Criminal Law and Criminal Punishment

  1. Criminal Liability
    Conduct that unjustifiably and inexcusably inflicts or threatens substantial harm to individual or public interests
  2. Tort
    private wrongs for which you can sue the party who wronged you and recover money
  3. crimes of moral turpitude
    conduct that is contrary to justice, honesty, and morality.
  4. felonies-
    -murder,manslaughter,burglary, arson, robbery, stealing, rape, and sodomy
    serious crimes that are generally punishable by one year or more in prison.
  5. misdemeanors-
    -assault, battery, false imprisonment, libel, perjury, corrupting morals, and disturbing peace
    minor crimes for which the penalty is usually less than one year in jail or a fine.
  6. general part of criminal law
    -consists of principles that apply to more thatn one crime
    principals that apply to all crimes
  7. special part of criminal law
    -arranges groups based on subject matter
    defines the elements of specific crimes
  8. common law crimes
    crimes originating in the English common law
  9. codified (criminal law)
    written definitions of crimes and punishments enacted by legislature and punishable.
  10. Model Penal Code (MPC)
    the code developed by the American Law Institute to guide reform in criminal law.
  11. analysis of criminal liability
    -conduct the unjustifiably and inexcusabl inflicts or threatens substantial harm to individual or public interests.
  12. administrative crimes
    violations of federal and state agency rules.
  13. federal system
    structure of the U.S. gobernment divided into federal and state governments.
  14. rates of imprisonment
    number of prisoners per 100,000 people in the population
  15. punishment
    intentional infliction of pain on a person convicted of a crime.
  16. criminal punishment
    -penalties have to meet criteria-inflict pain or other unpleasant consequences, prescribe a punishment in the same law that defines the crime, administered intentionally, and state has to administer them
    purpose-retribution, prevention
    punishments prescribed by legislatures.
  17. retribution
    -only right if offenders choose in committing crimes or not
    -culpability and justice
    punishmnet base on just deserts
  18. culpability
  19. liable
  20. prevention
    -general deterence
    -special deterence
    punishing offenders to prevent ceimes int he future.
  21. general detterence
    aims by threat of punishment to deter crimnal behavior in the general population.
  22. special detterence
    the threat of punishment aimed at individual offenders in the hope of deterring future criminal conduct.
  23. incapacitation
    punishment by imprisonment, mutilation, and even death.
  24. rehabilitation
    prevention of crime by treatment
  25. hedonism
    the theory that the validity of a law should be measured by the extent to which it promotes the greatest good for the greatest number of people
  26. rationalism
    the proportionality of the punishment to the crime.
  27. deterrence theory
    the theory that excluding evidence obtained in violation of the constitution prevents illegal law enforcement.
  28. principal of utility
    permitting only the minimum amount of pain necessary to prevent the crime as punishment.
  29. "medical model" of criminal law
    the medical model is based onthe idea that crime is a disease that expers can diagnose, treat, and cure
  30. determinism (and criminal punishment)
    actions beyond the control of individual free will
  31. indeterminate sentencing laws
    legislatures set only the outer limits of possible penalties, and judges, and corrections professionals decide actual sentence lengths.
  32. fixed (determinate) sentences
    sentences that fit the punishment to the crime
  33. presumption of innocence
    the government always has the burden to justife its use of power even against people who turn out to be guilty
  34. burden of proof
    the affirmation duty to prove a point in dispute: the responsibility to produce the evidence to persuade the fact finder.
  35. proof beyond a reasonable doubt
    proof that overcomes the doubt that prevents one from being firmly conviced of a defendant's guilt, or the belief that there is a real possibility that a defendant is not guilty.
  36. reasonable doubt
    the doubt that prevents one from being firmly convinced of a defendant's guilt, or the belief that there is a real possibility that a defendat is not guilty.
  37. bench trial
    trials without juries, in which judges find the facts.
  38. corpus delecti
    latin name for "body of the crime"
  39. affirmative defenses
    defenses in which the defendant bears the burden of destruction.
  40. burden of production
    the responsibility to introduce initial evidence to support a defense.
  41. burden of persuasion
    the responsibility to convince the fact finder of the truth of the defense.
  42. preponderance of the evidence
    more than 50 percent of the evidence proves justification or excuse
  43. discretionary decision making
    judicial criminal lawmaking power that leaves judges lots of leeway for making deceisions based on their professional training and experience.
  44. not guilty verdict
    fact finder decides the prosecution has not proven guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
  45. guilty verdict
    decision of the fact finder that the prosection has proven guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
  46. judgement (in criminal cases)
    court's decision in case.
  47. opinion (in criminal case)
    part of an appellate court case that explains the court's reasons for its decision.
  48. concurring opinion (in criminal cases)
    statements in which justices agree with the decision but not the reasoning of a court's opinion.
  49. plurality opinion (in criminal cases)
    a statement in which the greatest number, but not a majority, of the justices favor a court's decision.
  50. case citation
    source reference to a case or other legal authority
  51. code states
    states that have abolished the common law
  52. Federal System
    • 52 criminal codes
    • -50 states
    • -District of Columbia
    • -U.S. Criminal code
  53. The Parts of a case Excerpts
    Title, Citation, Procedural history, Judge, Facts
  54. Excerpts-Title
    names of the parties-appellants, appellees, petitioners, respondents
  55. appellants
    the party appealing the case
  56. appellees
    the party appealed against
  57. petitioners
    parties bringing a case in habeas corpus or certiorari
  58. respondents
    parties petitioned against in habeas corpus and certiorari
  59. Citation
    tells you where to find the case
  60. Procedural history
    a brief description of the steps and judgements made by each court that has heard the case.
  61. Judge
    the name of the judge is the judge who weote the opinion and isseud the court's judgment in the case.
  62. Facts
    critical starting point in reading and analyzing cases.
  63. Judgment
    • how the court disposes of the case.
    • In trial courts, guilty or not guilty
    • In Appeals courts, affirmed, reversed, or remanded
  64. Opinion has two essentials--
    -The courts holding (the legal rule the court has decided to appluy to the fces of the cases)
    -The court's reasoning (reasons the court gives to support its holding.
    courts opinion is more important than the judgment. It backs up the judgment by explaining how and why the courts applied the law to the facts of the case.
  65. Briefing a case page 34-35
    What are the facts? What is the legal issue in the case? What are the arfuments in the court's opinion, State the courts decision.
  66. Case Citation
    • State v. Metzger 319 N.W. 2d 459 (Neb. 1982)
    • 319*Volume
    • N.W. 2d*Northwestern Reporter, Second Series
    • 459*page #
    • (Neb. 1982)* Nebraske Supreme Court in the year 1982
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Criminal Law and Criminal Punishment
Chapter 1