Chapter 4 Criminal Law Substance and Procedure Thinking

  • Slides: 25
Download presentation
Chapter 4 Criminal Law: Substance and Procedure

Chapter 4 Criminal Law: Substance and Procedure

Thinking Point • The opening of this chapter discusses the passage of the Shepard-Byrd

Thinking Point • The opening of this chapter discusses the passage of the Shepard-Byrd Act in 2009 which criminalizes acts of physical violence causing bodily injury motivated by any person’s actual or perceived race, color, notional origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. If convicted, a defendant could face a maximum penalty of life in prison. Find a case that would fall under the Shepard-Byrd Act that has occurred since 2009 in the United States. Read 2 -3 articles on your chosen case. ü How does your chosen case compare and contrast to that of Matthew Shepard? To that of James Byrd? ü If the case has already gone to trial, what was the sentence?

Four Broad Categories of Law Criminal law ① Body of rules that define crimes,

Four Broad Categories of Law Criminal law ① Body of rules that define crimes, sets out their punishments, and mandates the procedures for carrying out the criminal justice process Substantive Criminal Law ② Body of specific rules that declare what conduct is criminal and prescribes the punishment to be imposed for such conduct Procedural Criminal Law ③ Sets out the basic rules of practice in the criminal justice system Civil law ④ All law that is not criminal

The History of Criminal Law The underlying goal of the substantive criminal law is:

The History of Criminal Law The underlying goal of the substantive criminal law is: To enforce social control Distribute retribution Express public opinion and morality Deter criminal behavior Punish wrongdoing Maintain social order Restoration

The History of Criminal Law The roots of the criminal codes used in the

The History of Criminal Law The roots of the criminal codes used in the United States can be traced back to such early legal charters as: The Babylonian Code of Hammurabi (2000 BCE) The Mosaic Code of the Israelites (1200 BCE) and the Roman Twelve Tables (451 BCE). Emerging Germanic societies developed legal systems featuring monetary compensation, called wergild Our legal code is directly tied to England

Sources of the Criminal Law After the Norman Conquest, royal judges would decide what

Sources of the Criminal Law After the Norman Conquest, royal judges would decide what to do in each case, using local custom and rules of conduct as their guide in a system Stare decisis Latin for “to stand by decided cases” Eventually this system evolved into a common law of the country that incorporated local custom and practice into a national code Mala in se Crimes that are inherently evil and depraved (such as murder, burglary, and arson) Mala prohibitum Crimes which reflected existing social and economic conditions

Sources of the Criminal Law The contemporary American legal system was codified by state

Sources of the Criminal Law The contemporary American legal system was codified by state and federal legislatures The content of the law may also be influenced by judicial decision making Regardless of its source, all criminal law in the United States must conform to the rules and dictates of the U. S. Constitution

Constitutional Limits Criminal laws have been interpreted as violating constitutional principles if they are

Constitutional Limits Criminal laws have been interpreted as violating constitutional principles if they are too vague or overbroad to give clear meaning of their intent Each state and the federal government has developed its own body of criminal law that defines and grades offenses, sets levels of punishment, and classifies crimes into categories Prohibits laws that make a person’s status a crime Cruel and/or capricious Bills of attainder Ex post facto laws

Classifying Crimes Felonies Misdemeanors Infractions Each and Violations jurisdiction in the U. S. determines

Classifying Crimes Felonies Misdemeanors Infractions Each and Violations jurisdiction in the U. S. determines by statute what types of conduct constitute felonies or misdemeanors

The Legal Definition of a Crime Almost all common-law crime contains both mental and

The Legal Definition of a Crime Almost all common-law crime contains both mental and physical elements Actus reus An illegal act, or failure to act when legally required Mens A rea guilty mind; the intent to commit a criminal act

The Legal Definition of a Crime To constitute a crime, the law requires a

The Legal Definition of a Crime To constitute a crime, the law requires a connection be made between the mens rea and actus reus thereby showing that the offender’s conduct was the proximate cause of the criminal act

The Legal Definition of a Crime Certain statutory offenses exist in which mens rea

The Legal Definition of a Crime Certain statutory offenses exist in which mens rea is not essential These offenses fall within a category known as a public safety or strict liability crime Traffic crimes, public safety, and business crimes are typically strict liability crimes The third element needed to prove that a crime was committed is the immediate relationship to or concurrence of the act with the criminal intent or result For an act to be considered a crime, the actor’s willingness to cause harm must be proved

Thinking Point • Watch an episode of your local news. Count how many crimes

Thinking Point • Watch an episode of your local news. Count how many crimes are profiled and what legal definition of a crime each fits into. ü Do you believe this is representative of the types of crime occurring more generally in your community? Why or why not? ü What types of crime may be more overly represented by the media?

