Criminal Law Outline

Criminal Law Outline - Criminal Law By Jeff Amato Professor...

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Criminal Law By Jeff Amato Professor Bobis I. Introduction A. Crime – Conduct that will incur a formal punishment and moral condemnation of the community. This distinguishes crimes from civil wrongs, the moral condemnation of the community. B. Proof Beyond a reasonable doubt – Differing interpretations of the standard needed to convict one of a crime include Moral certainty, firmly convinced, no waiver or vacillation, and no hesitation. C. Jury Nullification – The term used for the process of a jury allowing a defendant to be acquitted even though they committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. II. Principles of Punishment Why, who and how much should we punish? A. Utilitarian 1. Looks forward to the benefits of punishment 2. Punishment is justified when the utility outweighs the evil that inflicting punishment produces 3. Promotes the general happiness of the community 4. Benefits of Punishment A. Specific Deterrence B. Incapacitation C. General Deterrence D. Reformation Problems – How do we know that these methods work without concrete empirical evidence? B. Retributive 1. People who commit crimes deserve to be punished “jus deserts.” 2. Negative retributivists believe that innocent people should never be punished while positive retributivists believe that criminals should always be punished. 3. Someone who voluntarily renounces the benefits and burdens of restraint should be punished. 4. Assaultive retributivist believes it is right to hatecriminals. 5. A retributivist would kill all the murderers in the world even if they were about to disband society and scatter throughout the world because they must realize the jus desert of their deeds otherwise all of society will be guilty because of it.
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6. Looks backward at the crime committed. Harm Culpability C. Proportionality of Punishment 1. Model Penal Code – §1.02 (2)(c) Protects offenders against excessive, disproportionate or arbitrary punishment. 2. Constitutional a. The 8 th amendment protects against punishment that is cruel and unusual. b. The 8 th amendment also protects against disproportional implication of the death penalty. c. Under extremely limited circumstances the term of imprisonment will run afoul of 8 th amendment principles. The Supreme Court uses a three prong test to determine if it is disproportional. Inherently grave offense Intrajurisdictional test Interjurisdictional test The Harmelin rule – the Supreme Court will look at the first issue as a threshold issue and will not address the others if it is a inherently grave offense. d. Recidivist statutes have been upheld in the Supreme Court by a slim majority, because of their reluctance to impose federal power on the states, and the belief that there is no way of objectively allowing judges to impose sentences that may be subjective. It is better left to the legislature…. 3.
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Criminal Law Outline - Criminal Law By Jeff Amato Professor...

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