CRIM LAW OUTLINE revised

CRIM LAW OUTLINE revised - The Court and the Legislature...

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The Court and the Legislature Principle of Legality: the court shall not engage in law creation. 1 o Due Process Clause : notice requirement (no ex post facto laws) Void-for-vagueness: prohibits wholesale delegation of legislation to the courts. 2, 4 o Apply judicial evaluation based on common law meaning, statutory history, and prior judicial interpretation. Rule of Strict Construction: “lenity doctrine”: The statute or law should be construed in such a fashion as to make it most helpful to the defendant. 3,5 A defendant may request that a jury be instructed to consider lesser included offenses as long as such a jury could reasonably find the defendant guilty of the lesser offense. The offense cannot be higher, however, than the charge was initially. Actus Reus A crime includes two components: Mens rea – the state of mind involved in committing the crime Actus reus – the physical act and its results A result crime is based on an outcome, e.g. murder (punishing an unwanted outcome, social harm) A conduct crime is based on prohibited conduct, e.g. DUI (punishing a specific dangerous behavior, potential social harm) A criminal act must be voluntary, but a voluntary act leading to loss of control may still result in criminal culpability (e.g., inebriation) . 6, 7 MPC 2.01 (1)(2) Omission: An omission of a duty owed to another can sometimes be prosecutable, if that duty is legally required. This must be a legal duty, not simply a moral duty. 8, 9 MPC 2.01 (3) Where a statute imposes a duty Where one stands in a certain status relationship to another Where one has assumed contractual duty to care for another 2
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Where one has voluntarily accepted care for another thereby excluding others from caring for the person Where a person creates risk of harm to another Misprision of a felony: not a crime in the United State to not inform authorities of the plans of a crime by another; however, active cover-up is. Possession: Possession is considered an act if possessor knowingly procured or received the thing possessed or has had it in his possession long enough to be able to terminate his possession. MPC 2.01 (4) Interpreting statutes: Conduct element – the action that must be performed Result element – the result that must occur Attendant circumstances – what other features must be present Mens Rea: Broad definition is a guilty mind or a morally culpable state of mind, meaning performing a criminal act with any morally blameworthy state of mind. Narrow or “elemental” definition is a crime committed with a specific level of intent as specified in the statute. No guilt if it has a morally blameworthy state of mind that does not meet criteria in statute. “Elemental” definition is more commonly used. 10
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This note was uploaded on 04/14/2010 for the course LAW CRIM taught by Professor Cornwell&lillquist during the Spring '07 term at Seton Hall.

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CRIM LAW OUTLINE revised - The Court and the Legislature...

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