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McCourt_-_Crim_Outline - Criminal Law Outline SENTECING WHY...

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Criminal Law Outline Issue : Do the men have a defense of necessity ? Reasoning : There is a situation where necessity is a defense; it’s called self-defense . Difference between killing an innocent person and killing your aggressor/ moral position changes We will not punish you for something that we, as humans, could not resist ourselves Utilitarianism Argument Looks at consequences. What will create the most benefits down the line? Most good, for most amount of people If you don’t do it, society will fall apart/there will be chaos Slippery slope analogy Why Punish? General Deterrence Specific Deterrence Rehabilitation Retribution (# 1 reason we punish today) Incapacitation Equal Justice: everyone should be handled equally under the law ACTUS REUS Requirement of Actus Reas : You need a voluntary act to constitute a crime. We don’t prosecute people for thoughts alone or involuntary acts When does a voluntary action qualify for actus reas? (need both 1 + 2) 1. When action is BLAMEWORTHY 2. When it is a harm that was contemplated by the drafters of the statutes (legislative intent) MPC: 2.01: Requirement of voluntary act o (2) non-voluntary acts o (3) omission does not necessarily constitute actus reas o (4) knowing possession is usually an act Huey Newton case: unconsciously shooting police officers negates the requisite actus reas (and mens rea) Why don’t we have a Good Samaritan Law? 1. We want people to be “good” to the degree they feel comfortable; don’t want to force people to put themselves in danger 2. American sense of individual freedom; we don’t want to burden people (However, a Good Samaritan law can exist, Ex. Vermont) Exceptions to “Don’t Have Be a Good Samaritan” Rule : 1. Statutory Duty 2. Special Relationships: (spouse parent/child) are there any more? 3. Cause Seclusion- voluntarily preventing others from providing care 4. Contractual Obligation to care for another: employment, etc. 5. Cause Peril (when you put someone in danger) 1
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*Criminal Law is specifically drawing lines, and in some sense that line is going to be arbitrary. (Think of the speed limit) MENS REA MPC: 2.02 Different Levels of Mens Rea : 1. Purpose (conscious object to accomplish a task) 2. Knowledge 3. Recklessness (you are aware of risk, and you consciously disregard that risk) For something to be criminally reckless, risk must be substantial and unjustifiable. 4. Negligence (you should have known…you didn’t…but you should have) Default Rule : If statute doesn’t state the requisite MR recklessness is the default. Elements of a Crime (Everything prosecution had to prove beyond a reasonable doubt) 1. Conduct ( actus reas ) 2. Attendant circumstances (everything gov. must prove that doesn’t fit into another category) 3. Result 4. Mens Rea 5. Negates defense of excuse or justification, if raised by defendant 6. Statute of Limitations (most crimes 5 years) *non material
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McCourt_-_Crim_Outline - Criminal Law Outline SENTECING WHY...

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