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Criminal Law
SUNY Buffalo Law School
Ewing, Charles P.

Omissions
1.      Jones v. United States
a.       Jones was in charge of taking care of a young 10-month old child. The child was admitted to the hospital with severe malnutrition and died. Jones was charged with Manslaughter and convicted.
b.      Set four situations for when a failure to act results in a breach of legal duty
                                                              i.      Statute imposes a duty to care for another
                                                            ii.      Where one stands in a certain relationship with another
                                                          iii.      Where one has assumed a contractual duty to care for another
                                                          iv.      Where one has voluntarily assumed the care of another and so secluded the helpless person as to prevent others from rendering aid
c.       A finding of Legal Dutie is the critical element of the crime charged and failure to instruct the jury concerning it was plain error
2.      Notes and Questions (P113)
a.        Professor Packer: Culpability means free will and human automony.
                                                              i.      Limitation of criminal punishment to conduct.
b.      It is important that a duty be expressed somewhere in a statute so that people know who there duty is legally to.
c.       2. The scope of duty,
                                                              i.      Retributivist principles: Criminal liability in certain cases of omission comes from the idea of retribution.
d.      3. Child in the pool hypothetical
                                                              i.       A person who does not believe anyone else is calling for help, but doesn’t call for help is liable.
e.       Contracts for care
                                                              i.      Commonwealth v. Pestinkas 617 A.2d 1339 (Pa. Super. 1992)
1.       An oral contract to provide care breached can allow a person to be charged with murder where it is established that there was “malic”
f.       Family Status
                                                              i.      People v. Carroll
1.      Stepmother must stop abuse of stepchild, even at the hands of her husband.
                                                            ii.      Degren v. State 722 A.2d 887(Md. 1999)
1.      Adult who fails to prevent sexual abuse of children may also be charged with sexual abuse
3.      The Prohibition of “Status Crimes”
a.       Robinson v. California
                                                              i.      California statute made it a crime to be addicted to the use of narcotics.
                                                            ii.      Justice Stewert for the majority
1.      It cannot be a crime to be mentally ill, or a leper
2.      Nor can it be a crime to be addicted
a.       Against the 8th Amendment(cruel and unusual punishment)
b.      14th Amendment (due process)
                                                          iii.      Justice Harlan concurring
1.      No more proof was needed to convict than that Robinson was an addict while in the state of California. Desire to commit a criminal act is not a crime
                                                          iv.      Justice White dissenting
1.      It is hard to reason why it would be any less offensive to the 14th Amendment to convict for the use of drugs instead of being addicted to drugs.
4.      Notes and Questions 1
a.       Robinson was being punished for what he was because of what he did.
b.      Prosecution could have tested his blood, or found drug pariphinalia on his person.
5.      Notes and Question 4
a.       Powell v. Texas
                                                              i.      Powell was found guilty of being drunk in a public place
                                                            ii.      Conviction affirmed 5-4
1.      Justice White
a.       Not charged with being an alcoholic, but rather being drunk in public.
b.      Powell overrule Robinson?
                                                              i.      No, just confines it to status alone
c.       Pottinger v. City of Miami
                                                              i.      Homeless people sue Miami for harassing and arresting them for doing normal daily duties such as sleeping, eating and standing and sitting
                                                            ii.      Held that homelessness is as involuntary a status as in Robinson.
                                                          iii.      Noted as a “Dubious extension of Robinson and Powell.
6.      Johnson v. State 602 So 2d 1288 (Fla. 1992)
a.       Johnson is convicted of “delivering” cocaine to her newborn children  in the 60-90 seconds after the child is born and before the umbilical cord is cut.
b.      Hardin, J (adopting Judge Sharpes desent as its rule)
                                                              i.      Even if the criminal statute is applicable, there is not medical evidence to support that “delivery” occurred between the mother and the newborns after they were born (statute requires a “person” to “person” transfer)
                                                            ii.      No evidence that Johnson timed her dosage of cocaine in order for delivery to occur.”Absurdity of applying the delivery-of-a-drug statute to this scenario
                                                          iii.      A bill was proposed to broaden definition of “harm” to include physical dependency of a newborn to drugs, but was shot down in fear it would lead to the breakup of families
                                                          iv.       “Delivery of a drug” statute is a terrible way to deal with the issue of drug dependant babies
7.      Notes and Questions
 
 
 
Rape         
1.      Unlawful sexual intercourse with a female person without her consent
a.      Traditionally applied a requirement of “Utmost Resistance”
                                                              i.      The amount of resistance put up reflects the amount of force the D had

even if the defendant himself had not cooled down.
                                                            ii.      Indirect Provocation: may be enough to allow voluntary manslaughter.
                                                          iii.      Gradual Provocation
1.      “Sudden Anger” cannot be cumulative(State v. Gounagias) Wash. 1915
a.       Brooding thought to kill is not the culmination of sudden anger over a period of time, but revenge murder.
d.      Adultery and other Adequate Provocations
                                                              i.      Physical attack might constitute adequate provocation
                                                            ii.      Mutual combat – “let’s take this outside”
                                                          iii.      Sexual assault or a close relative
                                                          iv.      Catching one’s spouse in the act of adultery is adequate provocation
                                                            v.      Words alone are not, but “informational words” are sometimes enough – “I killed your son, I slept with your wife”
2.      Murder
a.       Killing of another human being with Intent to kill, or Malice Aforethought
                                                              i.      Proof of Malice Aforethought
1.      The proof of the facts that the killer shot the victim does not prove there was malice, shifting the burden of proof to the defendant to show there was no malice is a violation of the 14th amendments due process clause. (Francis v. Franklin) US 1985
                                                            ii.      Meaning of intent
1.      Different from motive – not why they killed, but if they intended to kill
2.      Engaging in conduct with the conscious objective to cause the death of another or be aware the death of another was practically certain to result from the act.
                                                          iii.      “Malice” and intent
1.      Malice is considered the same as intent
a.       Conscious desire to cause death
b.      Conscious desire to cause great bodily harm
c.       The act was practically certain to cause death or great bodily harm
                                                          iv.      Presumption of intent
1.      The state must prove intent beyond a reasonable doubt.
                                                            v.      “Transferred intent”