BAR Exam - Criminal Law Outline Cheat Sheet
BAR Exam - Criminal Law Outline Cheat Sheet
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Date Created: 03/06/14
I Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt a In re Winship Due Process Clause requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt of every element of a crime Winship standard i Bene ts 1 Reduce the risk of convictions based on factual error 2 Place high value on the good name and freedom of every individual 3 Community con dence in the criminal justice system 4 Convictions hold the stigma bolsters deterrence 5 Far worse to convict the innocent than to free the guilty Harlan II Allocating the burden of proof a Patterson v New York D catches estranged wife with another man and kills him i State bears burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt all the factors of a crime ii Defendant bears burden of proving his af rmative defense heat of passion by a preponderance of the evidence iii In this case State satis ed the Winship requirements of proving beyond a reasonable doubt every fact necessary to constitute the crime for which D was charged iv New York legislature willingly provided the af rmative defense of extreme emotional disturbance but only if the facts were established by the defendant with a reasonable certainty 1 Dissent this allows legislatures to shift the burden of persuasion with respect to any factor of a criminal case simply by not mentioning that factor in the statutory language that de nes the crime a Legislature can merely take a factor out of the prima facie de nition of a crime and make it an af rmative defense and viceversa 2 Where a state distinguishes between murder and manslaughter burden of persuasion must be on prosecution with respect to the distinguishing factor b Under Patterson state must prove actus reus beyond a reasonable doubt as to mens rea the dissent worries that the burden of proof can be shifted to the defendant D must prove heat of passion c Greater power includes the lesser argument if legislature has the power to create a mitigating factor an af rmative defense then it must also have the power to shift the burden to the D i State is free to allocate burden of persuasion relating to any defense not constitutionally mandated ii Patterson defense was gratuitous state could have eliminated it altogether III Culpability a MPC 2011 not guilty unless conduct includes a voluntary act b The requirement of overt and voluntary conduct i Martin v State police arrest D at his home and take him onto highway convicted of being drunk on a public highway 1 Conviction reversed voluntariness is presupposed in the statute and defendant was taken to the highway involuntarily 2 Under MPC Martin could be held criminally liable because although he didn t appear on the highway voluntarily the profanity was a voluntary act suf cient to nd him guilty ii People v Newton D charged with voluntary manslaughter for shooting a policeman during an altercation claimed his wounds rendered him unconscious during the shooting and asserts prejudicial error in the trial court s failure to instruct the jury on the subject of unconsciousness as a defense 1 Voluntariness is an element that must be proved by the state beyond a reasonable doubt it is an element within the de nition of the offense a If the state cannot prove it then the jury must completely exculpate D iii Bratty v Attorney General 1 Involuntary done by the muscles without any control by the mind 2 Person is not conscious of his actions iv vi vii 3 Not involuntary simply bc person does not remember could not control his impulse or the consequences were unforeseen Possession person must be aware of what he is possessing or at least should have known gun in purse at airport Garrett Involuntary act v Legal insanity since the presence of a voluntary act is a necessary element of a crime the prosecution bears the burden of proving an act was voluntary 1 But defense must prove insanity because insanity does not necessarily preclude the elements of a crime Awareness of a condition eg epilepsy is suf cient to make an act voluntary 1 People v Decina voluntary act was getting into and operating the car epileptic crashes car into people Somnambulism involuntary c Omissions i ii iii iv V vi Law is traditionally reluctant to impose liability for omissions even when the failure to act is clearly immoral unless one person s actions put the other in peril in the rst place Pope v State D takes mother and child into her home where mother beats child to death D does not intervene l Conviction for child abuse and misprision of felony reversed 2 No legal duty to intervene and help the child 3 Mother was present the entire time regardless of her mental state so D was not responsible for the supervision of a minor child Good Samaritan laws European countries generally have Good Samaritan laws whereas AngloAmerican ones do not 1 Mill by not rendering aid we harm another 2 Macauley too difficult to draw the line between omissions which produce harm and