chap_3 - Civil Law — Law regulating the relationships...

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Unformatted text preview: - Civil Law — Law regulating the relationships between or among individuals. usuaily involving property, contracts. or business disputes Substantive Criminal Law — Law that defines acts that are subject to punishment and specifies the punishments for such offenses Procedural Criminal Law — Law defining the - procedures that criminal justice officials must follow in enforcement, adjudication, and corrections Legality Actus reus Causation Harm Concurrence Mans rea Punishment - There must be a law that defines the specific action as a crime Offensive and harmfui behavior is not illegal unless it has been prohibited by law before it was committed The US. Constitution forbids ex post facto laws - For a crime to occur there must be an act of either commission or omission by the accused - Peopie can be prosecuted for use, safe, or ' possession of drugs but not forthe status of being addicted to drugs (Robinson v. California, 1962) Fora crime to have been committed there must be a causal relationship between an act and the harm suffered . To be a crime, an act must cause harm to some legally protected value. - inchoate offense - An act can be deemed criminal if it could do harm that the law seeks to prevent For an act to be considered a crime, the intent and the act must be present at the same time - The “guilty mind” - The commission of an act is not a crime unless it is accompanied by a guilty state of mind . Criminal intent, as distinguished from innocent intent - There must be a provision in the law calling for punishment of those found guilty of violating the law. - The punishment is enforced by the government and may carry with it: - Social stigma - Criminal record - Loss of freedom - Loss of rights - In order for an act to be considered a crime the following elements must be present: - Actus Reus - the “guilty acf’ - Mens Rea — the “guilty mind” Definitions of criminal acts differ between state and federal jurisdictions For example, some states allow for multiple levels of homicide depending on the presence or absence of intent, neglect, or malice. Entrapment Self defense Necessity Duress immaturity . Mistake of fact Intoxication Insanity - The defense that the individual was induced by the police to commit the criminal act -, The police may use undercover officers to set a trap for the offender - The police may not act in such a way as to endice or encourage the criminal act - A person who feels he or she is in immediate danger may ward off an attack. '- In most states a person also has a right to defend other people from attack, to protect property, and to prevent a crime Differs from self-defense in that the defendant breaks a law in order to save themselves or prevent a greater harm. - The defense of duress arises when someone commits a crime because he or - she is coerced by another person Generaily courts will not accept the defense if the defendant did not utilize an opportunity to escape the situation. AngEo-American law excuses criminal acts by children under seven on grounds that mens rea — criminal intent — cannot be formed States differ on how each determines the Eevel of criminal intent, if any, in persons between the ages of seven and fourteen States disallow a defense of immaturity between the ages of sixteen to eighteen The law does not relieve an individual of responsibility for acts performed while voluntarily intoxicated Some states have enacted statutes that bar a defense of intoxication in a criminal offense. The U. 8. Supreme Court has uphetd such legislation in Montana v. Egeioff (1996) - Contrary to dpoprular belief only about 1% of incarcerate o enders are held in mental hospitals because they were found “not guilty by reason of insanity” U. S. courts have used five tests of criminal responsibility involving insanity: - M’Naghten Rule - trresistable Impulse Test - Durham Rule - Model Pena.l Code ’3 Substantial Capacity Test - gomprehensive Crime Control Act of 1994 ES Developed in England in 1843 and used by more than a dozen states. “Right from wrong test" "at the time of committing the act, the party - accused was laboring under such a defect of reason, from disease of the mind, as not to know the nature and quaiity of the act he was doing, or if he did know it that he did not know he was doing what was wrong" Over haif of the states and the federal . government use this test. which was developed in the early 1970s The Test states, "if at the time of such conduct as a result of mental disease or defect he lacks substantial capacity either to appreciate the criminality of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the ' requirements of the law.” ...
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