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Unformatted text preview: CRIMINAL LAW OUTLINE FALL 2006 I. Introduction A. The purposes of the criminal justice system 1. Punitive 2. Removes dangerous people from the community 3. Deters others a. public trials help set social standards 4. Gives society a chance at rehabilitation B. Proof beyond a reasonable doubt 1. In re Winship- the Supreme Court held that the due process clause protects the accused against conviction except upon proof beyond a reasonable doubt of every fact necessary to constitute the crime charged. a. right of accused to protect his liberty b. right against stigma c. public confidence in the standard of proof (respect for the system) d. Judge Harlan- there is a greater cost to false positives (convicting the innocent) than false negatives (letting a guilty man go) C. Two types of defenses 1. Missing element defense- the state failed to prove an element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt 2. Affirmative defense- D admits that he did the act, but has a justification or excuse. Burden on D to prove a. justification- action wasn’t wrongful, but was necessary b. excuse- the action was wrongful, but the person is not blameworthy D. Elements of a Crime 1. Conduct- an act or omission 2. Circumstance- surrounding the act (ex.- lack of consent) 3. Result- crime defined by prohibited conduct II. Actus Reus- culpable conduct. The physical portion of a crime. Voluntary acts or omissions. A. 3 principles limit the distribution of punishment 1. culpability- to safeguard conduct that is without fault from condemnation as criminal 2. legality- to give fair warning of the nature of the conduct declared to constitute an offense 3. proportionality- to differentiate on reasonable grounds between serious and minor offenses B. Overt and voluntary conduct- choice is central to blameworthiness 1. Involuntary acts= no liability a. Presumption of a voluntary act- D consciously performs the accused action. i. act- all bodily movement ii. voluntary- willful contraction of the muscle b. Martin v. State- officers arrested D at his home and took him onto the highway, where he used loud and profane language. Thus arrested for violating an Alabama statute- guilty if a person appears in a public place and manifests a drunken condition. The Court of Appeals held that, to be convicted under the statute, a voluntary appearance was presupposed. They therefore refused to convict D, who was involuntarily carried to the highway by the officers. c. Model Penal Code- “a person is not guilty of an offense unless his liability is based on conduct which includes a voluntary act or the omission to perform an act of which he is physically capable.” d. Lord Denning’s involuntary acts i. automatism- an act which is done by the muscles without any control by the mind (spasm or convulsion) ii. an act done by a person not conscious of what he is doing (suffering from a concussion, sleepwalking) e. MPC involuntary acts, Section 2.01. All other acts are voluntary....
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- Fall '09
- Common Law, criminal law, person, Manslaughter