2 Do NowList 10 of your daily activities (for example, waking up, eating, etc.).Next to each item, list any laws that affect that activity.What is the Purpose of each law you identified?Would you change any of these laws? Why/why not?
4 What is Law?Law: the rules and regulations made and enforced by a society’s government to manage the conduct of the people within said society.Every society that has ever existed has recognized the need for laws (written or unwritten)This does NOT mean all laws are “fair” or “good”A democratic system of govt. (like ours) cannot function unless the laws are respected by the people they are intended to regulate.Society must be based on the “rule of law”Rules should be known in advance and created democraticallyNobody is above the law (example: Nixon)
5 Laws and ValuesLaws generally reflect and promote societal values (traditional ideas about right and wrong)Not everything immoral is illegal (ex. lying to a friend)Goals of the legal system according to legal scholars:Protecting basic human rightsPromoting fairnessResolving conflictsPromoting order/stabilityPromoting desirable economic and social behaviorRepresenting the will of the majorityProtecting the rights of minorities (non-racial usage)Murder is an example of a moral wrong.Last point is controversial:Critics argue they promote what is called reverse discrimination.Proponents argue that they make up for past discrimination and promote fairness by leveling an uneven playing field in today’s society
6 Value-laden Law Examples Moral Values: Right and WrongMurder = primary moral value of protection of human lifeEconomic Values: accumulation, use of, and dist. of wealthTax laws = encourage people to own a home (tax benefits)Shoplifting laws = protect property and discourages stealingPolitical Values: relationship between people an governmentVoting holidays = easier for citizens to participate in electionsAnti-corruption laws = keep public trust in elected officialsSocial Values: broadest category, issues important to societyPublic education = country’s best interest to educate youthIntentional killing is allowed in certain circumstances (war/self defense)Many laws combine some or all of these values:Theft- moral issue of stealing, economic issue of property, political issue of how govt. will punish those who violate criminal statutes and social issue of respecting property of others.
7 Social Contract Theory In a nutshell:The voluntary agreement to limit our own rights and freedoms to a government in order to maintain social and political orderThe degree to which we submit to this agreement is constantly under debateSocial contract on the day to day:Ranges from stop signs and speed limits to the Patriot ActCan you think of any others?---ask students to choose one of the quotes that best reflects their own view of people and government and jot down a few reasons why (think about examples from your daily lives to support your choice)---pair them up with the others to discuss in TPS---"the rules made by a group reflect the group's reason for being together"---quotes we reviewed are different philosophies of social contract influenced by the society and culture of the time they were written.
8 Do NowWhat do you think it means to have a right? (what is the meaning of a “right”)Are you born with any basic rights, and if so what are they?Where did they come from?Are there some rights that are more important than others?
10 Human RightsHuman Rights: the rights all people have simply because they are human.The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a statement of basic human rights and acts as a set of standards by which nearly every country in the world follows.Developed by the UN under Eleanor Roosevelt in 1948Basic UDHR rights: Liberty, Education, political and religious freedom, and economic well-beingUDHR also bans tortureThe UDHR is not a binding treaty but many ideals in the UDHR have been ratified in treaties
11 Rights vs. Responsibility Human Rights can be used by countries when writing lawsRights are codified by signing HR treaties, amending the Constitution, or passing laws specifically aimed at a HR issueSome criticize the “over-codification” of rights in the U.S.If we consider trial by jury a right, we shouldn’t complain about serving on a juryIf we want a government for the people & by the people, we should actually get out and voteFurther criticism…just because we have first amendment rights doesn’t mean saying hateful things is morally correctStriking the correct balance between right & responsibility is difficult!Human Rights Scenarios Activity
13 Two Major Categories Criminal Law Civil Law Regulates public conduct and sets out duties owed to societyCan only be brought by the govt. against a person charged with committing a crimeOffenses divided into felonies and misdemeanorsPenalties: incarceration, probation, finesRegulates relations between individuals or groups of individualsExamples: marriage, divorce, contracts, insurance, car accidentsA civil action is a lawsuit brought by a person who feels wronged or injured by another personPenalty: recovery of damagesFelonies: more then 1 year- Murder, robbery, etcMisdemeanors: less than 1 year, simple assault, minor theft (shoplifting)
14 Important Distinctions A criminal case is brought by the government against a defendantA civil case is brought by a plaintiff against the defendant.In a CRIMINAL CASE, the burden on the prosecution is to prove the guilt of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubtIn a CIVIL CASE, the plaintiff wins by convincing the judge or jury by a preponderance of the evidenceThese are called standards of proofWhy do you think the standard of proof is lower in CIVIL CASES?Ask which standard of proof is more difficult/burdensome?Stakes are monetary in nature not capital (lower stakes, lower standard)
15 Our Constitutional Framework Mr. Concannon Smith
16 Must Know Basics The U.S. Constitution is the highest law of the land. Sets the framework, powers and limitations of governmentLimited Government is the fundamental notion in the Const.Logically so, given the historyThe Separation of Powers is perhaps the most important component of the ConstitutionThree branches: Executive, Legislative, and JudicialChecks and Balances: designed to ensure that one branch cannot rule supreme over the others
17 Is there any potential weakness in this power? Judicial ReviewThe Court’s power to declare unenforceable any law passed by Congress or a state that conflicts with the ConstitutionIn general SCOTUS can declare a law unconstitutionalgovt. has passed a law that the Constitution does not give it power to passgovt. passed a law that violates somebody’s rightsSCOTUS can also declare an Executive Act unconstitutionalCan strike down regulations issued by executive branchIs there any potential weakness in this power?
