Crim_Law_Weibe1 - Criminal Law Outline Fall, 2001 I....

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Criminal Law Outline Fall, 2001 I. T HEORIES OF P UNISHMENT A. Incapacitation : imprisonment prevents further harm to society. B. Deterrence 1. Specific: deter the criminal 2. General: deter persons other than the criminal C. Retribution : satisfies society’s outrage D. Rehabilitation : reform the criminal E. Education : educate public to distinguish good from bad conduct Sources of Criminal Law Common Law : created and enforced by the judiciary in the absence of a statute defining the offense. Statutory Crimes : state legislative statutes are the primary source of criminal law. Model Penal Code : a scholarly endeavor to compile a coherent body of law. Published in 1962 as a source for drafting state criminal statutes. II. E LEMENTS OF J UST P UNISHMENT Elements of a Crime 1. Actus Reus (guilty act) 2. Mens Rea (guilty mind) 3. Concurrence 4. Causation 5. Attendant Circumstances A. Actus Reus : A physical act or unlawful admission by the D. Guilty Act 1. D must have either performed a voluntary physical act or failed to act under circumstances imposing a legal duty to act. 2. Omission as an “Act”: must fulfill all 3 elements below for liability a. Legal Duty to Act i. Statute (filing tax return or reporting an accident) ii. Contract (lifeguard or nurse) iii. Relationship between D and victim (parent/child or spouse) iv. Voluntary assumption of care a) once act undertaken, must follow through v. D created the peril b. Knowledge of Facts giving rise to Duty c. Reasonably Able to Perform 3. Possession as an “Act” a. D must control the item long enough to have opportunity to terminate possession b. D must be aware of possession but need not be aware of illegality. B. Mens Rea : The state of mind or intent of the D at the time of act. Guilty Mind Needed to distinguish between inadvertent/accidental acts and ones performed by one with a guilty mind. In strict liability , mens rea is not required . Page 1 of 9
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Criminal Law Outline Fall, 2001 1. Specific Intent : provides different proof standards for prosecution and is open to different defenses (intoxication, mistake of fact). a. Solicitation : intent to have the person solicited to commit the crime. i. Elements : inciting, counseling, advising, inducing or commanding another to commit a felony with the specific intent that the person solicited commit the crime . ii. Offense complete at time solicitation is made. iii. Defenses a) Impossibility or withdrawal is no defense . b. Attempt : intent to complete the crime i. Requires specific intent ii. Attempt to commit Strict Liability crimes also requires intent (because charge is for attempt ) iii. D must have committed act beyond mere preparation for offense. iv.
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Crim_Law_Weibe1 - Criminal Law Outline Fall, 2001 I....

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