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Criminal Law
University of Toledo School of Law
Haagen, Paul H.

I.) Introduction

A.) Nature of Criminal Law
1.) State brings case
a.) society as a “whole” is affected/concerned
Ex. State v. Smith, People v. Jones, etc.
2.) Punishment (“blameworthiness”)
a.) Retributive (“backward thinking”)
1.) a criminal should get the punishment he deserves
b.) Utilitarian (“forward thinking”)
1.) deterrence
2.) punishment should be of social utility
3.) rehabilitation
c.) Doctrine of Proportionality
1.) punishment should fit the crime
d.) Types
1.) fines
2.) imprisonment
3.) death
e.) Policy
1.) basic societal values: right v. wrong
2.) significance of harm
3.) what result is society seeking
3.) Principles of Legality
a.) Crime must be in effect at the time of the ∆’s action
b.) Why?
1.) No ex post facto laws (Keeler)
a.) may not make a law w/ a retroactive effect
2.) Due Process requirements
a.) notice; fair warning
3.) Separation of power doctrine
a.) legislature defines what a crime is
b.) courts interpret

B.) Burden of Proof and Burden of Production  
1.) Prosecutor must prove every element of the crime beyond a R doubt
a.) Direct v. Circumstantial Evidence
1.) Direct (no inferences required)
a.) statements to someone else – confession or                                                                     conversation
b.) usually there isn’t much direct evidence in a case
2.) Circumstantial (requires inferences)
a.) things you could observe or infer from                                                                                  someone’s actions
b.) asking the jury to “find” or “infer” the element

3.) Inference v. Presumption
a.) Inference: Constitutional
1.) conclusion finder may draw
b.) Presumption: Unconstitutional           
1.) Violates Due Process (unfair)
2.) conclusion finder must draw
2.) Burden of Proof
a.) Burden of proving on any particular issue
b.) That party must bring sufficient evidence to show elements

1.) Rule of Lenity: when ambiguity in a
statute that can’t properly be decided
as to what definition is correct, the
definition most favorable to the ∆ must
be used
1.) Rule of Lenity: when ambiguity in a
statute that can’t properly be decided
as to what definition is correct, it must
be interpreted to further the general
purposes of the particular provision…

Note: MPC does not call this the Rule of
Lenity; it is just the comparable section of
the code

II.) Actus Reus (AR)à1st building block [Physical ActàSocial Harm] A.) Physical/External Part of Crime
1.) Voluntary Act
a.) CL v. MPC: § 2.01(1)-(2) [virtually the same] b.) No voluntary act = No crime
c.) Was there a “choice?”

Common Law
Model Penal Code § 2.01(1)-(2)
1.) “voluntary act”àanything voluntary
1.) “voluntary act”àanything voluntary
Ex. willed movement; choice  
2.) “involuntary”ànot voluntary; the statute will list what it considers to be involuntary
a.) you can have a “learned” response
that is involuntary (in some states)

2.) “involuntary act”ànot voluntary…
a.) reflex or convulsion
b.) a bodily movement during unconsciousness or sleep
c.) conduct during hypnosis
d.) bodily movement that otherwise
is ≠ a product of determination or
effort of the actor, either conscious    
or habitual