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ex post facto laws
Laws passed after the occurrence of the conduct constitutin the crime
Void -for-vagueness doctrine
The principle that a statute violates due process if it doesn't clearly define crime and punishment in advance
Void-for-overbreadth doctrine
The principle that a statute is unconstitutional if its definition of undesirable behavior includes conduct protected under the U.S. Constitution
Chilling effect
When peole hesitate to express themselves because they fear criminal prosecution even though the Constitution protects their speach
Righ to privacy
A right that bans "all governmental invasions of the sanctity of a man's home and the privacies of life.
Barbaric punishments
Punishment no longer considered acceptable
Principle of proportionality
A principle of law stating that the punishment must be proportional to the crime committed
Constitutional limits on criminal law
The Constitution limits what the covernment can make criminal and directs how legislation should be enacted to protect individual's rights

Example: Ex post facto, Due process, Equal protection, Free speech.... ect.
Ex Post Facto Laws
The principle "no crime without law; no punishment without law" (meaning no retroactive lawmaking)
Kinds of Ex Post Facto Laws
1) Statues that criminalize innocent act after they are committed
2) Statutes which increase the punishment for a crime after it was committed
3) Statutes which take away a defense that was available to the defendant when the crime was committed
Due Process
Void-for Vagueness:  Laws which are too vague violate a person's rights to due process.
The Aims of the Void-for-Vagueness Doctrine
1) Failure to give fair warning to individuals as to what the law prohibits
2) Allow arbitrary and discriminatory application of thte law
Defining Vagueness
Would an ordinary, reasonable person know that what he was doing was criminal?
Equal Protection of the Laws
1) The 14th Amendment
2) Race-based Classifications
3) Gender-based Classifications
4) Other classifications
14th Amendment
The 14th Amendment prohibits states from denying a person equal protection of law. States don't have to treat everybody the same.  Sstatutes can in fact treat classes of persons differently, but whether the statute will pass constitutional muster depends on what the classification is.
Race-based classification
Courts must look at statute with strict scrutiny.  Thus, such classifications always violate the constitution.
Gender-based classifications
Courts must look at statute with heightened scrutiny.  State must show a "fair and substantial relationship between the classification and a legitimate state end.
Other classifications
Courts must show that there is a rational basis between the classisfication and the state's need to treat those falling in that classification differently.
The Bill of Rights and Criminal Law
The Bill of Rights bans defining certain kinds of behavior as crminal
Free Speech
First Amendment to U.S. Constitution
Freedom of Speech Application
1) Speech is broad in scope.
2) Applies to federal government and to states
3) Free speech is a fundamental right with preferred status
4) Some types of speech are not protected.
Void-for-Overbreadth Doctrine
When a statute prohibits something that the constitution protects.
The Right to Privacy
1) Right to privacy is found within the "penumbra" of the Constitution, not in any specific clause or Amendment.
2) Right to privacy bans "goverment invasions into sanctity of home and privacies of life.
3) Fundamental right: Each state has to show compelling state interest in order to justify invading this right.
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Barbaric Punishments: Punishments which are no longer aceptable in a civilized society; thus, as society evolves, what has been considered barbaric, has likewise mutilation of the body or pain, it is cruel.
Proportional Punishments
The punishment should fit the crime.... AKA Principle of Proportionality
The Death Penalty
Although there are non-capital crimes which allow the death penalty, currently, no one ever gets the death penalty for those crimes.
The Death Penalty for the Mentally Retarded
Atkins v. Virginia (2002)  Held that it was now cruel and unusual punishment to execute retarded offenders.  Also, retarded offenders aren't as blameworth (culpable) or subject to deterrence as others.
The Death Penalty for Juveniles
Roper v. Simmons (2004) Court overruled earlier opinions and decided that due to "evolving standards of decency in a civilized society, " it was now cruel and unusual punishment to execute offenders who committed their crimes before turning 18 years old.
In a _____ democracy, the majority cannot punish behavior protected by the Constitution.
The principle of _____ requires that there be a specific law defining the crime and setting out the punishment before a person can be punished for that crime.
A law criminalizing activity that took place before the law was enacted is called an:
ex post facto law
The _____ doctrine is concerned with giving individuals fair notice of what is criminal and preventing arbitrary or discriminatory enforcement.
The void-for-vagueness doctrine is one of the protections provided by the requirement of:
due process
The _____ Amendment requires that states provide equal protection of the law.
The void-for-vagueness doctrine prohibits statutes that are capable of ______ enforcement (enforcement without reason or standards).
The Equal Protection clause is found in the _____ Amendment.
Equal protection does not require that:
everyone, or even all criminals, be treated exactly alike.
Under equal protection, gender classifications are subject to _____ scrutiny.
Offensive, sexually explicit material that is not protected by the First Amendment is called:
The Supreme Court ruled in Barnes v. Glen Theatre, Inc., et al. (1991), that a state law banning totally nude dancing in public:
is constitutional because it furthers a substantial government interest in
protecting order and morality.
According to Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), the constitutional right to privacy:
is created by emanation or penumbras from six specific
In Lawrence v. Texas (2003), the Supreme Court found the source of the right to privacy in the _____ clause.
due process
The Eighth Amendment prohibits punishments that are:
The idea that the punishment must fit the crime is the Eighth Amendment principle of:
In Robinson v. California (1962), the Supreme Court held that the Eighth Amendment banned the criminalization of:
being addicted to narcotics.
The state of Louisiana has made which crime a capital offense that can lead to the death penalty?
rape of a child.
x of y cards