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Criminal Law
Southern Illinois University School of Law
Behan, Christopher W.

2.       Introductory Materials
a.       Speluncean Explorers
                                                               i.      Pick out Key Facts for both sides
                                                             ii.      Opinions – Approaches to Criminal Law
1.       Correct one is one that court adopts
a.       Handy
                                                                                                                                       i.      Should evaluate human behavior when applying law
                                                                                                                                     ii.      Should decide cases in such a way that maintains a good relationship with the common man
                                                                                                                                    iii.      Use morals when applying law
b.       Truepenny
                                                                                                                                       i.      Look at the statute’s words
c.       Foster
                                                                                                                                       i.      Use common-sense when applying law, if law makes men criminal unjustly, don’t use strict interpretation of the law, look at intent of statute
d.       Keen
                                                                                                                                       i.      Look at precedent, statute
                                                                                                                                     ii.      Judges should judge objectively, not apply morality or emotions
e.       Tatting
                                                                                                                                       i.      Emotions involved in judgment, criminal law is to deter, rehab, if judge one way opens up for controversy and confusion in future cases
                                                            iii.      Prosecutional Discretion – Could have stopped it before court
b.       Nature of Criminal Law and Its Analytical Structure
                                                               i.      Operational Structure
1.       Offense – what the actor did
a.       Objective Elements
                                                                                                                                       i.      Conduct
                                                                                                                                     ii.      Circumstance
                                                                                                                                    iii.      Result
b.       Culpability Elements –
                                                                                                                                       i.      degree one is held morally and legally responsible
                                                                                                                                     ii.      Purpose
                                                                                                                                    iii.      Knowledge
                                                                                                                                   iv.      Recklessness
                                                                                                                                     v.      Negligence
2.       Defense – How to be acquitted for a crime
a.       Failure-of-Proof Defense – inability to prove required element
                                                                                                                                       i.      Mistake Defense
b.       General Defense – applies to all offenses
                                                                                                                                       i.      Absence of legally recognized harm
                                                                                                                                     ii.      Justification
1.       Recognizes situations that are relatively not as bad and outweighed by greater good
2.       Self-defense
                                                                                                                                    iii.      Excuses
1.       Involuntary, Insane, Immature, Duress
                                                                                                                                   iv.      Nonexculpatory
1.       Diplomatic Immunity
2.       Social interest
3.       Limitation Periods
3.      Imputation
a.       Actor may be held liable for an offense even if he does not satisfy an element of the offense definition
                                                                                                                                       i.      Missing element imputed on him
                                                                                                                                     ii.      Culpability State Imputed
4.      Liability Assignment v. Sentencing
a.       Liability suggests appropriate punishment
b.       Punishment discretionary to sentencing judge

a.       Less able to adapt to new or unusual problems, fixed rules
2.       Technicalities
a.       Make proving guilt more difficult and costly b/c of precision
3.       Excludes Moral or Normative Judgments of Society
a.       May not equal communal moral standards, no moral judgments
4.       Gives Discretion to Police and Judges
                                                           vi.      Principle of Analogy
1.       Discretion to expand definition or interpretation of offense to include conduct analogous to that expressly prohibited
2.       Are limitations
                                                          vii.      Principles of Statutory Interpretation
1.       Rule of Fair Import (MPC 1.02(3)
a.       Gives authority to interpret statutes in way that does not undermine legislative intent but allows for reasonable notice of offense
b.       More flexible
2.       Vagueness, ambiguity
a.       Vague language may invalidate statute
b.       Sometimes value in having vague statutes
3.       Legislative Intent
a.       If ambiguous, follow what legislatures intended, court’s role is not to make up new meanings
4.       Plain Meaning Rule
a.       If able to figure out what it means by looking at it, have to stick with it, whether like it or not
b.       Look to legislative intent and other interpretive strategies only if clear ambiguity exists
5.       Drafting Errors and Implied Exceptions
a.       Have to follow legislative intent, look at legislative history, record of deliberation
6.       De Minimis Defense (MPC 2.12)
a.       Defense for trivial harms
                                                                                                                                       i.      Too small to matter
b.       Rule says one thing but would lead to punishment that statute did not intend to prevent
                                                        viii.      Rules of Construction
1.       Different Language Implies Different Meaning
2.       Catch-all phrases limited by common factor of items on the list
3.       Expression of one thing excludes implication of another
4.       Special controls the General
5.       Later Controls the Earlier
d.       Theories of Punishment