those which do not 3 Livingston aid ought to be mandatory when it can be given without personal danger or pecuniary loss Jones v US baby dies when D fails to provide care 1 Conviction reversed trial court failed to instruct jury that it must nd beyond a reasonable doubt that D was under a legal duty to supply food and necessities to the baby 2 Four ways to establish a legal duty a Statute imposes a duty b One stands in a certain status relationship to another c One has assumed a contractual duty to care d One has voluntarily assumed the care of another and so secluded the helpless person as to prevent others from rendering aid i Oliver woman brings home drunk guy from bar who then OD s l Involuntary manslaughter conviction affirmed she took him from a public to a private place where others could not take care of him ii Kuntz woman stabs BF in selfdefense he dies when she doesn t call for help 1 Negligent homicide conviction affirmed even though she acted in selfdefense she had a duty to call for medical assistance Unless a penal statute speci cally requires an action to be performed than criminal liability for an omission only arises where the law of torts or civil liability imposes a duty to act 1 Beardsley no legal duty to a woman not your wife who OD s Whenever the defendant s act though without his knowledge imperils another and the defendants becomes aware of the events creating the peril he has a duty to take reasonable steps to prevent the peril from resulting in the harm in question Prof J C Smith d 1 Alternative view is that there is no duty absent a legal duty stemming from relationship ie parentchild vii Barber v Superior Ct with wife s consent physicians discontinue life support for patient charged with murder 1 The cessation of life support is not an affirmative act but rather a withdrawal or omission of further treatment a Removal of life support is then a failure to act but absent a legal duty owed to the patient there is no liability for failure to act Mens rea the mental state required by the de nition of the offense to accompany the criminal act vicious will blameworthiness i MPC 202 some element of mental culpability must be shown with respect to each material element of the offense 1 Four levels of culpability at least one must be shown for each element of the offense a Purpose conscious intent to perform a speci c action b Knowledge can be met by showing of willful blindness Jewell i Negligent failure to inquire can establish knowledge c Recklessness conscious risk creation i Risk must be substantial as well as unjusti able ii More culpable than negligence because the actor was aware of the danger but acted anyway the fault is choosing to run the risk d Negligence inadvertent creation of a substantial and unjusti able risk of which D ought to be aware i Failure to perceive is a gross deviation from the care that would be exercised by a reasonable person ii Different from recklessness only because there is no awareness of risk 2 MPC approach if there s silence in the statute then recklessness is the standard of culpability a Reasoning choice is a indamental condition for just punishment ii Mens rea defenses duress involuntary act insanity mistake etc 1 although I committed the actus reas it was not accompanied by a mens rea iii Cunningham D stole gas meter from Mrs Wade s house causing a gas leak to occur and Wade to be asphyxiated in her sleep 1 Jury should have been left to decide whether D foresaw that the removal of the gas meter might cause injury to someone but nevertheless removed it 2 Element analysis take every element of the actus reas and attach a mens rea element level of culpability to each one 3 Intent to commit one wrong cannot be transferred to intent to commit another iv Faulkner D sailor intended to steal rum but he accidentally set the ship on re l Conviction reversed D had no intention to bum the vessel 2 Each criminal act committed must be willful and intentional 3 Jury was erroneously instructed that even though the arson was done accidentally it was done in the course of committing a felony a General wickedness approach to mens rea even though D didn t mean to commit arson he committed it during the general commission of a crime rejected v Intent v Motive D steals money intent in order to feed his family motive l Motive is irrelevant for liability but taken into consideration during sentencing vi Speci c intent actions done with some speci ed irther purpose in mind 1 General intent can be something like trespass when there is intent to commit a felony it becomes burglary a speci c intent crime vii Neiswender D approached lawyer with offer to in uence a juror but no evidence was found that he could do it 2 viii Conviction upheld every man intends the natural consequences of his acts in this case to reduce lawyer s efforts in defending his client which would have obstructed the due administration of justice D need only have known that success in his fraud would have likely resulted in an obstruction of justice Holloway carj acking with intent