CrimLaw_Boldt_3 - Criminal Law I. Generally a. Sources of...

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Criminal Law I. Generally a. Sources of Authority i. Common law ii. Legislatures: Sometimes codification of common law rules iii. Model Penal Code b. If a person engages in the prohibited action with the attendant mental state: i. Conduct must come to the attention of police (report or direct observation) 1. 50% of crimes detected 2. 19% result in arrest in large cities 1. Higher for violent crimes: 38% 2. Property crimes: 11% ii. Suspect is arrested and booked iii. Initial appearance before a magistrate. Notified of rights, bail set or released on recognizance iv. Preliminary hearing: Probable cause determination. D may waive. v. Charging document developed setting out the allegation against D or indictment in case of grand jury vi. Arraignment: D enters plea 1. 50% kicked out between arrest and arraignment vii. Trial or plea negotiation 1. 90% of cases that make it this far are resolved by plea negotiation in large cities. 1. Pros i. Efficiency ii. Eases burden on penitentiary system 2. Cons i. Prosecutors overcharge to get leverage ii. Question whether outcomes mirror what one would expect at trial (assuming trial produces a proper outcome) 1. plea negotiations are informed by expected outcomes viii. Many cases are excluded because of the judgments of actors within the system: Police officers, prosecutors, judges 1. In theory, the decisions of individual actors are informed by the formal definitions of the crimes that are in place. ix. Although most cases don’t go to trial, substantive law is important because 1. It informs the decisions of actors that handle the initial processes 2. Sets the standards for the shadow system of plea bargaining 3. Creates the rules that govern future trials 4. Moral Education: Marks the boundaries of acceptable behavior. c. Burden of Proof i. In re Winship: Due process protects the accused 1
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1. Accordingly, every element must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. ii. Relative costs in either direction 1. False positive: Innocent person punished 2. False negative: Guilty person set free 3. Greater costs attached to false positive 1. Damaged reputation, freedom and life 2. Costs relatively equivalent in civil system- thus preponderance of evidence is appropriate. 4. Guilt beyond a reasonable doubt is a legal question d. Evidence i. Must be relevant: probative AND material ii. Probative: Must make a factual proposition more or less likely to be found by the trier of fact iii. Material: Must be legally important to the case II. Theories of Punishment a. Utilitarian i. Deterrence ii. Isolation: Keep dangerous people off the streets iii. Rehabilitation b. Retribution: Give people what they deserve c. Stigma d. Principles limiting the distribution of punishment i. Culpability: Blameworthiness or fault 1. Actus reus and mens rea sort the culpable from non-culpable ii. Legality: Notice 1. Do the rules defining the offense give sufficient notice of what is permissible? 2.
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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_3 - Criminal Law I. Generally a. Sources of...

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