Chapter 4 Criminal Law - 1 Chapter 4 Criminal Law Revised...

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Chapter 4 Criminal Law Revised and Updated Summer 2010 I Background A The Wife Beater in Iraq 1 American troops liberated Iraq in 2003 a Some came into contact with a wife beater b They could not stop him directly or charge him with a crime because ‘discipline’ was legal 2 Often dealing with the law is very complex II The Nature and the Purpose of Law A Protect and Punish: The Legal Function of the Law 1 Some see the primary function of the law as the maintenance of public order by protecting citizens from criminal harm a Individual harm to citizens b Harm to society in general B Maintain and Teach: The Social Function of Law 1 Law also is an expression of public morality a reflecting the values and norms of society 2 Teaching Societal Boundaries C Types of Law 1 Statutory – written and created by government usually a legislature 2 Penal Code – the criminal law 3 Case Law – Judicial precedent, a record of cases a Used to interpret statutes 4 Common Law a Old unwritten law b Developed in Medieval England in Courts III The Rule of Law A The Rule of Law 1 The idea that a society is best governed with a consistent establish code of conduct known to all 2 Applying the law to everyone equally a At least in theory B Including Different Aspects of the Rule of Law 1 No private violence 2 Objective creation of law, evenly applied 3 Obtaining objectives within bounds of ordered liberty 4 Substantive and Procedural limits on governmental power C Jurisprudence 1 The Philosophy and study of law IV The Types of Law 1
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A Criminal Law 1 Law that defines and specifies punishment for offenses against public morals, the state or society 2 Types a Substantive – defining crime and punishment b Procedural – application and enforcement of the law 3 Punishment a Fines b Imprisonment c Death B Civil Law 1 Defined a Law that governs relationships between private parties 2 Violations a Tort – a civil wrong b Breach of Contract C Administrative Law 1 Law developed and enforced by Administrative agencies 2 Most of the law made today - In The inset (page 119) the question is raised should violent speech (in this case a Muslim cleric) be classified as criminal speech? Would your answer change if it was a conservative church preaching against homosexuality, or a liberal activist calling for protest against the war? E Case Law 1 Precedent a The old Latin is “Stare Decisis” 1) Precedent is the past decision 2) Stare Decisis is “let the decision stand” a) The idea you should follow precedents in applying the law 2 If a precedent is controlling you MUST follow it a In Romanesque or Civil Law systems precedent is not as important 3 It allows for an efficient and consistent court 4 Being guided by past decisions to provide order and stability to the system D Statutory Law 1 Both the Congress (federal) and States can make laws or statutes 2 Statutory law if it conflicts with constitutional 2
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