to cause death is a federal crime but what about cases where the D threatens to kill on the condition that the victim does not comply l 2 Congressional intent supports the conclusion that these cases are considered federal carj acking crimes Dissent Scalia Intent never connotes a purpose that is subject to a condition which the speaker hopes will not occur Willingness to cause a result involves just as much culpability as intent to cause that result ix Jewell D claims he did not know the marijuana was in the trunk l 2 e Mistake of fact Conviction affirmed deliberate ignorance is not a defense If D was not aware then state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that his ignorance was solely and entirely a result of conscious ignorance Some jurisdictions say conscious ignorance instruction should not be given unless a D was aware of a high probability of illegal conduct and b D purpose illy contrived to avoid learning of it i MPC 20412 Ignorance or mistake of fact or law is a defense only when it negatives the existence of a state of mind that is essential to the commission of an offense 1 2 Mistake of fact is only relevant as it pertains to the culpability of the actor Pennsylvania mistake of fact is relevant if it negatives mens rea but only if the mistake was grounded on a reasonable explanation or excuse ii Prince D convicted of taking an unmarried girl under the age of 16 from her father even though he honestly and reasonably believed she was 16 l 2 3 Conviction affirmed the act of taking a young girl from her father is itself wrong the taker commits the act at the risk of the girl being under 16 a But the act of taking is only immoral it is her age which makes it illegal No express mens rea required by the statute so is it a strict liability offense a Court says there must be some mens rea in this case D s intentional decision to commit an immoral act in the rst place b Prince does not require mens rea for each and every element of the statute only the elements that make the act criminal taking a girl from her father Dissent cannot convict absent mens rea mistake of fact on reasonable grounds is an excuse iii White v State D convicted of abandoning a pregnant woman even though he didn t know his wife was pregnant 1 Conviction affirmed D committed an immoral act regardless of his ignorance iv DanCohen 1 Criminal statute speaks to two audiences a General public to which it directs a conduct rule moral norm against abducting girls b Legal of cials to which it directs a decision rule age limitation an arbitrary cutoff D s mistake as to age in Prince was irrelevant it did not affect the conduct rule addressed to him Decision rules are only necessary as a constraint on the power wielded by decisionmakers Not applicable to White where the factor of pregnancy is implicit in the conduct rule vi Doctrinal basis for statutory rape fornication is wrong by itself the person who fomicates with a younger girl runs the risk of this wrong conduct then becoming illegal 1 Mistake of fact is thus not an excuse Prince White rationale Olsen D s guilty of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child under the age of 14 even though they had a good faith belief that she was 16 1 Conviction af rined strong public policy in favor of protecting children of tender years a More severe punishments for sexual offenses with girls under 14 than for girls under 18 suggests special protection for tender years 2 MPC 21361 defense of reasonable mistake not available when criminality tums on whether the child was below the age of 10 f Strict liability i iii iv vi vii Balint D s claimed they didn t know they were selling illegal drugs 1 Knowledge not necessary it would obstruct the purpose of the statute public policy consideration Dotterweichz D charged with distributing mislabeled drugs 1 Statute does not require intent purpose of the statute is to protect the innocent public from danger 2 Hardship should not be placed on the public but rather on those who can at least discover the mislabeling in the first place Morissettez D junk dealer who took bomb casings from bombing range charged with knowingly converting govemment property 1 Conviction reversed Public policy offenses generally do not require intent or knowledge of wrongdoing 2 But the law of stealing is ancient and wellde ned in common law as requiring intent a When Congress did not mention intent in this statute then intent is inherent Staples v US D charged with violating National Firearms Act his ri e met the de nition of firearm bc piece that prevented automatic ring had been worn down without his knowledge 1 Gov t argues this is a strict liability case because possession of a firearm is a public welfare offense 2 Court notes American tradition of gun ownership 3 Congressional intent harsh penalty 10 years suggests that mens rea is required State v Guminga D restaurant owner charged with serving alcohol to a minor MI statute holds employers vicariously liable 1 Criminal penalties based on vicarious liability are a violation