Presentation on theme: "Chapter One Criminal Law and Criminal Punishment: An Overview"— Presentation transcript:
1 Chapter One Criminal Law and Criminal Punishment: An Overview Joel Samaha
2 Chapter One: Learning Objectives To define and understand what behavior deserves criminal punishment.To understand and appreciate the relationship between the general and special parts of criminal law.To identify, describe, and understand the main sources of criminal law.To define criminal punishment, to know the difference between criminal and non-criminal sanctions, and to understand the purposes of each.To define and appreciate the significance of the presumption of innocence and burden of proof as they relate to criminal liability.To understand the role of informal discretion and appreciate its relationship to formal criminal law.To understand the text-case method and how to apply it to the study of criminal law.
3 Criminal Liability Not all behavior that is wrong is criminal behavior Criminal liability should be imposed only if the wrong was a crimeCriminal liability is reserved for behavior that unjustifiably and inexcusably inflicts or threatens harm (to another, to society in general)
4 Torts, an example of a non-criminal wrong Torts are private actions against a private citizen, a corporation, or another private citizen (not the government, the way crimes are prosecuted)Person bringing the action is called plaintiffPerson being sued is the defendantJury/Judge will determine if the defendant is responsible (“guilty” or “not guilty”)If person is found responsible, the remedy will be monetary (general damages, punitive damages)Often have the same names as crimes, and can be very similar
5 Crimes“State” (people of the state) brings the action against a criminal defendantIf defendant is found “guilty” then he or she is “blameworthy” and worthy of societal condemnationIf guilty, then the defendant can be punished by death, incarceration, fines, community service, etc… and not just monetary damagesGuilt, though, must be found beyond a reasonable doubt
6 Issue: Was the trail judge too lenient? Case: Chaney v. StateFacts: Chaney, the defendant, was found guilty of forcible rape and robbery. The trial judge gave the defendant only 1 year concurrent sentence and possibility of parole with the discretion of the parole committee. Now the state appeals and argues that this sentence was too light.Issue: Was the trail judge too lenient?Holding: Yes. The court stated that the crime the defendant committed was serious and he should have gotten a longer sentence.
7 Issue: Was the sentence too excessive? Case: State v. PeteFacts: Pete, the defendant, was sentenced to 2 one-year consecutive sentences, for a guilty verdict of 2 counts of unlawful sale of intoxicating liquor.Issue: Was the sentence too excessive?Holding: Yes. The court stated the sentence was too excessive as the two offenses were really part of one general transaction.
8 Classification of Crimes Mala in se crimes- behavior that is inherently wrong or evilMala prohibita -offenses are behaviors that are criminal only because there is a statute or ordinance that says it isFelonies: crimes punishable by death or confinement for a specific period of time or more (usually one year) and fineMisdemeanors: crimes that are punishable by a fine and or confinement in local jail (generally up to one year)
9 Discussion ActivityIs it a Felony or Misdemeanor?? Read the following scenarios and determine what level of offense was committed.A 20 year-old male was sentenced to prison for 15 months. What level offense did he commit?A 36 year-old female was released from jail after serving her entire 280 day sentence. What level offense did she commit?A 27 year-old female appeared before the court and was informed if convicted of the offense she has been charged with, she could serve no more than 365 days in jail if convicted. What level offense did she commit?A 45 year-old male was released from custody after serving a 48 month sentence. What level offense did he commit?A 55 year-old male was ordered to pay a fine of $ If he does not pay, he will have to serve 90 days in jail. What level offense did he commit?
