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review terms test _41

review terms test _41 - TERMS FOR TEST#4 Agency...

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CRIMINAL LAW – PROF BOBIS CRIMINAL LAW : The study of criminal law is the study of crimes and the moral principles of criminal responsibility. Crime : conduct which, if duly shown to have taken place, will incur a formal and solemn pronouncement of the moral condemnation of the community. Conviction of a crime carries a stigmatization with it that is not true of civil wrongs. (p. 3) Conviction of a crime is like a “scarlet letter” of sorts. Criminal law is our way of isolating and stigmatizing people whom we feel threaten the public order. o In order to convict someone of a crime, the evidence must be proven ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’. This is a very high burden – the consequence is, a lot of guilty people go free. But, we only want to condemn those whom are truly guilty. o Criminal law is public law – the actions are brought by the state, rather than by private parties. Crimes involve social harms, rather than private injuries. American criminal law is founded in English common law crimes. English common law divided crimes into two general categories: felonies and misdemeanors o FELONY: crimes which are punishable by death or imprisonment in a state prison o MISDEMEANORS: crimes for which the maximum punishment is a monetary fine or incarceration in a local jail. Some states have also added crimes which are classified as “violations” or “infractions”, which include punishment for conduct where incarceration is prohibited. - Today, the legislature, not judges exercise primary responsibility for defining criminal conduct and devising rules of criminal responsibility. - Leglislative power to do so is limited by statutes and the Constitution. MODEL PENAL CODE: composed by the American Law Institute – designed to create uniformity of laws – large parts have been adopted by many of the states. Composition of Trials o Sixth Amendment gives right to trial by jury for all criminal proceedings for non- petty offenses (those which carry a potential sentence of 6 months or more) o In most states, a jury is composed of 12 impartial persons who must reach a unanimous verdict to convict. o In order to be consistent with Due Process, the prosecution must prove the guilt of the defendant “beyond a reasonable doubt” o Also, if the defendant is acquitted once, they cannot be tried again – no double jeopardy. o Juries ordinarily give general verdicts (they do not explain their reasoning) – no matter what the reason, once they acquit, the Defendant cannot be tried again – they can use jury nullification (they can ignore the law and acquit in spite of the fact that they believe the person is legally guilty) o Jury nullification/the possibility of it has inspired much debate.
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PUNISHMENT There is no non-arbitrary definition of punishment.
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