of due process 2 No one can be convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for an act he did not commit have knowledge of or give consent to Baker D appeals speeding ticket claiming his cruise control was stuck in the accelerate position 1 Conviction upheld D voluntarily used cruise control City of Saulte Ste Marie regarding absolute liability for public welfare offenses 1 J usti cations for a Protection of social interests requires a high standard of care b Incentive to take highest possible level of care c Administrative efficiency 2 Arguments against a Violates indamental principles of penal liability b No evidence that imposing absolute liability leads to higher standard of care taken 3 Middle position D can avoid the prima facie offense through showing an exercise of reasonable care negligence standard burden on D to show it viii US v US District Court Kant0r D has an af rrnative defense if he could show that he could not have reasonably leamed that the minor was under 18 g Mistake of law i MPC 20412 Ignorance or mistake of fact or law is a defense only when it negatives the existence of a state of mind that is essential to the commission of an offense 1 2043 it is a limited defense where a The offense is not known to the actor and has not been published or b The actor reasonably relies upon an of cial statement of the law ii General rule Mistake as to the penal law itself is not an excuse mistake as to other law is treated the same as mistake of fact ie MPC 204 applies 1 Penal law stealing another s property is wrong 2 Other law modi cations to a landlord s property become the property of the landlord iii Mistake of penal law tends to suggest a moral failing crimes that are wrong in and of themselves iv People v Marrero D carried unlicensed gun in a social club mistakenly believing that the law allowed him to do so as a peace officer 1 Conviction affirmed strict liability as to mistake of law 2 D cannot be held to standard of reasonable person reading the law b c the exception would swallow the rule by encourage mistakes about law rather than abidance to it 3 Dissent we want to encourage people to read and know the law a Today many seemingly innocent acts are in fact illegal The common law ction that every man is presumed to know the law is indefensible v Prof Kahan re ising to excuse reasonable mistakes of law discourages investments in legal knowledge by making it hazardous for a citizen to rely on his private understanding of the law vi Regina v Smith D damaged ooring in order to retrieve stereo wiring he had earlier installed 1 No offense committed if destruction was done in the honest though mistaken belief that the property was his own vii Cheek D convicted of will illy failing to le a tax retum claimed to rely on information from an antitaxation group that taxes were unconstitutional l D s claims do not arise out of innocent mistakes but rather full knowledge of the law and a misguided conclusion that the law is invalid viii Albertini D conducted demonstrations after the Ninth Circuit ruled he was protected by the First Amendment but before the Supreme Court reversed 1 Exception to the mistake of law defense mistake resulting from reasonable reliance upon an of cial statement of the law ix Lambert D convicted of unlaw illy remaining in LA without registering as a felon l Conviction overtumed D had no actual knowledge of the statute 2 Conduct was wholly passive unaccompanied by any activity mere presence in LA was the test IV Rape a CA Penal Code Title 9 319 rape is sex with a person not the spouse under any of the following circumstances i Victim is incapable of giving legal consent ii It is accomplished against a person s will by means of force or fear of immediate and unlaw il bodily injury iii Victim is incapable of resisting by any intoxicating or anesthetic substance iv Victim is unconscious v Where there is a threat to retaliate in the iture against the victim and there is a reasonable possibility that the perpetrator will execute the threat b Primarily involved with actus reus not mens rea i Intercourse ii Lack of consent iii Force 1 MPC 2132 336 threat of force or any threat that would intimidate a woman of ordinary resolution iv Resistance 1 Or reasonable threat of fear suf cient to overcome resistance would a reasonable person have shared victim s fear 2 Must be reasonably grounded c Actus reus i Rusk no physical force was there a threat of force suf cient to prevent Pat s resistance e g if the perpetrator has a gun the victim is not required to resist 1 Physical resistance is not required if the complainant s fear is reasonable ii Nonphysical threats 1 MPC 21312 permits conviction for gross sexual imposition where submission is compelled by threat of force or by any threat that would prevent resistance by a woman of ordinary resolution 2 Thompson principalstudent mere intimidation fear or apprehension is insuf eient actual force or threat of imminent death bodily injury or kidnapping is required 3 Mlinarich D threatens to send 14year old girl