10 Classification of the Criminal Law General part of criminal law:Special part of criminal law:the general principles that apply to more than one crimeComplicityAccomplicesAccessoriesInchoate OffensesAttemptConspiracySolicitationdefines specific crimes and arranges them into groups according to subject matterCategories of crimesCrimes against personsexamplesCrimes against propertyCrimes against public order and moralsCrimes against the state
11 Sources of Criminal Law CodesState codes (State legislative assemblies)Federal Codes (U.S. Congress)Local ordinances (Municipal legislative bodies)Common LawCommon law originally came from English judges, and was passed to a degree to the colonies and to the statesState common lawFederal common lawU.S. v. Hudson and Goodwin- no fed. common law, BUTJudicial common criminal law making?Municipal OrdinancesLocal governments have broad powerCan duplicate, overlap with state codes, and when in conflict, the state codes are supposed to trump municipal ordinancesAdministrative CrimesAgency made law (rapidly growing source of crim law)Case LawJudge made law—interpretations of codes, common law, ordinances, administrative lawJudicial criminal law makingIssues of retroactive law making (NOT a violation of ex post facto)Judicial activism challengesStare decisis and precedent
12 CodificationTrend from common law crimes at beginning of our nation to predominantly codesModel Penal Code (MPC)ALIFinal version 1962Followed by most, but not all statesNo state has adopted MPC in its entiretyCommon denominator of American Criminal Law
13 Discussion ActivityCriminal Offense or Municipal Ordinance? Read the following scenarios and determine whether the act would be a Criminal Offense or violation of a Municipal OrdinanceA teenage boy was found in the park at 11:15 pm. City curfew is 11:00 pm.An elderly woman intentionally exits a retail store pushing a cart containing shoes, groceries, cleaning supplies and a tv without paying for the items.An adult female is walking down the street with an open container of alcohol.While backing out of a parking spot, an adult male hits and severely injures the child exiting the vehicle next to him. It was determined the adult male was under the influence of an illegal substance
14 Federal System 50 autonomous and independent states Each has own code.Washington, D.C. (own criminal code)Federal Criminal Law (U.S. Codes)Thus, 52 criminal codes within the U.S.States have broad law making authorityFederal government has limited law making authority (only crimes related to national interest)
15 Criminal PunishmentPunishment defined: inflicting pain or other unpleasant consequence on another personCriminal Punishment criteriaInflict pain or other unpleasant consequencePrescribe a punishment in the same law defining the crimeMust be administered intentionallyState must administer themIncarceration:“quantity” of punishment doesn’t tell us much about the three aspects of punishment (definition, purposes, limitsRates of incarceration: (number of prisoners per 100,000 people)U.S. is the leader of incarceration (highest rate)Unequal representation of gender, age, race in prison population
16 Purposes of Criminal Punishment RetributionPreventionpunishment justifies itself, pain of punishment pays for offenders’ crimesEye for an EyeLooks to past crimes and punishes individuals because it is right to hurt themPunishment benefits criminalsPay back society by accepting responsibility through punishment.Assumes free willIndividual autonomyAccords with human nature to hate wrongdoersRests upon two philosophical foundations: culpability and justicepain of punishment brings greater good of reducing future crimePunishment looks forward and inflicts pain to prevent future crimesFour types of preventionGeneral DeterrenceSpecial DeterrenceIncapacitationRehabilitation
17 Criticisms of Retribution Difficult to translate abstract justice into concrete penaltiesRetaliation is NOT part of human nature in civilized society (barbaric)Free will justification is undermined—forces beyond human control determine individual behaviorVast majority of crimes don’t require culpability to qualify for criminal punishmentCrimes without moral turpitudeCrimes against public order and moralsUnintentional homicides
18 General DeterrencePunish the offender to make an example of them and thereby deter others from committing future crimesJeremy Bentham –deterrence theoryRationalism- Individuals maximize pleasure and minimize pain. Humans won’t commit crimes if:Pain of punishment outweighsPleasure gained from committing crimeHedonism—if prospective criminals fear future punishment more than they derive pleasure, they won’t commit crime
19 Deterrence Theory--Principle of Utility Rational human beings won’t commit crimes if they know the pain of punishment outweighs the pleasure gained from committing crimesLeast amount of pain needed to deter the crime should be permitted
20 Criticisms of Deterrence Theory Emotionalism surrounding punishment impairs objectivityPrescribed penalties rest on faithRational free-will that is underlying deterrence theory does not exist…complex forces within human organism and external environment influence behaviorBehavior is too unpredictable to reduce to mechanistic formulaThreats of punishment don’t affect all crimes or criminals equallyDeterrence is unjust because it punishes for sake of examplePunishments should not be a sacrifice to the common good
21 Special (Specific) Deterrence Punishing convicted offenders to deter THEM from committing any more crimes in the future
22 Incapacitation Criticisms of Incapacitation: Preventing future crime by making it physically impossible for the offender to harm society at largeIncarceration: locking people up so they cannot harm societyAltering surgically (or chemically) an offender to make them incapable of committing their crimeExecuting a personCriticisms of Incapacitation:Incarceration shifts criminality from outside prison to inside prisonViolent offenders continue offending in prison, property offenders continue also (ex: trading contraband)Incarceration is generally temporary
