CRIMINAL LAW- FALL 2010- PROFESSOR BEHAN
Four levels of culpability:
Purposely- conscious object is to cause such a result
Knowingly- not conscious object, yet practically certain that the conduct will cause that result
Recklessly- aware only of a substantial risk
Negligently- unaware of the substantial risk, but should have perceived it; gross deviation from the
standard of care that a reasonable person would observe in the actor’s situation.
Model Penal Code:
-General part: general provisions for liability, complicity; definitions that apply to all sections
-Special part: specific offenses defined and organized in related groups
Three-Part problem solving methodology: (p.27 liability decision)
1. Offense- does the actor’s conduct meet the elements of the offense?
2. Defense- are there any conditions which actor can be acquitted even if satisfies the elements of the offense?
3. Imputation- can the actor’s still be held liable even if he fails to satisfy the elements of an offense but imputing those elements to him?
RAY BRENT MARSH- crematorium, not following regulations by loopholes, machine breaks, still collects bodies but dumps in bad yard. Georgia code too broad (Abuse of a corpse- willfully deface). Doesn’t have intent, cannot impute.
nullum crimen sine lege, nulla poena sine lege- no crime without law, nor punishment without law.
– Criminal liability and punishment can be based only upon a prior legislative enactment of a prohibition that is expressed with adequate precision and clarity.
– Source= common law and 5th Am. Due Process Clause
– Three Doctrines:
Void for vagueness- statute must give sufficient warning of the prohibited conduct.
Rule of Strict Construction/ Lenity- statutory ambiguity resolved against the state, not the defendant.
Ex Post Facto Prohibition- can’t criminalize conduct that was not illegal when committed
Procedural Fairness Inflexibility
Avoids over-deterrence Promotion of technicalities
Increases uniformity in adjudication Excludes moral or normative judgments of society
Reduces abuse of discretion Reduces discretion to police and judiciary
Leg. branch controls criminality decisions
Rules of Construction:
Five rules page 55-
1. Different Language implies different meaning (Bradley).
2. Catch-all-phrases limited by common factor of items in the list (Powell).
(Bats, golf club, hockey stick and other sporting goods- baseball does not
under this, because it’s a catch all phrase.)
3. Expression of one thing excludes implication of another (Nichols).
4. Special controls the general (Collins).
(Must use more specific statute rather than general one.)
-only works if an indvd. is capable of conducting internal cost-benefit analysis
-recidivism rates demonstrate the limits of this theory
-condemns criminal and reinforces obedient citizens
-criminal results must be communicated to the public
-moral credibility of the system critical
-deters future misconduct by putting the dangerous offender away
-attempts punished the same as completed offenses?
-predictive abilities of social science
-unique offenses make anticipatory incapacitation difficult
-takes away desire or need to commit the misconduct
-consent of the offender not required
-must id people likely to commit future offenses
-limited predictive ability of social science to determine what works and doesn’t
-punishment is an end in itself
-impose it regardless of its effect on the rest of society, because the offender deserves it
-blameworthiness: seriousness of the violation / offenders moral accountability