back to detention center if she doesn t submit to his advances a Threat is insuf eient rape requires actual physical compulsion or violence or a threat of physical compulsion or violence suf cient to prevent resistance by a person of reasonable resolution iii State in the Interest of M TS gets rid of the force requirement and reads in consent requirement 1 There was nonconsent even in the absence of the no 2 af rmative freelygiven permission is required iv Deception the woman of ordinary resolution 1 Evans D claims to be psychologist working for magazine a Not guilty criminal intent of the defendant cannot be demonstrated b Words not intended to be threatening but taken to be threatening by the victim cannot be the basis for nding the necessary criminal intent to establish culpability i Opposite of Rusk 2 Boroz D claiming to be doctor gives woman dick serum a This sort of fraud does not vitiate invalidate consent b Women was illy aware of the nature of the act sex d Mens rea i Sherry D s have sex with woman consent is unclear 1 Mistake of fact whether or not there was consent is not a defense 2 When woman says no you proceed at your own risk ii Fischer D has rough sex in college dorm victim claims rape 1 Reasonable mistake is not exculpatory e The Marital Exception i Liberta D rapes wife 1 Distinguishing between marital and nonmarital rape violates Equal Protection 2 A marriage license is not a license for a husband to rape his wife with impunity f Rape Shield Laws i Evidence law evidence is considered relevant and therefore admissible only if it is probative and material a Probative the proposition is more likely to be true given the evidence than it would be without the evidence i But evidence must be excluded if its probative value is outweighed by its prejudicial effect Rule 403 b Material the evidence will affect the outcome of the case under applicable law 2 Rule 401 relevant evidence is evidence having any tendency to make the existence of any fact more or less probable 3 Rule 404b evidence of other crimes is not admissible to prove the character of a person a Person who has served time for prior crimes has been said to pay his debt to society the slate should be wiped clean b However the commission of prior sex crimes is admissible to show a lust il disposition Rule 413 a 4 Impeachment exception evidence of prior crimes may be raised if the D chooses to testify as a means of impeaching D s testimony ii Zackowitz evidence of D s gun collection is inadmissible as a means of showing his evil character because the guns had nothing to do with the actual crime committed iii State ex rel Pope v Superior Court 375 evidence conceming the unchaste character of the complaining witness is inadmissible 1 Prejudicial effects outweighs probative value 2 Otherwise prostitutes would be rapeproof a And women would be deterred from coming forward Homicide a Murder homicide with malice aforethought i Malice aforethought 1 Intention to cause death or 2 Knowledge that the act will probably cause death b Manslaughter homicide without malice aforethought c CA Penal Code i Section 187 unlaw il killing with malice aforethought ii Section 188 Malice 1 Express or implied iii Section 189 Degrees of murder 1 1 degree will il deliberate and premeditated meditation on intent 2 21 degree all others iv Section 192 Manslaughter unlaw il killing without malice 1 Voluntary sudden quarrel or heat of passion 2 Involuntary killing in the commission of a nonfelony 3 Vehicular driving a vehicle in the commission of an unlaw il act but not amounting to a felony d Carroll D kills wife while angry about her treatment of kids i First degree murder conviction af rrned even though there was less than premeditation Pennsylvania law first degree murder for intentional killing ie intentional premeditated ii Blind or irresistible impulse does not justify downgrade to 2nd degree murder 1 No time is too short for the premeditation to occur 2 Essentially erases the distinction between 1 and 2nd degree murder the only difference according to Carroll is intent e Guthrie D kills coworker with knife after being harassed with a kitchen towel D suffered from psychological problems about his nose i No first degree murder there must be some period between the formation of the intent to kill and the actual killing opportunity for re ection on intent which suggests prior calculation and design f Andersen man stabs young girl 60 times i No premeditation rather an explosion of violence ii Second degree murder conviction af rined g Forrest son kills terminallyill father with pistol i Premeditation first degree murder conviction af rmed ii Degrees of murder distinguished by premeditation not motive 1 Brightline rule of premeditation can be a Overinclusive Forrest b Underinclusive Andersen doesn t cover extreme depravity h Provocation i ii iii iv Must be estimated by the probability that the provocative circumstances would affect most men in like fashion 1 Hold D to standard of someone of the same age and sex 2 Too long a lapse of time between