23 Rehabilitation as Prevention Rehabilitation is preventing crime by changing the personality of the offender so that he will conform to the dictate of law (Herbert Packer)Medical Model of Criminal Law - crime is disease, offenders are sickPurpose of punishment is to treat criminalsIncarceration as rehabilitation- length depends on how long it takes to cure the offender
24 Rehabilitation Criticism of Rehabilitation: Rehabilitation Assumptions:DeterminismForces beyond offenders’ control cause them to commit crimesNo choice made by offenderCan’t blame offenderTherapy by experts can change offendersRehabilitation is based on faulty, unproven assumptionsCauses of crime complexHuman behavior not well understoodSound policy can’t depend on treatmentMakes no sense to brand everyone who violates the law as sick and needing treatmentInhumane, cure justifies large “doses” of pain
25 Trends in PunishmentAll four punishment justifications have been supported at different timesWeight given to each has shifted over centuriesRehabilitation philosophy justified indeterminate sentencing laws of the 1960sRetribution and incapacitation philosophy justified fixed, mandatory sentences since 1980s
26 Presumption of Innocence Presumption of innocence means that the state has burden of proving that the defendant committed the crimeBurden of proofBurden of production: requirement that party present some evidence to support their claimBurden of persuasion: requirement that the party persuade the jury (or judge) to a certain “standard of proof”Standard of Proof—level of certainty to which the jury (or judge) needs to be persuadedBeyond a reasonable doubt – criminal liability (highest standard in law)Preponderance of the evidence – civil cases and some criminal defensesBench Trials-the accused give up their right to a jury trial and are tried by judges who decide whether prosecutors have proved their guiltCorpus Delicti- Latin for “body of the crime,” it refers to the body of the victim in homicides and to the elements of the crime in other offenses
27 Discussion ActivityReview the website below regarding the verdict in the Casey Anthony murder trialConsidering what you have learned about the burden on proof, discuss why you think the jury found Casey Anthony not guilty of murder?Why do you think the jury found her guilty of giving false information to the police?
28 Proving DefensesAffirmative Defenses—switch the burden of production from the state (which always maintains the ultimate burden of proof) to the defendantDefendant must present some evidence to support affirmative defenseSome states require defendant to also carry burden of persuasion to preponderance, other states keep the burden of persuasion on the states (regarding the defense)
29 Discretionary Decision Making Every stage of the criminal justice system is a decision making pointCriminal Justice professionals make decisions based upon training, experience, and unwritten rulesDiscretion is exercised, hopefully, in accord within the lawDiscretion should be exercised in a way that justice and fairness are not jeopardized
30 Text-Case Method Importance of case law—real life examples Application of principles and definitions of various crimes throughout the textExcerpts are edited versions of appellate court decisions—not trial transcriptsExcerpts are not from cases where defendant was acquitted (state cannot appeal a verdict of not guilty in a criminal case)
31 Case Law Terminology Trial Court-where criminal cases start Not guilty verdict—jury determined that the state did not prove its case beyond a reasonable doubtGuilty verdict—jury determined that the state proved its case beyond a reasonable doubtInnocent verdict—there is no such term used in criminal law. Jury is only to decide legal guilt or no legal guilt. It is not making a pronouncement of factual innocenceAcquittal – result of the jury rendering a “not guilty verdict”Conviction—result of the jury rendering a “guilty” verdict, coupled with the imposition of sentence
32 Discussion ActivityReview the website below to learn more about the Supreme CourtHow many justices serve on the Court?Who is the current Chief Justice of the Court?The Supreme Court interprets law to determine if any constitutional rights were violated. How do you think the internet, facebook and other social media have impacted the type of cases the supreme court may rule on?
33 Components of Appellate Decision TitleCitationProcedural HistoryJudgeFactsJudgment/DecisionOpinionThe Opinion contains two essential ingredients:Court’s Holding-legal rule the court has applied to the facts of the caseCourt’s Reasoning-reasons the court gives to support its holdingOpinionMajority opinionDissenting opinionConcurring opinionPlurality opinion
34 Case Brief aka Legal Brief Distinguish between case or legal brief and the appellate briefCase/Legal brief—tool to help students focus on the main facts and issues dealt with in the opinion of the courtAppellate brief– the supporting documentation for a criminal appeal, outlining and arguing to the judges why the court should rule in defendant’s favor. Points out all the legal “errors” that occurred in the trial
35 Case Brief Questions What are the facts What is the legal issue Defendant’s actionsGovernment actions? (very important in criminal procedure cases, less so perhaps in criminal law)What is the controlling law, statute (very important in criminal law—what are the elements of the crime the state had to prove?)What is the legal issueWhat are the arguments in the court’s opinionWhat is the judgment of the court (affirm, reverse, etc)
36 Components of a Case Citation State v. Metzger = case name319 N.W. 2d 459 (Neb 1982)= full case citation319 = volume of the reporterN.W.2d = the reporter in which the case opinion was published….there are official and proprietary reporters459 = page number the case begins on(Neb 1982) = State where the case took place, and the year of the decision