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Criminal Law-Introduction to Criminal Justice

by: Ryan Desjardins

Criminal Law-Introduction to Criminal Justice CCJ 2020

Marketplace > Florida State University > Criminology and Criminal Justice > CCJ 2020 > Criminal Law Introduction to Criminal Justice
Ryan Desjardins

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About this Document

This covers vocab and powerpoint notes from the criminal law lecture
Introduction to Criminal Justice
Elizabeth Borkowski
Class Notes
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Ryan Desjardins on Thursday February 4, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CCJ 2020 at Florida State University taught by Elizabeth Borkowski in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 14 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Criminal Justice in Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University.

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Date Created: 02/04/16
Criminal Law PowerPoint Notes & Vocab  Vocab  1. First Degree Murder­ Killing a person after premeditation and deliberation.  2. Premeditation­Considering the criminal act beforehand, which suggests that it was  motivated by more than a simple desire to engage in an act of violence  3. Deliberation­Planning a criminal act after careful though, rather than carrying it out on  impulse.  4. Second Degree Murder­ A person's wanton disregard for the victim's life and his or her  desire to inflict serious bodily harm on the victim, which results in the victims death.  5. Substantive Criminal Law­ A body of specific rules that declare what conduct is criminal  and that prescribe the punishment to be imposed for such conduct.  6. Criminal Procedure­The rules and laws that define the operation of criminal proceedings.  Procedural law describes the methods that must be followed in  obtaining warrants,  investigating offenses, effecting lawful arrests, conducting trials, introducing evidence,  sentencing convicted offenders, and reviewing cases by appellate courts.   7. Civil Law­ All law that is not criminal, including the law of torts (personal wrongs) and  contract, property, maritime, and commercial law.   8. Tort­ A personal injury or wrong for which an action for damages may be brought.  9. Public Law­ The branch of law that deals with the state or government and its  relationships with individuals or other governments.  10. Lex talionis­ Latin for 'law as retaliation'. From Hammurabi's ancient legal code, the  belief that the purpose of the law is to provide retaliation for an offended party and that  the punishment should fit the crime.  11. Wergild­ Refers to what the person, and therefore the crime, was worth.  12. Stare Decisis­ Latin for "to stand by decided cases". The legal principle by which the  decision or holding in an earlier case becomes the standard by which subsequent similar  cases are judged.  13. Common Law­ Early English Law, developed by judges, that incorporated Anglo­Saxon  tribal custom, feudal rules and practices, and the everyday rules of behavior of local  villages. Common law became the standardized law of the land in England and  eventually formed the basis of criminal law in the United States.  14. Mala in se­ Refers to acts that society considers inherently evil, such as murder and rape,  and that violate the basic principles of Judeo­Christian morality.   15. Mala Prohibitum­ Crimes created by legislative bodies that reflect prevailing moral  beliefs and practices.   16. Ex Post Facto Laws­ Acts that retroactively change the legal status of actions that were  committed before the enactment of a law and/or change the consequences after it was  enacted.  17. Actus Reus­ An illegal act. The actus reus can be an affirmative act, such as taking  money or shooting someone, or a failure to act, such as failing to take proper precautions  while driving a car.  18. Mens rea­ Guilty mind. The mental element of a crime or the intent to commit a criminal  act.  19. Strict Liability Crime­ Illegal act whose elements do not contain the need for intent, or  mens rea; usually, an act that endangers the public welfare, such as illegal dumping of  toxic wastes.  20. Insanity­ A legal defense that maintains a defendant was incapable of forming criminal  intent because he or she suffers from a defect of reason or mental illness.   21. Self­defense­ A legal defense in which defendants claim that their behavior was legally  justified by the necessity to protect their own life and property, or that of another victim,  from potential harm.  22. Entrapment­ A criminal defense that maintains the police originated the criminal idea or  initiated the criminal action.   23. Obitiatry­ Helping people take their own lives.  24. Stalking­ The willful, malicious, and repeated following and harassing of another person.  25. Bill of Rights­The first 10 amendments to the US Constitution that spell out specific  freedoms granted to citizens and limit the power of the Federal government to conduct  criminal prosecutions.  26. Exclusionary Rule­Evidence seized in violation of the Fourth Amendment cannot be used in a court of law.   ______________________________________________________________________________ PowerPoint Notes PURPOSE OF LAW Society needs laws to uphold fairness and prevent victimization of innocents ­this definition is for all types of Law NATURE OF LAW Statutory law­ what the legislators say is unacceptable, "the law of the land" Case law­ the exception to the laws Ex: One can't smoke weed UNLESS reasons x, y, z Common Law­ "law originating from usage and custom rather than from written statutes" Common law originates from early English Law Ex: If someone is not married under statutory law, but share everything like one would if  they were married for at least 7 years, they're considered married under common law. Historical Development  Common Law 1. The Babylonian code of Hammurabi (the proportionate 'eye for an eye' tooth for a tooth') Ex: If he break another man's bone, his bone shall be broken. 