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Criminal Liability
Conduct that unjustifiably and inexcuasbly inflicts or threatens substantial harm to individual or public interest.
Private wrongs for which you can sue the party who wronged you and recover money.
Classifying Crimes
1) Felony and Misdemeanor
2) Inherently evil and Legally wrong
3) General and Special parts of criminal law
Classification by penalty

Punishable by death or confinement in the state's prison for one year to life with out parole
Classification by penalty

Punishable by fine and/or confinement inthe local jail for up to one year.
Inherently evil
Classification by the moral chaacter of the crime

(malium in se) "Immoral in its nature, and injurious in its consequences."
Legally wrong
Classification by the moral character of the crime

(malum prohibctium) "Only wrong because a statue says it's a crime."
2 parts of Criminal Law
General and Special
Classification by general principles of criminal law

Consists of principles that apply to more than one crime.

Example:  All crimes have to include a voluntary act.
Classification by subject matter of kinds of crimes

Defines specific crimes and arranges them into groups according to subject matter.

For example:  Crimes against persons, against property, against public order/morals, and against the state.
Is the technical legal term for responsibility
Criminal Punishment
1) Has to inflict pain or other unpleasant consequences
2) Has to prescribe a punishment in the same law that defines the crime
3) Has to be administered intentionally
4) has to be administered by the state
Looks back to the past crimes and punishes individuals for committing them, because it's right to hurt them.
Blameworthiness... makes the criminal liable

Ex: as culpable, responsible individuals, they have to suffer the consequences of their irresponsible behavior. 

Accidents don't qualify for retribution
Qualities of Retribution
1) Assumes free will, or individual autonomy
2)Seems to accord with human nature
3) Requires culpability
4) justice is the only proper measure of punishment
Looks forward and inflicts pain to prevent future crimes.
Types of Prevention
1) General deterrence
2) Special deterrence
3) Incapacitation
4) Rehabilitation
General Deterrence
Aims, by the threat of punishment, to prevent the general population who haven't committed crimes from doing so.
Special deterrence
Aims, by punishing already convicted offenders, to prevent convicted criminals from committing crimes in the future.
Prevents convicted criminals from committing future crimes by locking them up, by altering them surgically, or executing them.
Changes offender so they'll want to play by the rules and won't commit anymore crimes in the future.
Principle of legality
1) Fairness
2) Liberty
3) Democracy
4) Equality
Unfair to charge individuals with criminal liability when they reasonably believed their actions weren't criminal when they acted.
Criminal law interfers with liberty if individuals can't know its content well enough to take into account the possibility of criminal liability when they planed their actions.
Democratic decision making demands that elected legislatures, not unelected courts, create crimes.
Legislature and courts should treat alike individuals who are "in all morally relevant respects" equal.
Retroactive Criminal Lawmaking
No crime without law; no punishment with out law
Legislative Retroactive Criminal Lawmaking
Legislatures can't pass retroactive criminal statutes.  The Constitution bans them from doing so.
Judicial Retroactive Criminal Lawmaking
Use discretionary decision making with in boundaries that are drawn by the US and State Constitutions.  Others are set by statutes
Statutory definitions of crimes and punishments can have more than one meaning.... leading to Ambiguity.
Rules of Judicial Interpretation of statues
ie. The Rule of Lenity
When a statue defining a crime or punishment is susceptible of 2 reasonable interpretations, the appellate court should ordinarily adopt that interpretation more favorable to the defendent.
Stare Decisis
It is better to settle a case than settle it right.
The Sources of Criminal Law
1) Common-Law Crimes
2) State Criminal Codes
3)The Model Penal Code (MPC)
4) Municipal Ordinances
5) Administrative Agency Crimes
Common-Law Crimes
Judges court opinions were the original source of criminal law.
By 1600 Judges defined the only crimes known to our law.
State Criminal Codes
Reformers have called for the abolishment of the common-law crimes and their replacement with "Criminal codes" created and defined by elected legislatures.
The Model Penal Code (MPC)
After WW2 ALI committed to replacing the common law with codification.

ALI published final draft in 1962

Now the MPC has influenced law making in all 50 states.
Municipal Ordinances
City & Town Governments have broad powers to create criminal laws.

They often overlap state criminal code provisions
Administrative Agency Crimes
Federal and State legislatures frequently grant admin. agencies the authority to make rules.

ie.  IRS (Federal), Highway Patrol (State)
Criminal Law in a Federal System
52 Criminal codes

50 States

1 For D.C.

1 Overlaying the previous 51
Noncriminal wrongs for which the injured party can sue and recover damages are
known as:
In most states today, the most serious grade of crime in common law is some type of:
An offense which is punishable by one year or more in a state prison is called a:
Crimes that involve inherently evil conduct are classified as malum:
in se.
An act that can be categorized as a mala prohibitum crime is:
leaving the scene of an accident.
To obtain a conviction, the prosecution must prove every element of the offense:
beyond a reasonable doubt.
Which of the following theories or justifications for punishment is retrospective (looks back at the crime)?
Retributionists assume that:
people are culpable for their crimes because they freely chose to commit them.
Since the mid-1980s, the two rationales have dominated penal policy are:
retribution and incapacitation.
Legislative retroactive lawmaking:
is banned by the principle of legality.
Ambiguity in criminal statutes:
occurs because words are not perfect and legislators can't possibly
Anticipate every situation that needs to be addressed in a statute.
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