18 Federalismdefined: the division of power between the federal government and the states(remember: the federal govt’s power to make law is written explicitly in the Constitution, the remaining powers are left to the states)Since states have their own power to make laws, many states have different laws regulating the same behaviors/crimes/etc.
19 The Bill of Rights The first 10 Amendments to the Constitution They define and guarantee the fundamental rights and liberties of all Americans.These include but are not limited to:Freedom of religionFreedom of speech and pressFreedom from unreasonable search and seizure
20 LawmakingUS citizens obey three main sources of law (federal, state, and local).Legislative bodies in each category make the laws.In some situations laws can be made directly by voters, and in other courts can set law by ruling on appeals.
21 Do NowDecide whether each of the following is a federal, state, and/or a local law:No parking on the east side of Main St. between 4 and 6 pm.All persons between the ages of 6 and 16 must attend schoolWhoever enters a bank for the purposes of taking by force or violence the money from said bank shall be fined not more than $50,000 or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.In order to sell any product on the public streets a vendor must first apply for and receive a vendor’s permitNo employer of more than 15 persons may discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national originAll persons traveling on interstate airlines are subject to search before entering the plane prior to departure
22 LegislaturesFederal level: Congress divided into two houses (HOR and Senate)Laws passed at this level are binding in every state (called statutes)Deal with issues of national impact: environment, public health, national defense, labor relations, civil rights, federal taxesState level: state legislatures (most of which are bicameral also) operate the same way and make laws that are only binding within their boundaries.State statues deal with statewide issues: education, transportation, state taxes, marriage, most criminal laws, the power of state officialsCity/Town level: pass laws known as ordinancesLocal issues: land use, parking, schools, etc.HOR=435 based on populationSenate=100Bills become laws and once they do people must obey it…interpretational issues end up being resolved in the courts (try to be as clear as possible). Judges who try to interpret these laws are trying to interpret not just the law but the legislative intent behind it.
26 Drafting a BillMany drafts are written before bills are formally introduced and discussed by a legislative bodyDespite such efforts, interpretation can become an issueThis violates a basic principle of law (people knowing the law)Thus CLARITY is key when drafting bills: the checklistIs the law written in clear language?Is the law understandable?When does the law go into effect?Does the law contradict any other laws?Is the law enforceable, and if so by whom?Are the penalties for breaking the law clear and reasonable?
29 Do NowFederal Level:Can you name who represents Massachusetts in the House of Representatives for your district?How about our two Senators?State Level:State RepresentativeState SenatorDistrict 2: Jim McGovernSenate: Elizabeth Warren and Ed MarkeyState Rep: Kim FergusonState Senate: Harriet Chandler
32 Truancy Law 7/1/2014Chapter 76, section 1 of the Massachusetts General Laws states that all children between the ages of six and sixteen must attend school. A school district may excuse up to seven day sessions or fourteen half day sessions in any period of six months. In addition to this law, each school may have its own attendance policy with which parents/guardians should be familiar.Inducing AbsencesIt is a crime to induce or attempt to induce a minor to miss school, or unlawfully to employ or to harbor a minor who should be in school.Why might this law be passed…look for societal values here… public safety reasons?
