective (what is the inherent gravity of the offense, death needs murder).
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Crim Law - Spring 2004 - Garvey3 - CRIMINAL LAW What is a...

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