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Criminal Law
University of Kentucky School of Law
Fortune, William H.

Crim Law Outline
Theories/Purposes of Punishment
I.                   In General
a.       Have to answer why it’s warranted, what are its necessary conditions, what degree of severity is appropriate
b.      Punishment involves pain or retribution that people wish to avoid
c.       Justification: Congruence between threat and actual performance
II.                Utilitarian Theory of Punishment
a.       Man’s two masters are pain and pleasure
b.      Want to minimize pain and maximize pleasure
c.       Law should be used to augment total happiness of the community
d.      When punishment should NOT be inflicted
                                                              i.      It’s groundless
                                                            ii.      It’s inefficacious (accomplishes nothing)
                                                          iii.      It’s unprofitable or too expensive
                                                          iv.      It’s needless
III.             Retributivist
a.       Goal of Punishment is to get back at someone for their crimes
b.      Judicial Punishment v. Natural Punishment
                                                              i.      Judicial punishment imposed b/c individual committed crime
IV.             Goals of Punishment
a.       General deterrence – Utilitarian
b.      Specific deterrence – Utilitarian
c.       Incapacitation – Utilitarian
d.      Rehabilitation – Utilitarian
e.       Retribution (Punishment) – Retribution
f.       Denunciation (Moral Outrage) – Retribution
g.      Restitution – Utilitarian
V.                Categorizing Punishments
a.       Utilitarian – Probation, Indeterminate Sentencing, Parole
b.      Retributive – Fixed sentences, mandatory minimums, mandatory incarceration
c.       Combo – e.g. Sex Offenses Mandatory treatment and Mandatory Incarceration
VI.             Types of Punishment
a.       Death
b.      Imprisonment
c.       Fines/Forfeiture
d.      Restitution/fees/costs
e.       Probation/Shock Probation
f.       Community Service
g.      “Shaming” Sanctions
VII.          Who should be punished?
a.       Queen v. Dudley and Stephens
                                                              i.      Men were of higher class but still punished
VIII.       How much punishment should be imposed?
a.       Du
                                                              i.      Shopkeeper convicted of voluntary manslaughter but had judge reduce sentence to probation because of extenuating circumstances
Legality of Statutes
I.                   Principle of Legality: courts can’t create crime (that’s a legislative function)
II.                Void-for-vagueness: legislature can’t give over-broad authority to courts
III.             Strict construction: If statute is uncertain, interpret in favor of defendant (principle of lenity?)
IV.             Previously defined conduct: Is there a common law basis for courts to determine criminality?
a.       Commonwealth v. Mochan
                                                              i.      No statute on books for harassing phone calls
                                                            ii.      PA Penal code said common law could cover anything not on books (should be void for vagueness?)
                                                          iii.      Common Law Source: “Whatever openly outrages decency and is injurious to public morals” is a crime
b.      Most states have abolished common law offenses, but it can still influence a decision
c.       Keeler v. Superior Court
                                                              i.      Murder statute at time only referred to intentional killing of a “human being”
                                                            ii.      Common law tradition doesn’t consider a fetus a human being
                                                          iii.      Therefore, murder statute cannot apply toward fetus
                                                          iv.      Cal. Amends statute to include fetuses after this
V.                Statutory Construction
a.       Sometimes a statute is unclear
b.      In Re Banks
                                                              i.      “Peeping Tom” statute
                                                            ii.      D argues “peep secretly” could cover innocent activity, making statute unconstitutionally vague
                                                          iii.      Court’s rule of construction: assume that legislature did not intend to criminal

gative Acts”)
a.       This regards your duty to act when you see a crime committed
b.      People v. Beardsley
                                                              i.      5 situations where failure to act may broach a legal duty
1.      Statute imposes duty
2.      Special status relationship
3.      Contractual Duty
4.      Voluntarily Assumed Care of Another
5.      Person Creates the Risk of Harm
                                                            ii.      Defendant was not able to stop victim from taking morphine -> not criminally liable
c.       Lane v. Commonwealth
                                                              i.      Because of duty created by recent statutes, defendant had an affirmative duty to protect her child from her lover
                                                            ii.      She was charged as an accomplice because of her failure
                                                          iii.      Main opinion’s source was a statute regarding social workers’ duty, but concurring wants duty to arise from other statutes and cases that recognize general duty of parents
d.      Barber v. Superior Court
                                                              i.      Man taken off life support by doctors -> Why is this not an affirmative act?
                                                            ii.      Since giving treatment is an action, not giving treatment would be an omission, not an act
                                                          iii.      In medical treatment, doctors only have obligation to do what reasonably help a person, so an omission is only a crime if patient would have had a chance to recover because of the act
                                                          iv.      Also important that family requested cessation of treatment