CriminalLawOutline - Criminal Law Outline: [Constitutional...

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Criminal Law Outline: [Constitutional Limitations] 1. Eighth Amendment (8 th ): Cruel and Unusual Punishment (proportionality) 2. Fifth Amendment (5 th ) Fourteenth (14 th ) Amendment: Equal Protection = All laws must be applied equally 3. Ex Post Facto Rule: Legislature may not enact law that were innocent when done or that increase the severity of punishment after the fact (No Notice – 14 th and 5 th ) 4. Statute cannot be overly vague A. Vest arbitrary and capricious discretion in the hand of police violates due process. B. Also referred to as the requirement of “Specificity” in legislative drafting (due process clause). 5. Rule of Lenity: Where a statute is ambiguous it must be read in favor of the defendant. [Principles] 1. Legality: There shall be no crime or punishment w/o a previously written law, that prohibits that conduct. 2. Discretionary power of government must be limited. [Elements of Crime] 1. Actus Reus – prohibited act that results in social harm 2. Mens Rea - prohibited mental state 3. Causation – chain of causation linking act to social harm; (and) 4. Concurrence – b/w mens rea and actus reus * Actus Reus: Voluntary Act/Volitional 1. No convictions based on thoughts 2. Act may not be compelled by government (no entrapment) 3. Defendant’s act must be voluntary 4. No criminal liability w/o legal duty to act 5. No status crimes Voluntariness: Act must be a movement of the body will by the actor – no criminal liability where actus reus was involuntary *Reflex; Unconsciousness; Involuntary Intoxication; Sleep Walking; Conviction (seizure) Omissions: failure to act/Duty to act
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1. Statutory Duty 2. Status Relationship/Special Relationship 3. Contract 4. Voluntary assumption of duty/care preventing others from helping *No criminal liability unless defendant had physical ability to act. *Moral obligation is not the same as legal obligation – there must be a legal duty to act. 5. Defendant creates the risk of harm to the victim. MPC: voluntary act = § 2.01 [Mental States = Mens Rea] * MPC: § 2.02; 1172 (applies to all material elements unless text plainly states otherwise. *CL Intent: 1. It is D’s conscious object or purpose to engage in certain conduct or produce certain result; or 2. Defendant knows to a virtual certainty her actions will cause the result. *Intent Inferred : 1. Death is the natural and probable consequence of defendant’s acts. 2. The surrounding circumstances provide an inference that was intended (weapon used; manner and placement of wounds) (from the facts). *Transferred Intent: When D intends the harmful result to A and in trying to carry out that intent causes the harm to B -applies to people and property -Intent is said to transfer to the other person (natural and probable consequence?) *** Specific Intent: The required mental state entails the intent to commit the resulting harm (ex. Burglary) *** General Intent: The required mental state entails only the intent to commit the act which results in harm (ex. Trespass)
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CriminalLawOutline - Criminal Law Outline: [Constitutional...

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