Crim Law OUTLINE (Maddie)


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CRIM LAW I. BASIC OUTLINES OF CRIME a. Mens reas (mental state) b. Actus reus (action) c. Attendant Circumstances d. Result II. PROCESS FOR DETERMINING GUILT a. Presentation of Evidence i. Order of Proof 1. Prosecution presents case in chief 2. Defense responds by standing on presumption of innocence or presenting affirmative defense 3. P’s rebuttal 4. D’s rejoinder ii. Relevance 1. Rules of Evidence- evidence considered relevant only if it is both: a. Probative: more likely to be true given evidence than without the evidence b. Material: affects outcome of case 2. Relevant evidence not always admissible iii. Privilege 1. Ex. Against self-incrimination iv. Prejudice 1. Exclusionary Rules keep out some relevant evidence 2. Evidence excluded when probative value outweighed by prejudicial effect 3. Ex. Evidence obtained thru illegal search v. Zackowitz 1. Man killed guy who spoke to wife insultingly 2. Principal issue at trial: first degree murder (premeditated) or second degree murder (impulsive)? 3. Should prosecution be allowed to introduce evidence that Zackowitz had three pistols and tear gas gun in apt at time of murder? 4. Although this evidence may be relevant, it should be excluded because it is prejudicial since it creates an atmosphere of professional criminality and apart from ownership of the weapons, nothing indicates Zackowitz was a man of evil life 5. RULE: Propensity / other crimes/ bad character evidence should be excluded
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a. A person who has suffered conviction and sentence is said to have paid his debt to society and the slate should be wiped clean 6. Character is never an issue in criminal prosecution unless D chooses to make it one a. Once D takes the stand, character/credibility becomes an issue because the D makes it one 7. IMPEACHMENT EXCEPTION: Propensity evidence may be considered for judging credibility of D’s testimony b. Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (MPC 1.12) i. In Re Winship 1. Due Process Clause protects against conviction unless prosecution proves beyond a reasonable doubt every fact necessary 2. All boils down to sufficiency of evidence ii. Patterson v. NY 1. D shot man with whom estranged wife was having affair 2. Court approved NY’s requirement that D prove extreme emotional disturbance a. Consistent with requirement that prosecution prove each and every piece of evidence beyond a reasonable doubt b. Legislature should have some leeway in creating affirmative defenses iii. Contrast Patterson (NY) with Mullaney (Maine) – Constitutional to require D to prove extreme emotional distress? 1. Patterson – Constitutional a. No presumption of malice aforethought as an element of murder b. So requiring D to prove extreme emotional distress beyond a reasonable doubt doesn’t relieve prosecution of burden of proving every fact necessary beyond a reasonable doubt 2. Mullaney – Unconstitutional a. Maine homicide statute defined murder as killing with malice aforethought b. Therefore, unconstitutional to require D to prove no
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