CRIMINAL LAW, Spring 07
Hoffheimer, § 1
· Trial by Jury
o Sixth Amendment Right to Trial By Jury
§ Providing the accused a trial by a jury of his peers gives him a safeguard against a corrupt or overzealous prosecutor and against the compliant, biased or eccentric judge
o The Jury
§ Federal system: 12 jurors and unanimous verdict needed for conviction
§ Juries as small as 6 are constitutionally permissible.
· Some states allow for non-unanimous verdicts
o Voir Dire (to speak the truth)
§ A preliminary examination of a prospective juror by a judge or lawyer to decide whether the prospect is qualified and suitable to serve on a jury.
· Cause Challenge-when a party strikes a juror and provides a reason why he shouldn’t be on the jury; a party has an unlimited number of challenges for cause as long as a valid reason.
· Peremptory Challenge-each party gets to strike a certain number of jurors whom they believe are biased, but whose partiality was not adequately proven through the voir dire.
o Batson Challenge-a party cannot make a peremptory strike based on race and gender.
· Proof of Guilt at Trial
o Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
§ See In re Winship: far worse to convict one innocent man than to let free 10 guilty men
§ Due Process Clause (Fifth Amendment)
o Presumption of Innocence
§ Innocent until proven Guilty
§ See Owens v. State: drunken man found asleep in a car: had he been driving while intoxicated.
· Jury Nullification
o Deliberate knowing and rejection of the evidence or refusal to apply the law; maybe the jury doesn’t like the law, or the prosecutor, or they really like the D.
§ Jury appeals to itself rather than the law
Principles of Punishment
· Theories of Punishment
§ General: knowledge that punishment will follow crime deters people from committing crimes.
§ Specific: actual imposition of punishment creates fear in the offender that if he repeats his act will be punished
§ Preventing persons with criminal dispositions from acting upon their tendencies.
· Jail time
o Reform of Rehabilitation
§ Punishment may help to reform the criminal
§ Moral culpability; the offender deserves
· Choice of Evils
o Defense Necessity
§ See Queen v. Dudley & Stephens: D claimed necessity in the killing of a young boy while adrift in an escape boat. Necessity Defense failed
§ See Knight v. State: MS case; black D ran over a white child in a white neighborhood; a crowd formed and he was told to get out of there; charged with fleeing the scene. Necessity defense granted.
§ Claim by the actor that his cond
o punish someone for something that didn’t require a purposeful act
o An act involves an exercise of will and signifies something done voluntarily
§ See State v. Utter: D claims that his killing of his son was a reflex action due to his combined intoxication and military training. Found guilty.
· An act committed while unconscious in no act al all (no liability)
· However, if the state of unconsciousness is voluntarily induced, no defense
o MPC § 2.01. Requirement of Voluntary Act; Omission as Basis of Liability; Possession as an Act.
· Omissions (Negative Acts)
o Exception to the voluntary act requirement
o Omission is a failure to act, but only if a duty to act exists.
§ See People v .Beardsley: no legal duty to protect mistress
o See Jones v. US:
§ Status relationship
§ Statutory obligation
§ Contractual duty
§ Voluntarily assumed
§ Created the risk
o Guilty mind or criminal intent
o Morally culpable state of mind
Mental state of the D with regard to the social harm element