Criminal Law Final Exam Outline

Criminal Law Final Exam Outline - Criminal Law Outline...

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Criminal Law Outline CRIMINAL LAW I. COMPONENTS OF JUST PUNISHMENT A. Elements, Burdens, and Presumptions i. In Re Winship Holding: The Due process clause requires that the State prove beyond a reasonable doubt every fact necessary to constitute the crime the accused is charged of. Rationale: The use of the “reasonable-doubt” standard is indispensable and cannot be substituted for a lower standard of proof because it a prime instrument for reducing the risk of convictions resting on factual error. Its enforcement is central to the administration of U.S. criminal law that provides the concrete substance for the presumption of innocence. ii. Patterson v. New York Holding: The due process clause provides that a State, in a criminal proceeding, is only required to prove those facts beyond a reasonable doubt that are essential to constitute & and convict one of a crime that is otherwise within its constitutional powers to sanction by substantial punishment. Rationale: The death, intent to kill, and causation are the facts that are required to and have been proven beyond a reasonable doubt to constitute and convict one of murder. The State is not required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt every fact, which the existence or nonexistence is recognized as an exculpatory or mitigating circumstance affecting the degree of culpability or severity of the punishment. B. The Principles of Legality i. COMMONWEALTH v. MOCHAN - “What Courts Shouldn’t Do” Facts/Issue : D was charge and convicted for conduct that wasn’t defined as a criminal offense in any State statute. Holding: the test isn’t whether precedents can be found in the written law but whether the alleged crime and offender can be prosecuted and punished under the common law. Rationale: The common law is broad enough to punish any act that directly injuries or tends to injure the public to such an extent as to require the state to interfere and punish the wrongdoer. Whatever openly outrages decency and is 1
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Criminal Law Outline injurious to public morals is a misdemeanor at common law. D’s criminal intent was evidenced by a number of overt acts, immoral and filthy language, which at least injuriously affected public morality. ii. McBOYLE v. UNITED SATES Facts/Issue: D was charged & convicted for transporting a stolen airplane to another State under the National Motor Vehicle Theft Act, which prohibits the interstate transportation of motor vehicles. D argued that the act didn’t apply to Airplanes because they aren’t within the meaning of the word “vehicle” in the phrase “other self-propelled” vehicle not designed for running on rails”. Holding: The statute shouldn’t be extended to an aircraft simply because it seems to the court that a similar policy applies or because the court speculates that if the legislature had thought of it, broader words would’ve likely been used to cover the act charged of. Rationale:
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2009 for the course LAW criminal l taught by Professor Huigens during the Spring '08 term at Yeshiva.

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Criminal Law Final Exam Outline - Criminal Law Outline...

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