Chapter 5 - Law Justice and Society A Sociolegal...

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Law, Justice, and Society: A Sociolegal Introduction Chapter 5 Crime and Criminal Law
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Crime and Criminal Law Criminal law, a.k.a. substantive law, is the law  of crimes Defined by statute prescriptions proscriptions Enforced by the state Primary purpose is to protect the public from  harm by punishing harmful acts that have  occurred and seeking to avoid harm by  forbidding conduct that may lead to it
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Crime and Criminal Law “[A]n intentional act in violation of the criminal law  committed without defense or excuse, and  penalized by the state ” (Tappan 1947, 100) 1. An  act  in violation 2. Of a  criminal law  for which  3. A  punishment  is prescribed;  4. The person committing this action must have  intended  to do so 5. And to have done so without any legally  acceptable  defenses  or  justifications What Is Crime?
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Crime and Criminal Law Crime as a Subset of Harmful Acts Core offenses Mala in se All crimes Mala in se and mala prohibita All social harm Not regulated by  criminal law All harms
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Crime and Criminal Law Mala in se:  Crimes that are considered bad in  of themselves Part I offenses in the UCR are the major mala in se  crimes Mala Prohibita:  Crimes that are considered  crimes because we have placed restrictions on  them Listed in Part II of the UCR along with some other less  serious mala in se offenses
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Crime and Criminal Law State and federal constitutions State and federal statutes Common law codified in most states mid-1800s Federal law is growing source of criminal law Statutes define elements (various parts) of a  crime more specifically than common law Sources of Criminal Law
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Crime and Criminal Law Substantive due process : There are limits to  what conduct the law may seek to prohibit Forbids passage of laws that infringe on the  rights of individuals free speech assembly Overbreadth doctrine : Laws are  unconstitutional when they fail to narrowly  define the specific behavior to be restricted  Limitations on the Criminal Law
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Crime and Criminal Law Void for vagueness : laws are unconstitutional  if they fail to clearly define the prohibited act  and the punishment in advance Fair notice : letting people know what is and is  not permitted Must not restrict due process: laws must be  enforced fairly and non-arbitrarily  Must not restrict equal protection: laws  cannot restrict the rights of members of  suspect classifications  Limitations on the Criminal Law (cont.)
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Crime and Criminal Law Cruel and unusual punishment : punishments  must be proportional to the crime Ex post facto laws : people cannot be  penalized for behavior which was not illegal 
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This note was uploaded on 09/05/2011 for the course CJ 103 taught by Professor Cluphf during the Spring '11 term at Boise State.

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Chapter 5 - Law Justice and Society A Sociolegal...

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