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Criminal Law
South Texas College of Law Houston
Wheeler, Michael E.

Criminal Law Outline
 
I.                   Crime
a.       Any social harm defined and made punishable by law.
II.                Presumptions and Burdens of Proof
a.      Presumptions
                                                              i.      Conclusive: Concluding that one thing conclusively presumes another
                                                            ii.      Permissive: Infer facts from other circumstantial evidence
                                                          iii.      Rebuttable: Switches the burden of proof
b.      BOP
                                                              i.      Burden of persuasion: Who has the burden to persuade fact finder
                                                            ii.      Burden of going forward: Who has burden of establishing a prima facia case, present evidence, etc.
III.             Offenses Against the Person
a.       Definition of human: does not include unborn viable fetuses
                                                              i.      Born Alive Rule- only babies that are born are humans
                                                            ii.      Being Born Rule- babies in the process of being born (and in normal process would be born alive) are humans
1.      Majority of states adhere to born alive rule, others use “quickened”, “viable”, or “fetus” in definitions of human
b.      Homicide: Killing of a human being by another human being
                                                              i.      Criminal Homicide- homicide w/o justification or excuse
                                                            ii.      Murder- criminal homicide + malice (crim hom w/o JEM)
                                                          iii.      Year and a day rule: if person dies within a year and one day of injuries inflicted by D, D is responsible for the death (trend away from this rule)
1.      Now it’s 3 years and a day
c.       Malice: Commission of a volitional act w/o excuse or justification. Malice aforethought: any of the factors below absent mitigating factors to reduce killing to manslaughter.
                                                              i.      Intent to kill- having a particular person in mind
                                                            ii.      Intent to do serious bodily injury
                                                          iii.      Recklessness: extreme indifference, very high risk to human life- doesn’t require consciousness of risk, only that it was foreseeable, subjectively aware of risk (malignant heart, depraved mind)
                                                          iv.      Felony-Murder- malice is conclusively presumed if killing takes place during an inherently dangerous felony- part of a continuous chain of events
1.      Burglary, Arson, Rape, Robbery, Kidnapping (BARRK)= first degree, all other felonies= second degree
d.      Merger Doctrines
                                                              i.      Felony-Murder Merger: where a felony that caused the homicide is an integral part of the homicide, it merges with the homicide. The felony must be independent from the homicide.
1.      Some states use merger and say it is leg. intent to merge integrated felonies, others say it would frustrate leg. intent  
                                                            ii.      Conspiracy Merger: Wharton’s Rule (W.R.)
1.      Prohibits conviction for both t.o. and conspiracy to commit t.o. IF the t.o. necessarily requires participation and cooperation of 2 persons. Also, where is it impossible under any circumstances to commit the t.o. w/o cooperative action, the preliminary agreement btw the same parties to commit the t.o. is not an indictable conspiracy
a.       Third party exception: If another person added, can convict for conspiracy and t.o.
b.      W.R. is a rebuttable presumption: rebuttable by evidence of legislative intent to the contrary
e.       First Degree Murder
                                                              i.      Premeditation and Deliberation exists when intent to kill is fully formed 
1.      PAD requires preexisting reflection and weighing of considerations- i.e. non-impulsive consideration (for statutory first degree murder, PAD required- otherwise 2nd degree)
                                                            ii.      BARRK Felony Murder
                                                          iii.      Also by poison, bombing, lying in wait, and torture
f.       Second Degree Murder
                                                              i.      SBI
                                                            ii.      Recklessness
                                                          iii.      Non-BARRK felony murder
g.      Voluntary Manslaughter: Killing which would other wise be murder but for the presence of adequate provocation (a mitigating circumstance) CASC- homicide caused by adequate provocation making sufficient passion before cooling off (w/o malice aforethought)
                                                              i.     

                                           iii.      Without consent
                                                          iv.      D knew or should have known (general intent to do act)
                                                            v.      No actual touching required; does not always include assault
l.        Other Offenses
                                                              i.      Abduction: unlawful carrying away of a woman for marriage or immoral intercourse (also children)
                                                            ii.      Abortion (common law): cause a miscarriage of a quickened fetus unless necessary to save the life of the mother (reasonable belief)/ Modern: willful attempt to cause an abortion
                                                          iii.      Rape (common law): unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman w/o consent, by someone other than husband (unless aiding another), insensibly drunk woman (unless consent given prior to intoxication) Men cannot be raped, rape may be committed by fraud, if female lacks capacity to consent. Statutory: any penetration without consent or with a minor
                                                          iv.      Kidnapping (common law): intentional confinement of another w/o legal authority and w/o consent, transportation of victim or concealment of victim, or concealment for a specific purpose. Statutory: adds specific intent, common law: general intent
                                                            v.      Mayhem: maliciously maiming or disfiguring of another
IV.             Offenses Against the Habitation
a.      Burglary
                                                              i.      Common law (first degree):
1.      Breaking
a.       No breaking when defendant is authorized to enter
b.      Every use of physical force is a breaking, no matter how slight
c.       Breaking includes a further opening (any use of physical force) 
2.      Entering
Requires a person’s physical self to cross the threshold (no matter how sligh