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Criminal Law
University of California, Hastings School of Law
Bloch, Kate E.


CHAPTER 1: Architecture of the CJ System

Start of crim case = police (w/discretion)
Charging: Prosecutor’s Office

Charging decision = w/ pc, b/c can be big deal

CA District attorneys charge when four requirements:

Pros. is satisfied evidence shows the accused is guilty of crime
Legally sufficient ev. Of crime
Legally sufficient ev. Of identity
Pros. Has weighed probability of conviction

The Applicable Law

Common law
MPC = guide for legislatures, drafted in 1950s
Local statutes

Grand Jury – usually follow pros. Advice
Prelim hearing – when charge comes from pros.

Pc standard < trial BoP

In the courthouse

Arraignment, counsel, settings

Determine whether ∆ has counsel
Inform ∆ of charges
∆ enters plea

Plea negotiation = >90%, 2 min. decisions

Discovery = timely manner

Determinate = proscribed
Indeterminate = disctretion

CHAPTER II: Punishment

What is punishment?

KS v. Hendricks (sexpred)

KS stat. establishes civil commitment procedure for sex predators
Hendricks had history of paedo.
Court looks at:

Leg.’s stated intent
Placement of provision w/in probate code
“civil commitment procedure”
Designed to protect public from harm

Statute was civil:

No retribution
No scientur
No deterrence

US v. Bergman (nursing home rabbi)

∆ ran nursing homes, scammed Medicaid in spite of sterling reputation
Why sentence?

Not: rehab., incap. Or specdet

gendet = not “merely” end
retrib = just deserts


Principles: Kant:

Just deserts
Principle of equality = sameness of kind/degree btw crime/punishment
Retrospective theory dependent upon blameworthiness
Limiting principle = proportionality required
Doesn’t use people

Kant = steal from him, steal from yourself
Fittingness, just deserts
Dolinko: 3 Mistakes of Retrib

It does “use” people

Bound to be some innocents punished, still use them to punish guilty (systemic)

Thug in jail can’t shoot your sister

Rehabilitation = fix ‘em

Prevent crime by changing criminal so he no longer desires to commit
Hirsch & Mayer

Qs of effectiveness

Hard to show it works
Must focus on specific group

Qs of humaneness

Aimed at preventing recidivism
Focus more on social/moral character

Qs of fairness

Hard to reconcile treatment w/proportionality

Not primary basis for deciding the sentence

Denunciation = Reinforce norms


Society must register disapproval of wrongful acts and reaffirm the values violated by these acts
Promotes social cohesion
Shame punishments often used to exemplify

Rychak: Society/s Moral Right to Punish

Society does not tolerate this conduct

Reaffirm values