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Unformatted text preview: C RIMINAL L AW Professor C. Bobis St. John’s University School of Law Fall 2002 Background Crimes vs. Civil Wrongs Crime – “Conduct which, if duly shown to have taken place, will incur a formal and solemn pronouncement of the moral condemnation of the community” • The crime effectuates a social harm , harm to society in general • Burden of proof: “Beyond a reasonable doubt” • D is presumed innocent • May be punishable by imprisonment or death Civil Wrongs – “Personal Wrongs” (Torts, Breaches of Contracts) • Burden of proof: “Preponderance of evidence” or sometimes “Clear and convincing evidence” (something less than burden in criminal cases) • Civil wrongs are not punishable by imprisonment – at least theoretically, some offenders may be committed to mental institutions for life without being convicted of any crime, but that considered to be a rehabilitation not punishment Right to a Jury Constitutional Issues • 6th Amendment – Right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury of one’s peers • 8th Amendment – No fact examined by a jury can be reviewed by any court • 5th Amendment – No double jeopardy; D cannot be retried after jury acquits (Appellate courts may acquit after jury convicts) Jury Nullification • Jury may acquit D even if state proves the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt because (1) sympathy for D, (2) rejection of antiquated, unfair laws or (3) reaction to government oppression • Jury does not have to explain the verdict (“Guilty” or “Not guilty” is all what is required) • Courts cannot take the power of nullification from jury, but will not advertise it to jurors either Jeff Goland Page 1 5/13/2009 Principles of Punishment Three “big questions” of criminal law:- Why do we punish?- Who do we punish?- How much do we punish? Justification Utilitarian Justifications • Purposes/General Theory ♦ Crime Prevention – look forward to the benefits of punishment (deterrence) ♦ “Cost/Benefit Analysis” – Balancing the social benefits of deterring crime against inherent evil of inflicting punishment on criminals • Benefits of Punishment ♦ Specific Deterrence Individual Deterrence – focuses on determining how much punishment is required to deter this specific criminal from violating the laws again Incapacitation – focuses on preventing crimes by specific criminals by physically restraining them (by imprisonment or death penalty) Reform/Rehabilitation – focuses on preventing crimes by “fixing” the criminals – they will not commit new crimes not because they are afraid of the punishment (as in individual deterrence above), but because they know better now ♦ General Deterrence – focuses on determining how much punishment is required to deter others from committing similar crimes – uses specific criminal to deter others (this particular individual may and should get more than he deserves if punishment helps the society at large)...
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This note was uploaded on 02/18/2008 for the course LAW 1010 taught by Professor Cavanaugh during the Fall '00 term at St. Johns Duplicate.
- Fall '00