Ch. 3 CJ


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Chapter 3/Criminal Justice/Cengage Learning

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Ch. 3 CJ

  2. 2.  List the four written sources of American criminal law.
  3. 3.  U.S. Constitution and constitutions of the states. Statutes or laws, passed by Congress and by state legislatures, and local ordinances. Regulations created by regulatory agencies. Case law.
  4. 4.  Explain the two basic functions of criminal law.
  5. 5. Protect and Punish: The Legal Function of the Law  Maintain social order by protecting citizens from criminal harm  Includes harms to both individuals and society in generalMaintain and Teach: The Social Function of the Law  Expressing public morality  Teaching social boundaries
  6. 6.  Discuss the primary goals of civil law and criminal law, and explain how these goals are realized.
  7. 7.  Civil Law and Criminal Law ◦ Guilt and Responsibility ◦ The Burden of Proof
  8. 8.  Felonies and Misdemeanors ◦ Degrees of Crime ◦ Types of Manslaughter ◦ Degrees of Misdemeanor ◦ Infractions
  9. 9.  Explain the differences between crimes mala in se and mala prohibita.
  10. 10.  Mala in se – a descriptive term for acts that are inherently wrong, regardless of whether they are prohibited by law. Mala prohibita – a descriptive term for acts that are made illegal by criminal statute and are not necessarily wrong in and of themselves.
  11. 11.  Criminal law normally requires that the corpus delicti (the body of the crime) be proved before a person can be convicted of wrongdoing. Criminal Act - Actus reus ◦ Crimes may be acts of commission, or acts of omission, or even attempted acts.
  12. 12.  Delineate the elements required to establish mens rea (a guilty mental state).
  13. 13.  A wrongful mental state is as necessary as a wrongful act in establishing guilt. Includes elements of purpose, knowledge, negligence, and recklessness.
  14. 14. ◦ Strict Liability – offenses hold the defendant guilty even if intent to commit the offense is lacking◦ Accomplice Liability – suspects can be charged for crimes they did not actually commit if it can be proven they acted as an accomplice◦ Concurrence – there must be concurrence between the guilty act and the guilty intent
  15. 15. ◦ Causation - The criminal act must have caused the harm suffered.◦ Attendant Circumstances – facts surrounding an event that must be proved for the event to be considered a criminal act.◦ Harm – damages resultant from the criminal act. Inchoate offenses are conduct deemed criminal without actual harm being done.
  16. 16.  Hate crime laws provide for greater sanctions against those who commit crimes motivated by bias based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or age.
  17. 17.  List and briefly define the most important excuse defenses for crimes.
  18. 18. Excuse Defenses: Justification Defenses:These defenses apply These defenses applywhen the actor lacks when the defendantthe requisite mental admits to the criminalcondition to form act, but argues that the act was justified.intent.
  19. 19. ◦ Infancy - Youthful offenders cannot understand the consequences of their actions.◦ Insanity - A person cannot have the state of mind to commit the crime if s/he didn’t know the act was wrong, or didn’t understand the quality of the act.
  20. 20. Insanity is determined by: M’Naughten Rule ◦ A person is insane if they can’t distinguish right from wrong ALI/MPC Test ◦ Also known as the substantial capacity test, the defendant must lack the capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of his/her conduct. Irresistible Impulse Test ◦ A person is insane if some “irresistible impulse” resulting from a mental deficiency drove him or her to commit the crime
  21. 21. ◦ Intoxication - When the defendant claims that the taking of intoxicants, either voluntarily or involuntarily, rendered him/her unable to form the requisite intent to commit a criminal act.◦ Mistake  Mistake of Fact  Mistake of Law
  22. 22.  Describe the four most important justification criminal defenses.
  23. 23. ◦ Duress - The defendant is threatened with seriously bodily harm, which induces him/her to commit the crime.◦ Self-Defense - The legally recognized privilege to protect one’s self or property from injury by another  A Reasonable Belief  Duty to retreat
  24. 24. ◦ Necessity - Circumstances required the defendant to commit the act.◦ Entrapment - The defendant claims (s)he was induced by police to commit the act.
  25. 25. Substantive Criminal Law: Law that defines the acts that the government will punish.Procedural Criminal Law: Procedures, drawn from the Bill of Rights, designed to protect the constitutional rights of individuals.
  26. 26. The Bill of Rights: ◦ The first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution are known as the Bill of Rights. ◦ The Bill of Rights was adopted by the states in 1791 - since then, 17 more amendments have been added. ◦ The Bill of Rights has served as the basis for procedural safeguards of the accused in the U.S.
  27. 27. Procedural safeguards in the U.S.Constitution include: ◦ Fourth Amendment - provides protection from unreasonable searches and seizures ◦ Fifth Amendment - requires that no one can be deprived of life, liberty, or property without “due process of the law,” including protections against double jeopardy and individuals being required to be a witness against himself or herself
  28. 28. ◦ Sixth Amendment - guarantees a speedy trial, a trial by jury, a public trial, the right to confront witnesses, and the right to a lawyer at various stages of criminal proceedings◦ Eighth Amendment - prohibits excessive bails, fines, and cruel and unusual punishments◦ Fourteenth Amendment - provides due process and equal protection of the laws
  29. 29.  Explain the importance of the due process clause in the criminal justice system.
  30. 30.  Procedural Due Process – the constitutional requirement that the law must be carried out in a fair and orderly manner. Substantive Due Process – the constitutional requirement that laws used in accusing and convicting persons of crimes must be fair.