Criminal Law Outline

Criminal Law Outline - Criminal Law Outline Straeder All...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Criminal Law Outline Straeder All elements of a crime have to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in order for jury to convict of that crime. This is required by our society because we would rather let a guilty man go free than convict an innocent man. What is punishment? To place a criminal stigma on a person that is convicted of a crime (moral condemnation of the wrong-doer by society) What to criminalize? Balance of morality v. harm to others Ex. Bowers v. Hardwick —D charged w/ violating GA statute criminalizing sodomy— Majority opinion: does not violate constitution b/c law is based on notions of morality & to hold that homosexual sodomy is protected by constitution would be to cast aside all moral teaching---Dissenting opinion: Everyone has a right to privacy unless their activity is harmful to others Society needs a set of criminal laws How to punish? 8 th Punishment should fit the crime Why punish? ***2 theories:*** 1. Utilitarian – Deterrence (to keep you from doing harm to others) a. General – D is punished in order to teach others (crime does not pay) b. Specific – D is punished in order to deter him from committing future crimes i. Incapacitation – incarceration prevents him from committing additional crimes ii. Intimidation – reminds him that punishment is unpleasant – so when punishment complete he will obey the law c. Rehabilitation – providing him with skills, psychological aid, etc…so that he will be unlikely to commit offenses in the future 2. Retribution (moral)—eye for an eye—cleansing of debt [Punishment – deserve to be punished] Law requires some basic elements to be present in all crimes: 1) Mental (mens rea) 2) Action (actus reus) 1
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
3) Circumstance –not always required, depends on crime Why? Do not want to punish for thoughts alone. ACTUS REUS – Culpable conduct (criminal act)—physical/external 2 components: 1) Conduct a. Positive acts (VOLUNTARY)—GR not guilty of criminal offense unless conduct includes voluntary act i. People v. Martin : Police took drunken man from home to public location. When he became belligerent, they arrested him for public drunkenness. Conviction was overturned b/c his appearance in public (a requirement of the offense) was not voluntary. ii. People v. Newton : Huey Newton pulled over by Oakland PD. Newton had gun. Police officer shot Newton in the stomach, in response Newton shot cop 5 times. Murder conviction reduced to involuntary manslaughter; Newton shooting cop was a reflex action, caused by blinding pain from gunshot wound. Reflex actions are not voluntary exercises of free will. b. Negative action (Omission to act) – GR not guilty of crime for failure to act; no duty to act Exceptions--Common law legal duty of care: (mentioned in Jones case) 1) Relationship (D to V)—ex. Parent to child, legal spouse to legal spouse, master/servant 2) Contract 3) Statute [Ex. Omit to file tax return] 4) Voluntary assumption of care to the exclusion of others
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 09/21/2009 for the course LAW All taught by Professor All during the Fall '09 term at University of the West.

Page1 / 28

Criminal Law Outline - Criminal Law Outline Straeder All...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online