provocation and killing will render the provocation inadequate Girouardz D kills victim after she calls him as a lousy ick 1 Provocation was insuf cient to justify reduction to 2nd degree murder 2 For provocation to be adequate it must be calculated to in ame the passion of a reasonable man and tend to cause him to act from passion rather than reason reasonableness standard Maher D kills victim after watching the victim bang his wife less than an hour earlier 1 Evidence of provocation should have gone to the jury act was committed in the heat of passion Casassa D convicted of second degree murder when he killed his girlfriend who was not falling in love with him 1 An act taken under extreme emotional disturbance need not be spontaneous rather it can be the accumulation of past disturbances a Two components of extreme emotional disturbance i D acted under in uence of extreme emotional disturbance ii Reasonable explanation or excuse for such conduct the reasonableness of which must be determined from the viewpoint of a person in the defendant s situation under the circumstances as defendant believed them to be 1 Consider the subjective internal situation of the defendant 2 Conviction upheld nevertheless i Criminal or civil negligence i ii iii iv no liability gt civil liability gt criminal liability manslaughter gt depraved heart murder 1 First three are unintended killings Welansky D nightclub owner convicted of involuntary manslaughter after nightclub re 1 Conviction for involuntary manslaughter af rrned 2 Conduct does not become criminal until it passes the borders of negligence and enters the domain of wanton or reckless conduct 3 To constitute wanton or reckless conduct grave danger must have been apparent and D must have chosen to run the risk rather than alter his conduct a But does D have subjective culpability Depraved disposition Civil negligence focuses solely on conduct and whether it meets the BPL standard 1 In criminal law ask does the running of the risk indicate subjective culpability Balancing test for criminal negligence 430 1 Magnitude of risk to which others are exposed vs importance of the object to be attained by the dangerous form of activity 2 Parrish v State woman eeing murderous husband killed in car crash a Husband convicted of second degree murder by an act imminently dangerous to another MPC awareness of the risk recklessness is required for manslaughter but without awareness you can still be guilty of negligent homicide j Objective vs Subjective standards of liability i Williams 431 Shoshone Indian failed to supply 17month old child with necessary medical attention conviction for manslaughter affirmed 1 Duty to irnish medical care became activated in time to prevent death 2 Although D was legitimately fearful of the welfare department taking the baby a man of reasonable prudence would have gotten medical care in time a Criminal not civil negligence standard must be used 3 Objective standard ii Walker Christian Scientist s daughter dies of meningitis 1 Manslaughter conviction upheld objective reasonable person standard applied iii Both cases use objective reasonable man standard 1 But note that premeditation requires subjective standard what was the experience of that particular defendant k Murder or manslaughter i MPC treats unintended killing as murder when it is committed recklessly with an extreme indifference to the value of human life ii Malone 439 D kills boy during game of Russian poker didn t intend to kill and didn t expect gun to re 1 2nd degree murder conviction af rmed malice does not necessarily need to be speci c to the decedent but any evil design in genera is evidence of a depraved heart 2 Wicked disposition in this case intentional uncalledfor act in callous disregard of its likely harm il effects on others iii US v Fleming drunk driver kills another while speeding in wrong lane 1 Second degree murder conviction upheld 2 D claims there was no malice aforethought but it is suf cient to show reckless behavior without regard for the life and safety of others VI Exculpation negates culpability even when all elements of the offense are clearly present a May involves justi cations selfdefense as well as excuses insanity b Peterson i Selfdefense requires that each of the following elements be met 1 A threat actual or apparent of the use of deadly force 2 The threat must have been unlaw il and immediate 3 D must have believed he was in imminent peril of death or serious bodily harm and that his response was necessary to save himself 4 Beliefs must have been honest and reasonable c Goetzz D goes apeshit when kid asks him for 5 i Attempted murder counts reinstated but D later acquitted by jury ii Objective reasonable man standard must be used 1 But objective standard can still take into account D s past experience 2 The question becomes what would a reasonable person do in the D s situation given D s past experiences MPC no premeditation Just murder manslaughter Common law 1 2nd manslaughter 10
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