Criminal Defenses When people defend themselves against criminal charges, they must refute one or

Criminal Defenses When people defend themselves against criminal charges, they must refute one or more of the elements of the crime of which they have been accused Defendants may deny the actus reus by arguments that they were falsely accused and the real culprit has yet to be identified Defendants may also claim that while they did engage in the criminal act they are accused of, they should be excused because they lacked mens rea

Criminal Defenses Another type of defense is justification Such as self-defense, which involves maintaining

Criminal Defenses Another type of defense is justification Such as self-defense, which involves maintaining that the act was justified under the circumstances “Given the circumstances, anyone would have done what I did. ”

Excuse Defenses Ignorance or Mistake Can be an excuse if it negates an element

Excuse Defenses Ignorance or Mistake Can be an excuse if it negates an element of the crime Insanity If the defendant’s state of mind negates his/her criminal responsibility Intoxication Not a defense unless the defendant became involuntarily intoxicated under duress or by mistake

Excuse Defenses Age Generally a conclusive presumption of incapacity for a child under the

Excuse Defenses Age Generally a conclusive presumption of incapacity for a child under the age of 7 Entrapment If law enforcement agents used traps, decoys, and deception to induce criminal action

Justification Defenses Consent The type of crime involved generally determines the validity of consent

Justification Defenses Consent The type of crime involved generally determines the validity of consent as an appropriate legal defense Self-defense Must prove s/he acted with a reasonable belief that s/he was in imminent danger of death or harm and had no reasonable means of escape from the assailant Stand The your ground “castle exception”

Justification Defenses Duress When the defendant claims he was forced to commit a crime

Justification Defenses Duress When the defendant claims he was forced to commit a crime as the only means of preventing death or serious harm to himself or others Necessity When a crime was committed under extreme circumstances and could not be avoided In the Line of Duty Crime committed in the line of a first responder occupation

Thinking Point • Statutory rape is one type of offense in which the issue

Thinking Point • Statutory rape is one type of offense in which the issue of “consent” on the part of the victim becomes an issue. Research the definition of statutory rape in your state and then search for the sentence given for this offense (also in your state). ü Given that this is a CONSENSUAL crime, what is your opinion on this sentence? ü Are you aware that individuals convicted of statutory rape are also placed on the sexual offender registry and labeled (often for life) as a sex offender? What is your opinion of this?

Reforming the Criminal Laws, in part, reflect public opinion and Stalking Prohibiting assisted suicide

Reforming the Criminal Laws, in part, reflect public opinion and Stalking Prohibiting assisted suicide Registering sex offenders Clarifying rape Controlling technology Protecting the environment Legalizing marijuana Responding to terrorism morality

The Law of Criminal Procedure The law of criminal procedure consists of the rules

The Law of Criminal Procedure The law of criminal procedure consists of the rules and procedure that govern the pretrial processing of criminal suspects and the conduct of criminal trials The main source of the procedural law is the body of the Constitution and the first 10 amendments added to the U. S. Constitution on December 15, 1791 These Rights are collectively known as the Bill of

Judicial Interpretation Of primary concern are the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments: Limit

Judicial Interpretation Of primary concern are the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments: Limit and control the manner in which the federal government operates the justice system The Fourteenth Amendment applies these rights to the state and local governments

Due Process of Law The concept of due process is found in both the

Due Process of Law The concept of due process is found in both the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments Due process has been used to evaluate the constitutionality of legal statutes and to set standards and guidelines for fair procedures in the criminal justice system

Due Process of Law Due process can be divided into two distinct categories: ①

Due Process of Law Due process can be divided into two distinct categories: ① ② Substantive Procedural Substantive Refers to the citizen’s right to be protected from criminal laws that may be biased, discriminatory, or otherwise unfair Procedural due process Seeks to ensure that no person will be deprived of life, liberty, or property without proper and legal criminal process