Crim_Law_Brumbaugh1 - Criminal Law Outline Professor Alice...

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Criminal Law Outline Professor Alice Brumbaugh Spring 2002 Angie Zagami I. Fair Warning A. You should not be held liable for conduct which was not criminal at the time committed B. Public is on constructive notice of what the law is C. Prohibition against retroactive criminalization 1. Judicial creation of common law crimes (reception: 1850) 2. Cases of first impression 3. Reversal or expansion of prior construction D. Prohibition against Vagueness 1. Fair notice—due process demands that a person of ordinary experience be offered a reasonable opportunity to know what is prohibited and act accordingly E. Judicial construction of Statutes 1. An unforeseeable judicial enlargement of a criminal statute, applied retroactively, operates precisely like an ex post facto law, such as Art. I, Section 10 of the Constitution forbids a. Foreseeable change in judicial construction = constitutional b. Unforeseeable change in judicial construction = unconstitutional 2. Rules of Statutory Construction a. Criminal statutes must be strictly construed in favor of Defendant b. With ambiguous statute, court should look to leg. intent (use Common Law, leg history) 3. Void for Vagueness Doctrine ( Bowers ) a. Penal statute must be sufficiently explicit to inform those who are subject to it what conduct on their part will render them liable to its penalties b. A statute which either forbids or requires the doing of an act in terms so vague that men of common intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning and differ as to its application violates due process of law F. Adequate Guidelines 1. Statute must provide adequate guidelines to law enforcement officials so that their discretion to arrest someone is not overly broad 2. Crimes of Status a. Crimes that require only that one be something—a vagrant, a common thief, a prostitute—without any proof of specific acts—sleeping in a doorway, picking a pocket, exchanging sex for money b. Punishment of these crimes may constitute cruel and unusual punishment or violate substantive due process requirements c. Model Penal Code 250.6 Loitering or Prowling: A person commits a violation if he loiters or prowls in a place, at a time, or in a manner not usual for law- abiding individuals under circumstances that warrant alarm for the
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safety of persons or property in the vicinity. Among the circumstances which may be considered in determining whether such alarm is warranted is the fact that the actor takes flight upon appearance of a peace officer, refuses to identify himself, or manifestly endeavors to conceal himself or any object. Unless flight by the actor or other circumstances makes it impracticable, a peace officer shall prior to any arrest for an offense under this section afford the actor an opportunity to dispel any alarm which would otherwise be warranted, by requesting him to identify himself and explain his presence and conduct. No person shall be convicted of an offense under this Section if the peace officer did not comply with
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Crim_Law_Brumbaugh1 - Criminal Law Outline Professor Alice...

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