Samaha Chapter 1 Smith

Samaha Chapter 1 Smith - Criminal Law Criminal Chapter 1...

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: Criminal Law Criminal Chapter 1 The Nature and Limits of Criminal Law CRJU E314 Criminal Law Spring 2011, Mr. Smith Spring Limits to Law Limits Non-criminal wrongs Non-criminal “Victims” should sue the actors (a word for parties in legal cases) who injured Victims” them, but the stigma of “criminal” should not be attached to such offenders. Licensing and Regulation Taxes, Penalties, Licensing, Permits, etc. provide a non-criminal means of Taxes, pursuing those who may potentially violate the law, as well as some who do violate the law. violate Limits to Law Limits Social condemnation Social Friends and other people who matter should criticize what the actors did and Friends maybe even cut off their relationship with them for doing it. maybe Individual conscience Leave the control to the individual’s guilty conscience. Limits to Law Limits No action No IIgnore what the actors did. gnore Nolle Prosequi → No Prosecution Social encouragement Social The actors should be praised for what they did. Constitutional Limits Constitutional Due process of law Due Legislatures have to write criminal laws that are clear enough for individuals Legislatures and government officials to know in advance exactly what the law bans. and Equal protection of the law Equal Legislatures can’t define crimes and punishments that apply differently based Legislatures on inherited characteristics (race, ethnicity, gender, and age). on Individual rights and liberties Legislatures can’t make crimes that violate the rights to free speech, religion, Legislatures and privacy. and The Components of Criminal Liability The An action or conduct which occurred; which, without justification or excuse; which, inflicted, or threatened infliction of, substantial harm; to an individual, or individuals, in violation of public to interests. interests. Criminal Liability Criminal Actus reus (criminal act) Actus We punish people for what they do, not for what they intend to do or for who We they are. they Mens rea (criminal state-of-mind) Mens (criminal Before an act can be said to be criminal it must have been committed with the Before requisite mindset. Punishment Punishment Punishment depends on the blameworthiness of the conduct and the intent Punishment that accompanies the criminal act. that Concurrence Concurrence Criminal state-of-mind (mens rea) must be present with the criminal act (actus Criminal reus) and cause criminal harm in order for criminal liability to attach. reus) Crimes vs. Torts Crimes Crimes are actions brought by the state against individuals because Crimes they have violated societal rules. they Non-criminal, or civil, wrongs, also known as “torts”, make it possible Non-criminal, for one individual to sue another and receive monetary compensation where the action of the wrongdoer caused the victim loss but did not violate a societal rule. loss A crime differs from a “tort” in the sense that the crime harms the crime interests of the community, or society, as a whole, whereas a “tort” harms the interests of an individual. harms Where an act harms both a societal, as well as an individual Where interest, it may be classified as both crime and tort. interest, Trends in Punishment Trends Historically, societies have justified punishment on the Historically, grounds of retribution, deterrence, and rehabilitation. grounds Retribution dominated penal policy until 18th century, Retribution when it was replaced with deterrence and incapacitation. when Rehabilitation replaced deterrence in the late 20th Rehabilitation century and was the major form of punishment until 1960. 1960. By the mid-1980’s retribution and incapacitation were the By primary forms of criminal punishment. primary Rationale for Criminal Punishment Rationale Criteria for criminal punishment Inflict pain or other consequences Prescribed within the law defining the crime Administered intentionally Administered by the state as a sanction for wrongful behavior Prevention potential for punishment General deterrence Special deterrence (Specific) Incapacitation Rehabilitation Retribution An “eye for an eye” captures the idea of retribution Procedural and Substantive Criminal Law Procedural Procedural Criminal Law Procedural The legal process for adjudicating claims that someone has violated the The substantive criminal law. substantive Concerned primarily with the protections, rights and constitutional limits Concerned associated with the investigation and prosecution of violations of the substantive criminal law. substantive Substantive Criminal Law The general part covers principles that apply to all crimes: constitutional The principles found in the U.S. and state constitutions. principles The special part defines specific crimes and arranges them into groups The according to their subject matter. according Crime Classifications Crime Felonies Crimes punishable by death or imprisonment in a state facility for life or a Crimes period of time. period Misdemeanors Crimes punishable by a fine or a jail term of up to a year in a local facility. Chapter 1 Chapter The Nature and Limits of Criminal Law (Continued) Origins of Crime Origins