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Criminal Law
SUNY Buffalo Law School
Boucai, Michael

 ·Criminal Law Outline – Michael Boucai
Spring 2016
I. Introduction
A. The Criminal Process
B. Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
i. Owens v. State
II. Punishment
A. General
i. Kansas v. Hendricks (1997)
B. Approaches to Punishment
i. Halden Prison vs. Pelican Bay Prison
ii. Utilitarianism
a. General Deterrence
b. Specific Deterrence
c. Incapacitation
d. Rehabilitation
e. Punishing the Innocent?
                        iii. Retributivism
                                    a. Positive v. Negative
                                    b. Stephen: Hatred and Vengeance?
                                    c. Morris: Punishment as Right
                                    d. Hampton: Punishment as Right
            C. Atkinson Case
            D. MPC §§ 1.02(1), (2)
            E. People v. Du
            F. Proportionality
                        i. Kant
                        ii. Bentham
                        iii. The Eighth Amendment
                                    a. Coker v. Georgia
                                    b. Ewing v. California
III. Enforcement of Morals
            A. Two Great Debates
                        i. John Stuart Mill v. James Fitzjames Stephen
                        ii. HLA Hart v. Patrick Lord Devlin
            B. Lawrence v. Texas and the Constitutionality of Morals Legislation
IV. Jury Nullification
            A. Criminal Juries: The Sixth Amendment
            B. State v. Ragland
            C. Prevalence
            D. Dismissal of Potential “Nullifiers”
            E. Finality of Acquittals
V. Legality and Statutory Interpretation
            A. Basic Rules
            B. Applications
                        i. Prospectivity and Legislation
                                    a. Commonwealth v. Mochan
                                    b. Keeler v. Superior Court
                        ii. Clarity
                                    a. In re Banks
                                    b. Chicago v. Morales
                        iii. Lenity; Statutory Construction
                                    a. Muscarello v. United States
                                    b. Methods of Statutory Construction
VI. Actus Reus
            A. Standard Elements
            B. Conduct Crimes and Result Crimes
            C. Attendant Circumstances
            D. Voluntariness
                        i. Martin v. State
                        ii. People v. Decina [Epileptic Driver]                         iii. State v. Utter
            E. Omissions
                        i. People v. Beardsley
                        ii. When might be an omission be criminal?
                        iii. Barber v. Superior Court
VII. Mens Rea
            A. Mens rea as culpability vs. “elemental” mens rea
                        i. Regina v. Cunningham
            B. MPC § 2.02
                        i. § 2.02(2)(a): Puposely
            ii. § 2.02(4): Prescribed Culpability Requirement Applies to All Material
iii. § 2.02(2)(b): Knowingly
iv. § 2.03(3): Culpability Required Unless Otherwise Provided
v. § 2.02(2)(c): Recklessly
vi. § 2.02(2)(d): Negligently
vii. § 2.02(5): Lesser includes greater
            C. People v. Conley
                        i. Application of mens rea to result element
                        ii. Presumption of intent
                        iii. Transferred intent
                                    a. MPC § 2.03(2)
            D. General v. Specific Intent
            E. Willful Blindness
                        i. State v. Nations
VIII. Strict Liability
            A. General
            B. Staples v. United States
            C. MPC § 2.02(3)
D. MPC § 2.05(2)
            E. Garnett v. State
IX. Mistake of Fact
            A. MPC § 2.04(1)
            B. MPC § 2.04(2)
            C. Common-Law Mistake-of-Fact Analysis
                        i. People v. Navarro
                        ii. Moral Wrong Doctrine
                                    a. Regina v. Prince
X. Mistake of Law
            A. General Rule
            B. Exceptions
                        i. People v. Marerro
                        ii. Cheek v. United States
                        iii. Lambert v. California
XI. Causation
            A. Actual Cause / Cause in Fact
                        i. Oxendine v. State
                        ii. MPC § 203(1)
                        iii. Substantial factor test
            B. Legal / Proximate Cause
                        i. People v. Rideout
                        ii. Common law proximate cause factors / doctrines
                                    a. Foreseeability: responsive v. coincidental
                                    b. Apparent safety
                                    c. Voluntary intervention
                                    d. De minimis causation
                                    e. Intended consequences
                                    f. Omissions
                        iii. Velasquez v. State
                        iv. MPC §§ 2.03(2)(b) & 2.03(3)(b)
XII. Homicide
            A. Overview
                        i. Common law approach
                        ii. Statutory approaches (NY)
                        iii. MPC approach
            B. People v. Eulo: “Death of a Human Being”
            C. Intentional Killings
                        i. “Deliberate and premeditated”
                                    a. State v. Guthrie
                                    b. Midgett v. State
                                    c. State v. Forrest
                        ii. Voluntary Manslaughter / “Heat of Passion” Killings
                                    a. Girouard v. State
                                                i. Requirements of the common-law rule of provocation
                                                ii. Common-law categories of adequate provocation
                                    b. The reasonable/ordinary person
                                                i. Girouard & Maher v. People (pg. 269)
                                                ii. Director of Public Prosecutions v. Camplin
                                                iii. Commonwealth v. Carr (281-2)
                                    c. MPC § 219.3(1)(b)
                                                i. People v. Casassa
            D. Unintentional Killings
                        i. Depraved Heart Murder
                                    a. People v. Moore
                                    b. People v. Knoller
                                                c. MPC § 210.2(1)(b)
                        ii. Involuntary Manslaughter
                                    a. Contemporary standard: gross negligence or worse
                                                i. MPC § 210.3(b) (reckless man

PC § 2.08(1) & (2)
                                    b. Failure of proof: actus reus
                                                i. MPC § 2.01
                                    c. Affirmative defense: temporary (vs fixed) insanity
                                                i. MPC § 2.08(4)
                                    f. Involuntary intoxication
                        iii. Insanity
                                    a. Competence to stand trial
                                    b. Penological rationales for the defense
                                    c. Tests
                                                i. M’Naghten
                                                ii. Irresistible impulse
                                                iii. Product/Durham
                                                iv. MPC § 4.08
                                    d. Calls for Abolition
XV. Inchoate Offenses
            A. Justifications for criminalizing Inchoate Offenses
            B. Attempt
                        i. Complete v. incomplete
                        ii. Merger rule
                        iii. Grading of attempts: common-law and MPC § 5.05
                        iv. Mens rea
                                    a. People v. Gentry
                                    b. MPC § 5.01(1)
                                    c. Bruce v. State
                                    d. Statutory rape and attendant circumstances
                        v. Actus reus
                                    a. Preparation v. perpetration
                                    b. Common-law tests
                                                i. Last act
                                                ii. Physical proximity
                                                iii. Dangerous proximity
                                                iv. Probable desistance
                                                v. Unequivocality / res ipsa loquitur
                                    c. “Substantial step” test
                                                i. MPC §§ 5.01(1) & (2)
                                                ii. State v. Reeves
                        vi. Defense: impossibility
                                    a. People v. Thousand
                                    b. Factual, legal, and “hybrid”
                                    c. Inherent impossibility
                        vii. Defense: abandonment
                                    a. Commonwealth v. McCloskey
                                    b. “Complete” and “voluntary”
                                    c. Failure-of-proof or affirmative defense?
                                    d. MPC § 5.01(4)