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Criminal Law
University of Mississippi School of Law
Green, Christopher

Chapter 2: The Purposes of Punishment
Utilitarian Ends:
1.      Deterring persons who might be thinking about committing crimes
2.      Incapacitating those who if released are likely to commit additional serious and violent crimes, OR
3.      Rehabilitating those who have already committed offenses.
 
Retributivism
–          Argues that persons who have committed crimes have acted immorally and must be punished to atone for the immoral action.
 
Utilitarianism
–          We should “hurt” criminals only if some “good” is achieved by this act. 
–          Deterence
1.      Punishment of a criminal reduces future crime in two ways:
A.    D can decide not to commit future crimes (specific deterrence) or
B.     Other persons, contemplating committing crimes and learning of the threatened punishment, will decide not to do so (general deterrence)
2.      Deterrence requires that D receive notice of the threat of punishments and that he hears it accurately
3.      The threat must be credible. This requires:
A.    D thinks he will be captured
B.     D believes that, if captured, he will be punished as threatened.
–          Incapcitation
1.      For the good of those who abide by the law, offenders must be prevented from reoffending.
2.      Incapacitation must either:
A.    punish for lengthy periods of time every person committing the same crime equally, OR
B.     Assume that they can accurately identify those who are most likely to reoffend and impose on them lengthy periods of incarceration.
–          Rehabilitation
1.      Theory holds that offenders can be “changed” into non-offenders if given proper “treatment.”
 
Retribution
–          People who choose to do wrong acts deserve punishment, and it should be imposed on them even if it serves no utilitarian purpose.
–          Retributivism looks backward to the past act that the criminal chose to commit. 
–          This theory restricts punishment only to those who have made moral, willing choices.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Chapter 3: Actus Reus
Criminal law only punishes voluntary actions. The actus reus is the v

       A bodily movement whether voluntary or involuntary.
–          Under the MPC, a person is not guilty of a crime unless “his liability is based on conduct that includes a voluntary act or the omission to perform an act of which he is physically capable.
 
Omission and Leal Duty
–          the MPC permits an omission to act to satisfy the conduct element of a crime in two different types of cases:
1.      When the statute defining the offense expressly states that failure to act is a crime, OR
2.      the D has a duty to act imposed by civil law.
 
Conduct, Circumstance, Result
–          Conduct is the physical behavior of the D.
–          Circumstance is an objective fact or condition that exists in the real world when the D engages in conduct.
–          Result is the consequence or outcome caused by the D’s conduct.