Criminal Law- Wesson- Spring 2006- Righetti- Grade 90

Criminal Law- Wesson- Spring 2006- Righetti- Grade 90 - I...

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I) BURDENS OF PROOF A) BURDEN OF PRODUCTION i) Prosecution: must produce evidence BRD as to elements of crime In Re Winship how reasonable is reasonable? moral certainty? without hesitation? (b) If not met, defense is entitled to dismissal (motion at end of evidence presented) (c) On APPEAL: could any rational trier of fact have reached the same decision based on the facts? Owens v. State: appeal denied for driver passed out in car as a rational trier of fact could have found circumstantial evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt ii) Defense: must only produce evidence as to affirmative defenses (a) requiring D to raise defense is not due process since burden is slight where prosecution must still disprove it BRD. (b) Not met, jury cannot be instructed on law pertaining to defense (c) Can only get appeal if you raised the issue at trial (motioned for SJ) B) BURDEN OF PERSUASION/PROOF MPC 1.12, 1.13(9) i) Prosecution: must prove elements of crime beyond a reasonable doubt ii) Defense: must prove affirmative defenses (Patterson v. NY) (a) some require D to present evidence of defense and P must disprove BRD (b) some states require preponderance of the evidence (c) If it is defined in the statutory language it cannot be the burden of the defendant. (cannot give D something with one hand & take it away with the other) cannot put burden of the state on the defendant. Patterson v. NY Montana v. Englhoff: refusal to consider evidence of voluntary intoxication not violation of due process as it is not legislatively defined. if act must be “unlawful”, prosecution must disprove affirmative defense Policy: does this encourage legislatures to phrase criminal statutes as minimally as possible putting burden on D to disprove elements of the crime as affirmative defenses? C) JURY NULLIFICATION: i) Power of the Jury, no right to nullifaction, a side-effect of the 5 th amendment (a) State v. Ragland : jury does not need to be informed of its power to nullify Policy: may encourage disregard of laws/jury instructions but also may defend against unjust laws and government oppression. D) DEFENSES i) FAILURE OF PROOF: all elements of offense cannot be proven (a) mistake of fact where it eliminated required mens rea ii) OFFENSE MODIFICTIONS: more than negate an element (a) actor has completed acts but not caused the harm iii) EXCUSES: defendant exculpated because of her condition at the time of the offense iv) NONEXCULPATORY PUBLIC POLICY DEFENSES: statute of limitations, diplomatic immunity, judicial, legislative and executive immunities, incompetence (a) not based on lack of culpability.
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II) STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION A) LEGALITY: i) judges cannot create crimes. No common law crimes. ii) Legislature cannot delegate lawmaking to the courts (a) Commonwealth v. Mochan : provides that every act punishable under common law is an offense. Majority upholds.
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  • Fall '06
  • Pizzi
  • Law, criminal law, actus reus

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