33 CJ in your District Harriet Chandler (D) Kimberly Ferguson (R) Bill concerning teaching health in schoolsBill concerning the insanity defense for criminals
34 Chandler: Teaching Health Ferguson: Criminally Insane Analyzing BillsChandler: Teaching HealthFerguson: Criminally InsaneWhen was the bill introduced?What change is it trying to make?Provide evidence from the billWhy do you think the Senate is concerned about what goes on in a high school health class?Do you agree with this bill? Explain why/why not…When was the bill introduced?What change is it trying to make?Provide evidence from the billWhy do you think the House is concerned about the permanent criminal record of those who pleaded insane?Do you agree with this bill? Explain why/why not…
35 Advocacy in LawLobbying WebquestMr. Concannon Smith
36 Advocacy Defined: the active support of a cause. Advocates try to persuade others to support the same causeAdvocacy (done well) is based on:Gathering of factsDeveloping outreach and communicationAn effective plan and timelineDetermining the level of government responsible for the targeted legal changes you hope to make
37 LobbyingDefined: a way to influence the lawmaking process by convincing the lawmakers to vote as you want them to vote.17th century roots: interested persons had to wait outside political meetings until the politicians came out (in the lobby)Lobbying today carries a negative connotation, but is actually a protected Constitutional right.Free speech, freedom of assembly and pressA lobbyist, is someone who works for an interest group to sway legislation by convincing lawmakers to vote in their interestYou can lobby as an individual or as a group: write letters, protest, start a petition, phone-call campaigns, , etc.Major lobbying groups with money (from interested companies) use political contributions, create advertisements, and other methods on top of the grassroots methods mentioned above.
38 What is Crime? Mr. Concannon Smith Start with DO NOW: Street Law Problem 7.1 (p. 75)Show SlidesWhat is Crime?Mr. Concannon Smith
39 What is Crime?An act becomes a crime when it meets the legal definitions that designate it as suchSimply stated: it is an wrongful act against society––proclaimed by law––and is punishable by society.
40 The Consensus ModelRests on the assumption that members of society form a basic agreement with regard to norms and social valuesThose members whose actions deviate from the norm pose a threat to the well being of society as a whole punished.Laws are passed to control & prevent deviant behaviorUnderlying assumption: a diverse group of people can have similar morals (sharing ideas about what’s right/wrong)as public attitudes toward morality change so too do laws!There are TWO common models of how society “decides” which acts are criminal: Consensus and Conflict
41 The Conflict ModelRejects the consensus model on grounds that in the US, moral attitudes are not constant or consistentDifferent groups of citizens hold widely varying opinions on issues of morality and criminality: abortion, war on drugs, gun control, voter ID, immigration, same sex marriage etc.The Conflict Model holds that the most politically powerful segments of society (based on class, income, age, & race) have the most influence on criminal lawConsequence: this group imposes their values on the rest of the communityThis changes with whatever group comes to power
42 Criminal v. DeviantDeviance is simply behavior that does not conform to the norms of society (very subjective)Deviant acts become crimes only when society as a whole (through its legislatures) determine that such acts should be punished.
43 Types of Crime: Six Major Categories Mr. Concannon Smith
44 1. Violent CrimesThese crimes dominate public perspectives on crime (considered the most heinous offenses)Examples include:Murder: unlawful killing of a human beingSexual Assault/Rape: coerced actions––sexual in nature–– against an unwilling participantAssault and Battery: two separate actsAssault: threats on another person of physical harm (perceived truth)Battery: physical attack on another individualRobbery: taking of funds/personal property by means of forceThese crimes are classified by degree more on this later…
45 2. Property Crime Most common form of crime Larceny (theft): pocket picking, shoplifting, or stealing property not accomplished by forceBurglary: act of unlawfully entering a home or structure with the intent of committing a crime like theft (usually a felony)Arson: malicious and intentional burning of a home, automobile or other structure
46 3. Public Order CrimeBehavior labeled criminal because it is contrary to shared social values (think Consensus Model)Sometimes called Victimless Crimes (however misleading):Examples include:Public drunkenness, gambling, illicit drug use, prostitution, disturbing the peace, loitering, etc.