2. The Ten Commandments 3. Wergild (a form of monetary compensation developed after the Dark Ages) a. Compurgation/Oath helpers (when an offender made an oath to do something to  compensate the victim, oath helpers made sure they held their end of the deal)  b. Ordeal (a task or serious of task an offender would go through to prove his/her  innocence)  Ex: "If you're truly innocent, put your hand on this hot iron and it won't hurt" Common Law and Stare Decisis Common law was developed in Early English law. Judges adapted Anglo­Saxon tribal customs  and Feudal Laws into standardized codes Stare Decisis is Latin for 'to stand by decided cases'. It is a legal principle that requires judges to  base decisions on previously made judicial rulings similar to the case at hand. Types of Law 4 types 1. Substantive Criminal Law 2. Civil Law 3. Statutory Law 4. Public or Administrative law **overlap exists between these branches of law** Substantive Criminal Law (aka Penal Law) Punishments for offenses for wrongs committed against the state or society Public order being violated, state against society. Believes the offender intended the harm to the whole of society **Composed of both statutory and case law** Civil Law Governs the relationship between parties, contains rules for contracts, divorces, child  support/custody, etc. Ex: Suing someone is under civil law Criminal Law vs Civil Law Similarities 1. Formal judicial proceedings 2. Allegations of wrong­doing Differences 1. A Criminal Law proceeding involves the state versus an individual 2. A Civil Law proceeding involves an individual versus an individual 3. The level of proof in a criminal law proceeding is lower than the level of proof in a civil  law proceeding Statutory Law Two types 1. Substantive Criminal Law a. Part of the law that defines crimes and specifies punishment 2. Procedural Law a. The part of the law that specifies the methods used in enforcing substantive law Administrative Law The body of regulations that governments create to control the activities of industries,  businesses, and individuals **Criminal Law and Administrative Law may overlap** Crimes and Classifications Felonies: criminal offense is punishable by death or by incarceration in a prison facility.  Punishment is at least over 1 year. Misdemeanors: A criminal offense that is punishable by incarceration, usually in a local facility Violations (infractions): A violation of local ordinances, like traffic violations or health code  violations Offenses: A violation of criminal law Inchoate Offenses: Offenses that have not been fully carried out (conspiracies, planning to  commit) Legal Definition of Crime The state must prove each of the elements of the crime beyond reasonable doubt All common law crimes contain both mental and physical elements The prosecutor must prove... a. Actus Reus­ Guilty act  b. Mens rea­ Guilty mind  c. Concurrence­ The coexistence of Actus Reus and Mens Rea Strict Liability­ Illegal act whose elements do not contain the need for Mens Rea Ex: I own a chemical store and I'm required to dispose of the chemicals in a certain way,  but instead I decide to go back and dump them into the grass. I am liable for the damage  I'm causing society by having those chemicals seep into the aquifers, spread fumes, etc. 5 Additional Principles to Prove 1. Causation: Concurrence of a guilty mind and a criminal act that had to have caused harm 2. Harm: This occurs in any crime, but some crimes are victimless  a. Ex: Smoking cigarettes  3. Legality: Behavior cannot be criminal if no law exists that defines it as such 4. Punishment: The crime must have a matching punishment specified by law 5. Necessary Attendant Circumstances: "facts surrounding the event that can be deemed as  criminal"  Criminal Defenses A defense consists of evidence and arguments offered by a defendant (and their attorney) to  show why the defendant should not be held liable for a criminal charge. A criminal defense is based on refutation of the elements (Actus Reus or Mens Rea) of the crime. 4 Categories of Defenses: 1. Alibi­ A statement/proof given by an individual charged with a crime that they were not  there when the crime was committed, or were engaging in other activities proving that  their participation in the crime was impossible. ***Different than all other defenses  because it holds the truth that the defendant is TRULY INNOCENT*** 2. Justifications­A legal defense in which the defendant admits to committing the act, but  claims it was necessary in order to avoid some greater evil. Included in this are.... self  defense/defense of others/defense of home and property. This proves it was a necessity. a. 'Stand Your Ground' theory  i. Two Rules 1. You can fight first before you flee,  2. Allowed to tell the offender if they decide to commit the crime  even though they were caught in the act, the victim has permission  to kill the offender          b. Ex: Liam Neeson's movie Taken 3. Excuses­ A legal defense in which the defendant claims that some personal condition or  circumstance at the time of the act was such that they could not be held accountable  under criminal law. Some acceptable excuses include age, intoxication, insanity, mental  incompetence, etc. ­­Various Insanity Defense Standards a. M'Naughten Rule­ Defines a person as insane if at the time they committed the  act they "couldn’t tell right from wrong". Used in the majority of the states. b. The Irresistible Impulse­ Defines someone insane if they committed a crime  during a "fit of passion". c. The Durham Rule­States that "an accused is not criminally responsible if her  unlawful act was the product of mental disease or defect". d. The Insanity Defense Reform Act­ States that a person accused of a crime can be  judged not guilty by reason of insanity if the defendant as a result of a severe  mental disease or defect was unable to appreciate the nature and quality or the  wrongfulness of his acts.  e. The Substantial Capacity Test­ Argues that insanity should be defined as a lack of substantial capacity to control one's behavior. Substantial capacity is defined as  the mental capacity needed to understand the wrongfulness of an act or to  conform behavior to the law. 4. Procedural Defense­ A defense that claims that the defendant was in some significant  way discriminated against in the justice process or that some aspect of official procedure  was not properly followed in the investigation or prosecution of the crime charged.  a. Procedural Defenses includes.... i. Entrapment  ii. Double Jeopardy iii. Collateral Estoppel iv. Selective Prosecution v. Denial of a Speedy Trial vi. Prosecutorial Misconduct vii. Police Fraud


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