Criminal Law Outline
I. Intro- What is Criminal Law?
1. Crime- the punishment of a crime is considered a greater punishment than civil. Why?- the moral consequences of the crime and status as seen as a violator.
– the crime must be punished not only with a threat but also an overt condemnation of the accused.
– trials take time and effort, most cases are plead. The legislator’s role in the punishment is to enact a threat which will be carried out by another agency. A law must meet 4 characteristics in order for it to be applied- 1. the addressee must know of its existence and its content. 2. he must be aware of the threat of punishment 3. must be able to comply and 4 willing to do so.
2. Trial- All criminal defendants must be tried by a jury of their peers (6th Ammendment). These juries are to be impartial and a reflection of the community. Prosecutors and d attorneys have the right to refuse juror through voir dire.
– Proof beyond a Reasonable doubt- Accused may loose his life and liberty therefore an intense burden is placed on the prosecution.
– reasonable doubt is “ a subjective state of mind of the juror near certitude.” However the proof is not quantitative but qualative. “It must be actual or substantial doubt, that would give rise to uncertainty. Many different interpretations- subjective.
3. Presumption of innocence-
Owens v. State- Circumstantial evidence alone is not be allowed to convict unless the circumstances are inconsistent with any reasonable hypo of innocence. Facts- Defendant was drunk passed out in someone elses driveway with the engine on and beer cans a
e anywhere) and guilt(he drove to the driveway) conflict. Look for evidence of tiebreaker- The evidence shows an inconsistent view of innocence- Defendant guilty.
4. Jury Nullification- Even though prosecutor proves beyond a reasonable doubt- jury can “nullify” for reasons such as racial sympathy, to send a message etc… Once the Δ is acquitted he can never be prosecuted for that exact crime again (5th Amendment). Or Nullifying an acquittal- innocent but jury convicts. State v. Ragland- Jury doesn’t have to be instructed on its right to nullify- not a violation. The jury has the power but doesn’t need to be informed of this. Believes that jury nullification is a dangerous thing and subverts justice.
– Counter? US V. Datcher- absent jury nullification gov’t can be tyrannical- jury should be informed of its power and also Δ’s right to it.
– Yes, but- juries may nullify for handsome Δ and other superficial reasons.
1.What do we mean?- usually pain and deprivation of the person. Whats not allowed?- corporal, branding, humiliation.
2. Theories of punishment- 1. Retribution- an eye for an eye.
2. Deterence- to stop the crime- two parts could be a. specific( the person committing the crime) or b. general(society at large)
3. Utilitarian- to rehabilitate the offender and etc.. and the benefit of society
4. emotive- what we see as morally wrong in our society should be punished.