CrimLaw_Boldt - 0735545448 I. General A. 3 General...

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0735545448 I. General A. 3 General Principals limit the distribution of punishment in the Criminal Justice system, they are: a. Culpability – To safeguard conduct that is without fault from being criminal b. Legality – Do the rules defining the offense put everyone on notice about the rules defining correct and incorrect behavior c. Proportionality – Do the rules match the level of punishment appropriate with the level of blame B. Principles of Evidence – Evidence has to be probative and material to be introduced to the court in a criminal proceedings – what does this mean: a. Probative – the proposition to be established is more than likely to be true given the evidence, then without the evidence b. Material – Evidence to be proved affects the outcome of the case at hand C. All crimes have several basic common elements: 1) A voluntary act (Actus Reus) 2) A culpable intent (Mens Rea) 3) Concurrence between 1 and 2 a. Prohibitive mental state + conduct = criminal guilt 4) Causation of Harm II. Actus Reus (AR) A. Act must be Voluntary – An act cannot satisfy the actus reus requirement unless it is voluntary. B. Situations where actus reus requirement is not found: a. Duress – Threat or use of force by a third person, forcing individual to act, or putting them in a situation where they will act. ( Martin vs. State – taking drunk man out of home) b. Unconsciousness – an act performed during a state of unconsciousness does not meet the AR criteria – ( People vs. Newton – Jury should have been instructed about the defense of unconsciousness when Newton was shot in stomach/ Cogdon - killing while sleepwalking – This was used as a missing element defense ) c. Reflex or convulsion – An act consisting of a reflex or convulsion does not give rise to criminal liability. (Driving with condition, when he knew that he shouldn’t People vs. Decina – knowing and unreasonable risk) d. Status – A status in and of itself is not blameworthy ( Robinson case). So you cannot charge someone for being a drunk or an addict. i. However can be charged for Self Induced cases i.e. In all cases involving allegedly involuntary acts D’s earlier voluntary act may deprive D of the involuntary defense. (the Powell case) C. Omissions – The AR requirement means that in most situations there is no criminal liability for an omission to act (distinguished from an affirmative act) a. Is there a legal duty? i. Is there a relationship between the D and the victim? 1. Where a statute imposes a duty to care for another 2. Where one stands in a certain status relationship to another (ex. Pope case) a. Very limited in the creation of a duty i. Husband wife ii. Parent child 3. Where one has assumed a contractual duty to care for another (ex. Jones case) 4. Where one has voluntarily assumed the care of another and so secluded the helpless person as to prevent others from rendering aid (ex. Pope and Jones case) a. The Good Samaritan statutes always enforce a clause that the duty only
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This note was uploaded on 03/03/2010 for the course LAW 28465 taught by Professor Carson during the Fall '09 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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CrimLaw_Boldt - 0735545448 I. General A. 3 General...

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