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Criminal Law
University of California, Hastings School of Law
Weithorn, Lois A.

Outline # 2: Criminal Law: Whitehorn

I. Overview of the Criminal Justice System
1. Why?
-regulate social norms
-maintain social order
-prohibit harmful acts
-protect against the people who disregard others
A. Architecture of the Criminal Justice System
B. Criminal v. Civil Law
1. The state is the victim in criminal cases
2. Criminal law prohibits where civil law prices
3. Crim deals with harm to society, social harm
4. Punishment includes incarceration and even death
C. Constitutional Principles
1. Ex poste facto: defining the crime 6th Amend.
ÕPrinciple of specificity: “No one may be required at peril of life, liberty, or property as the meaning of legal statutes. All are entitled to be informed as the what the state condemns or forbids.”
ÕPrinciple of lenity: A rule of strict interpretation, narrow construction of penal statutes that always favor the defendant. : 
a. Keeler v. Superior Court: Victim was pregnant with another man’s child after her and her husband separated. D kicked her in the stomach killing the fetus. Not murder because a fetus is not a person
-Statutory change after this decision in the definition of a “person.”
D. Punishment : A penalty inflicted for an offense or fault.
1. Retribution: just deserts (past oriented)
a. Proportionality: Let the punishment fit the crime.
-Ewing v. California: D stole golf clubs from a pro shop but b/c of his criminal history and the three strikes rule he got 25 years. Three strikes and you’re out, buddy.
b. Uniformity: Same crime, same punishment (does not take into account other factors like bad childhood)
c. Not focused on intent but the harm caused.
d. Utilitarian: the punishment serves a service to society
2. Deterrence:
General: deter society by example (reduce through fear of punishment)
Specific: deter the person
a. The punishment must be bad enough to outweigh the benefits of committing the crime
3. Incapacitation: “A thug in prison can’t shoot your sister”
Selective incapacitation: indiv. criminal and their personal factors evaluated to determine punishment
Collective incapacitation: All people convicted of the same crime should serve the same sentence
4. Rehabilitation: to return them to society
a. Restorative: brings the victim as well as the offender back into society, trying to restore them both (very edgy)
-impressionability of offender
-net social gain
-nature of crime

5. Civil commitment theory: people who are imminently dangerous to society or themselves they need to be committed. There must be clear and convincing evidence in order to be able to retain the person and thereby restrict their liberty.
a. Kansas v. Hendricks: D was a sexually violent predator and has already finished serving out his sentence. Under §59-29a02 he can be detained under a civil commitment theory because he fits into the category of “sexually violent p

a gun onto an airplane that was supposed to be an international flight but had to stop in New York where the carrying of a gun was illegal. Voluntarily carried the gun but did not voluntarily go to New York. (Usually they assume you take on the liability associated with the new laws when you voluntarily cross a border)
The duty neglected must be a legal duty not a moral duty to be criminally liable
Criminal liability may be predicated on an omission if the defendant had a legal duty, not just a moral duty to act based on
(1)     Statutes
(2)     Special relationship
(3)     Contractual obligation
(4)     The voluntary assumption of care and by so secluded the individual to prevent others from rendering aid
(5)     The defendant’s status as a landowner
(6)     A duty to control third parties, such as children or employees
(7)     The defendant’s creation of peril.
Jones v. State: D was charged with the murder of 10 month old Anthony who died of malnutrition and dehydration. D was given $74 a month by the mother to take care of Anthony and his brother who lived with D.
2. Duty to aid statutes are created in some states.