47 4. White-Collar CrimeBusiness related crime: an illegal act––carried out non-violently––against individuals or other businesses to obtain a personal or business advantage.Examples include:Embezzlement: using position in company to steal funds from the companyTax Evasion: underreporting or not reporting taxable incomeFraud: Credit Card, Check, Securities (stock market), consumer fraud (counterfeits), insurance
48 5. Organized CrimeIllegal acts by illegal organizations usually geared toward satisfying the public’s demand for unlawful goods/servicesConspiratorial in nature.Criminal tactics include (but certainly not limited to) violence, corruption, intimidation, fraud, trafficking (both narcotics and humans)All for economic gain and powerHierarchical like a business and can even operate like one, but if you break the rules you break your legs
49 6. High-Tech Crime Newest variation on crime Examples of Cybercrime: Selling illegal pornSoliciting minorsDefrauding consumersEmbezzlementCyber security attacks
50 The Criminal Justice Process Mr. Concannon Smith
51 Law Enforcement Local and County Law Enforcement State Law Enforcement Responsible for the “nuts and bolts” of law enforcement.State Law EnforcementGenerally, there are both “state police” and “highway patrols.”Federal Law Enforcement: Operates throughout the U.S.
52 The CourtsThe U.S. has a dual court system. (two independent judicial systems)Federal system (federal laws)State (state laws) + Washington D.C.Technically we have 52 different court systemsCriminal Courts in each system determine the innocence or guilt of criminal suspects within their individual jurisdiction
54 The Criminal Justice Process An orderly progression of events through a process comprised of agencies working together.Herbert Packer compared the idealized criminal justice process to an assembly line.The line is constantly at work and faces congestion!Partial solution is discretion:Authority to choose alternative courses of actionAll facets of the system employ discretion to maximize use of limited resourcesThe informal criminal justice system: flexible and conditional
57 The Wedding Cake ModelDiscretion comes to bear depending on the relative importance of a particular case“Top” layer consists only of a handful of celebrity casesSecond layer consists of “high profile” feloniesThird layer consists of “ordinary” feloniesFourth layer consists of misdemeanorsTop layer distorts our view of the systemOver 90% of criminal cases (including felonies) are settled OUT OF COURTDr. Conrad Murray = Dr. who gave Michael Jackson propofol.Goes against the basic premise that all cases are treated equally.Draw attention just because of the nature of the crime: puts pressure on prosecutors to bring a case to trialLow level offenders typically take plea deals and do not get put on trialMore than 75% of all arrests
59 Competing Values of the System Crime ControlThe most important function of system is to punish and repress criminal conductLaw enforcement must be counted on to control criminal activityThe system should function efficiently, as an assembly- lineDue ProcessFocus on protecting the rights of the accused through legal constraints on police, courts, and correctionsStrives to make it more difficult to prove guiltFairness, not efficiency, is the goal of the due process model
64 Major Issues Today Community Relations & Law Enforcement Think Ferguson, MOThe Scourge of Street GangsChicago, LA, NYC, ATLGun Sales and Gun ControlThink Sandy HookThe Illegal Drugs ProblemThink marijuana in ColoradoSome 33,000 violent street gangs, motorcycle gangs, and prison gangs with about 1.4 million members are criminally active in the U.S. today. Many are sophisticated and well organized; all use violence to control neighborhoods and boost their illegal money-making activities, which include robbery, drug and gun trafficking, fraud, extortion, and prostitution rings. According to the 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment report, gangs are responsible for an average of 48 percent of violent crime in most jurisdictions, and up to 90 percent in others. We’re redoubling our efforts to disrupt and dismantle gangs through intelligence-driven investigations and new initiatives and partnerships.
65 Policy Quandaries Crime and Punishment The Growing Prison Population The Economics of IncarcerationThe Death Penalty in AmericaHomeland Security and the Threat of TerrorismThe Patriot ActTechnology: Fighting and Fueling Crime
66 Gang ProblemsApprox. 33,000 violent street gangs, motorcycle gangs, and prison gangs with about 1.4 million members are criminally active in the U.S. today.Many are sophisticated and well organizedall use violence to control neighborhoods and boost their illegal money-making activities, which include robbery, drug and gun trafficking, fraud, extortion, and prostitution rings.Gangs are responsible for an average of 48% of violent crime in most jurisdictions, and up to 90% in others.The FBI w/ local and state police to disrupt and dismantle gangs through intelligence-driven investigations
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