Criminal Law Outline

Criminal Law Outline - I INTRODUCTION A Crime causes social harm B Burden of Proof prosecutor must prove every point beyond a reasonable doubt C

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I. INTRODUCTION A. Crime- causes social harm B. Burden of Proof- prosecutor must prove every point beyond a reasonable doubt C. Right to trial by jury- for all non-petty offenses (imprisonment for >6 months) D. Felonies- offenses punishable by death of imprisonment in state prison i. NY- crime punishable by > 1 yr in prison E. Misdemeanors- max penalty is monetary fine, incarceration is local jail or both i. NY-crime punishable by < 1 yr is prison F. Sources of Criminal Law i. Common Law- originally, our criminal law was created and enforced by the judiciary in the absence of a statute defining the offense ii. MPC- scholarly endeavor to compile a comprehensive and coherent body of criminal law – it has greatly influenced the drafting of state criminal statutes iii. Statutes- today, state legislative statutes are the primary source of criminal law II. PRINCIPLES OF PUNISHMENT A. Utilitarian - focuses on actions as means to good ends i. Characteristics: 1. Forward looking 2. Punishment is justifiable only if it is expected to result in a reduction of crime and maximize the net happiness of society 3. People are rationale so they will weigh benefits from committing crime with punishment 4. Recidivists (repeat offenders)- can justify enhanced punishment ii. Forms of Utilitarianism: 1. General Deterrence - D is punished in order to convince general community to forego criminal conduct in the future. Retributivists criticize this theory saying the criminal is used as a means to an end. 2. Specific Deterrence - D’s punishment is meant to deter future misconduct by D. It may occur in three ways: 3. Incapacitation - imprisonment 4. Rehabilitation (non-traditional)- reform criminal through psychiatric care, drug treatment etc. Retributivists criticize by saying criminal either cant be reformed. iii. Utilitarianism and Proportionality 1. In General Punishment is linked to predictions of future harm and the extent to which the undesired conduct is deterrable Punishment is undesirable unless it will result in a net benefit to society
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2. Punishment for Achieving General Deterrence Punishment will vary over time and jurisdiction based on what example must be set (ie. stealing tractor in farmland v. stealing tractor in Scarsdale) Utilitarians would consider the degree to which the conduct in question can be deterred 3. Punishment for achieving Specific Deterrence Punish to point where criminal wont commit crime again 4. Bentham’s Rules on Proportionality Punishment should be greater than profits from committing crime Punish worse crimes more severely, so people will choose lesser crime Punishment should induce criminal to not commit more mischief than necessary to commit crime Punishment is disproportional if it does more bad that good to society B. Retributivist - focuses as ends in themselves i. Characteristics: 1. Backward looking 2. Punishment is justifiable when it is deserved. It does not matter whether it reduces future crime
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This note was uploaded on 02/18/2008 for the course LAW 1010 taught by Professor Cavanaugh during the Spring '00 term at St. Johns Duplicate.

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Criminal Law Outline - I INTRODUCTION A Crime causes social harm B Burden of Proof prosecutor must prove every point beyond a reasonable doubt C

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