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Criminal Law Notes - Amendments

by: Pamela Crockett

Criminal Law Notes - Amendments CJ 341

Marketplace > University of North Dakota > CJ 341 > Criminal Law Notes Amendments
Pamela Crockett
GPA 3.5

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About this Document

These notes cover important Amendments, civil rights, and cases in history that contributed to the Constitution.
Criminal Law
Kristi Venhuizen
Class Notes
Amendments, civil rights
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Pamela Crockett on Friday September 16, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CJ 341 at University of North Dakota taught by Kristi Venhuizen in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 35 views.


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Date Created: 09/16/16
Sources of Procedural Law Legislative bodies by enactment of statutes  Promulgated by courts through judicial decisions  Courts developed rules and court procedure Limitations: Bill of Rights – contains most important constitutional provisions relative to criminal justice Adopted by Congress in 1789/Ratified by states in 1791  Regulate both procedural and substantive law 1. 1 Amendment: freedom of speech 2. 4 Amendment: search and seizure 3. 5 Amendment: self-incrimination th 4. 6 thendment: jury trial 5. 8 Amendment: cruel/unusual punishment 6. 5 + 14 Amendments: due process Role of Courts Judicial Decisions: Trial courts – factual determination; apply settled law; impose sanctions Appellate courts – interpret constitutions; precedent Legal reasoning by analogy: Preserve the past but consider contemporary social, cultural, and economic norms Criminal Process: Due process clauses of 5 and 14 Amendments Forbid taking of person’s life, liberty, or property without due process of law Due Process: procedural safeguards to guarantee fairness!  Presumption of innocence  Proof beyond reasonable doubt – “moral certainty” Less than 5% of cases go to trial because…  Admit guilt  Insufficient evidence  Plea bargain  Police misconduct  Procedural errors Judicial Review: Framers of Constitution put limits on Congress’ ability to enact criminal statuses (threat to liberty) Marbury vs. Madison (1803) – courts are empowered to declare null and void laws that violate principles of Constitution Unconstitutional per se: inherently violates constitutionally protected liberties. Unconstitutional as applied: law is facially valid but enforced in a way that restricts a person’s constitutional rights. Power to Enact Criminal Laws Rule of Law: no crime, no punishment, without law (no one can be guilty of a crime in the absence of a law prohibiting the conduct). Police Powers: authority of gov’t to enact legislation to protect public health, safety, order, welfare, and morality.  Vested primarily in state legislatures Congress’ ability to enact criminal law is limited…  Article I, Section 8 – enumerates authority Powers: 1. Establish immigration rules/naturalization 2. Punish piracies/felonies on high seas 3. Punishment of counterfeiting 4. Regulate interstate commerce (most sig. power) a. Stretched to justify broader authority to enact criminal statutes (computer crimes, carjacking). Article I, Section 8 – Necessary/Proper Clause  Doctrine of implied powers  McCullock v. Maryland (1819)  Expands Congress’ legislative authority  Must be plainly adapted to the goal of furthering one of Congress’ enumerated powers U.S. vs. Lopez (1995) – struck down Gun-Free school zones act of 1990 U.S. vs. Morrison (2000) – struck down federal civil remedy to victims of gender- motivated violence Gonzales vs. Raich (2005) – upheld Congress’ authority to criminalize possession/medicinal use of marijuana Delimiting the Crime of Treason Treason: betrayal of one’s country o Making war against it At common law, there was a special punishment: hanged, entrails removed, burned, decapitated, body divided into 4’s, disposed by King English Kings used treason to punish political dissenters (Article III Section 3 Paragraph 1) – framers in open court (protects against circumstantial evidence). Ex Post Facto Laws: Only applies to criminal laws…  Exists after an action is committed, legislature then defines it as a crime – punishment implement. o Article I, Section 9 protects against this Principle of Legality: right to know if conduct is illegal  Cannot apply laws retroactively – must look at law that existed at the time the conduct took place… Four Types: 1. Makes an action criminal after act 2. Makes a crime greater than when it was done 3. Inflicts greater punishment 4. Alters rules of evidence after crime Examples… Miller v. Florida (1987) – retroactive sentencing Carmell v. Texas (2000) – underage testimony Stogner v. California (2003) – child molestation


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