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Criminal Law
SUNY Buffalo Law School
Ewing, Charles Patrick

1. Punishment

Crime: Any social harm that is defined and codified and made punishable by law(society).

I. Introduction
· Criminal Law 50 question Multiple choice exam
· Liberty/Life is at the heart of criminal law
· Case path: Arrest or “appearance ticket”; Goes to prosecutor
· Prosecutor has discretion “absolute”
o Time, Effort, Money
o Shady Reason (as well)
· Misdemeanor: file paper
· Felony:
· Hearing, neutral decision maker sees probable cause
· Grand Jury; 20 some person panel; issues and indictment
o (Investigative tool); Supena witness; target immunity if they testify; one side just prosecutors side; not double jeopardy
· Trial: most trial by jury by 12 or 6
· Pretrial motion: courts decide and judge can dismiss
· Trial; prosecution has to present, defendants does not; Prosecution bears burden
· (D does not testify most of the time; unethical to put known liar on the stand; you can have a D on stand to make a statement, i.e. Lie
· Jury usually must be unanimous
· Bench trial (not Jury) ugly ness of case i.e. Rape
· Judge: enforces Rules of evidence and in jury trail can find D not guilty; After state, after D case and after conviction.
· Crimes, Detected, Reported, Arrested, Prosecuted, Charged, Plea Bargain, Trail = less then 10%
· Every Case in this class is one the people prevailed / why prosecution can not appeal
· Extremely unlikely to be overturned on appeal

II. Punishment, Legality & Proportionality
The Criminal Offense

Actus Reus: Criminal act or omission described by law
Mens Rea: the state of mind or intent of D at time of act. Criminal state of mind; Guilty Mind; culpability, some moral guilt based on individual’s state of mind. Involves knowledge and purpose.

Recklessness-ignore risk despite knowledge of risk
Negligence-failure to perceive substantial risk that a reasonable person would have perceived.

Causation: the act must have been the use of the harm. Must be link between D’s criminal act and the harmful result. State has to prove that the criminal act caused the injury.
Attendant (additional) Circumstances: things that are part of a definition that must be proven. Features that make a crime more or less serious. Mitigating or Aggravating.
Result: the end harm that is caused by the criminal act. Most crimes require; not all (DWI).

Criminal Triangle

Just Punishment

General Deterrence: when society at large knows that people will be punished, they will be less likely to commit a crime. Problem is, this theory relies on a rational person, while rational person does not commit most crimes.
Specific Deterrence: prevents specific behavior, sends message to one person. By punishing crime they committed, hope they will not recidivate.
Rehabilitation: Hope to make person more capable of conforming behavior to societal norms. Problem, in general, this is not a part of American Penal system.

it is uncertain if rehabilitation can be accomplished.
it is uncertain if society wants to rehabilitate criminals.

Denunciation: society must send a message that the criminal act is wrong and will not be tolerated. Makes an example of the criminal and what they have

cost and does society want to lock people up forever
Denunciation: Penal system set up to tell people what society will tolerate
Retribution: eye for and eye; get what they deserve, make’s society feel better; example death penalty (he called DP a waste of time)
Thinks system protects white (i.e. black, Hispanic and men get screwed)
Money skews system

Should limited amount of punishment to what is fare

The Queen v. Dudley and Stephens (637) (Necessity does not justify murder of innocent).
§ Facts: D’s were stranded at sea and starving, so they killed and ate a young boy, without his consent.
§ Rule: However strong the temptation, one cannot place one’s own life above that of another innocent. Necessity does not justify murder, no absolute necessity to preserve one’s life over the right of others to live.
§ Issue: Whether killing in the case of Dudley and Stephens (temptation, extreme necessity) is murder.
§ Ans: Yes. The prisoners are guilty of willful murder because necessity does not justify murder.
§ R&P: Man has no right to declare temptation as an excuse. The absolute divorce of law from morality would be a fatal consequence. Note: What is accomplished is deterrence, stop it from happening again.
Brooke’s refusal is probably the worst actor