Societal Controversy… Malum in se IInherently evil conduct nherently that has injurious consequences consequences Malum prohibitum Conduct prohibited by law Conduct because it is not inherently evil in nature inherently Every society may disagree on what is “evil” behavior and what behavior “should” be criminalized by society. Examples: Viewing sex offenders differently county by county Different states having different ages at which a child can be treated as an adult for a crime Categories of Crime Categories Crimes against the state: Domestic and foreign terror. Domestic Crimes against the person: Crimes Murder and rape. Murder Crimes against property: Crimes Larceny and trespass. Larceny Crimes against public order and morals: Aggressive panhandling, loitering and prostitution. Sources of the Criminal Law Sources U.S. Constitution State constitutions Common law of England U.S. criminal code State criminal codes Municipal ordinances Judicial decisions Source: Princeton University Legal Research Guide Source: Common-Law Origins Common-Law Criminal codes didn’t spring full-grown from state Criminal legislatures. They evolved from a long history of ancient offenses called common-law crimes. These crimes were created before legislatures existed These and when social order depended on obedience to unwritten rules: lex non scripta lex State common law crimes Federal common law crimes IIn U.S v. Hudson and Goodwin (1812), the U.S. Supreme Court held that n U.S federal courts only have jurisdiction over criminal offenses created by Congress or, in other words, that there is no federal common law. The case there The is an affirmation of the principle “nulla poena sine lege” ( "no punishment is "no without a law"). Criminal Law Today Criminal Today, statutory law is the prevailing source of criminal Today, law and has largely replaced common law. Many states have abolished common law crimes, but some, such as South Carolina, have enacted “reception statutes”, South ”, expressly recognizing common law offenses when statutory law has not repealed them or does not provide a punishment for such an offense. punishment Reception statutes assimilate into a state’s law those Reception offenses existing at English common law at the time the reception statute was enacted by the legislature. As an example, any crime that existed in England at the time South Carolina enacted its "reception statute" in 1712 remains a crime in this state unless it has been abolished by statute or by constitutional action. South Carolina Code of Laws South SECTION 14-1-50. Common law of England shall SECTION continue in effect. continue “All, and every part, of the common law of England, All, where it is not altered by the Code or inconsistent with the Constitution or laws of this State, is hereby continued in full force and effect in the same manner as before the adoption of this section.” adoption Misprision of Felony Misprision Model Penal Code (MPC) Model First published by the American Law Institute (ALI) in First 1962, it is not binding law in any jurisdiction, but it has caused many states to significantly revise their statutory provisions related to criminal offenses. provisions It is especially helpful when trying to determine certain It mens rea terms. mens No state has adopted the MPC in whole, but many No courts have been influenced by it and it is often cited in their decisions as a basis for the result reached. their Administrative Agency Offenses Administrative These are rules or regulations written by governmental These agencies which have been granted authority from either federal or state legislative bodies to create them. federal They are a rapidly growing source of punitive law, but They they often raise constitutional questions. One question is “Can a legislative body authorize administrative bodies to One create regulations which permit a criminal penalty for violation of their regulations?” regulations?” As an example, many provisions in the Code of Federal Regulations, which As contains administrative rules created by federal agencies, contain criminal provisions. provisions. Reading a Court Case Reading Facts of the case Action of the court Question - Legal issues involved Syllabus Decision Affirm Reverse Reverse and Remand – Send the case back to lower court Opinions Majority Concurring Plurality Dissenting The Syllabus The Unanimous Opinion Unanimous A Dissenting Opinion Dissenting Case Citations Case Example: State v. Metzger; 319 N.W. 2d 459 (Neb. Example: State 319 1982). How to interpret the citation: 319 = The first number is the “reporter” volume number = 319 N.W.2d = This abbreviation refers to the Northwestern Reporter, Second N.W.2d Series, a collection of cases decided in a specific area or jurisdiction. Series, 459 = The page number on which the case is found in Volume 319 of the 459 reporter, page 459 reporter, Neb. 1982 = This indicates that the case was a decision of the Nebraska Neb. Supreme Court in the year 1982. Supreme Source: Princeton University Legal Research Guide Source: US Court Structure US ...
View Full Document

This note was uploaded on 02/20/2012 for the course CRJU E314 taught by Professor Mr.smith during the Spring '11 term at South Carolina.

Ask a homework question - tutors are online