2 Chapter 7: The Nature of Crimes A crime is something one does or fails to do that is in violation of a lawDecisions as to what constitutes a crime are made by legislatures
3 Chapter 7: Crime in America Consider the following acts. Decide whether it should be treated as a crime:Robert sells crack cocaine and uses the proceeds to support his mother, who is on welfareMarley is a passenger in a car she knows is stolen, although she did not steal the carA corporate executive givens millions of dollars to a candidate for the U.S. SenateA wife finds out her husband is having an affair and runs him over with her carPaulina is caught with a pound of marijuanaTed robs a liquor store at gunpointEllen leaves a store with change for a $10 bill, knowing that she gave the clerk a $5 billLily approaches a man for purposes of prostitutionThe President of the United States lies under oathMing refuses to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycleA company pollutes a river with waste from its factoryDakota observes his best friend shoplifting but does not turn him in
4 Chapter 7: Nature of Crimes According to surveys of victims, 50% reported crimes against themselvesLess than 40% reported property crimesCrimes rates are influenced by location, age, genderPeople between the ages of commit more violent crimes than any other groupMales commit 4 times as many crimes as femalesViolent crimes are more likely to occur during the dayThe gov’t spends $150 billion per year in law enforcement
5 Chapter 7: Nature of Crimes Reasons for the crime rate includePovertyPermissive courtsUnemploymentLack of educationAlcohol and drugsInadequate police protectionRising populationLack of parental guidanceBreakdown in morals
6 Chapter 7: Nature of Crimes Would tougher penalties curb crime?U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any industrialized nationCertainty of punishment is more important than the length of sentenceCommunity policingCrime on CampusIncludes violent assaults, hate crimes, and property crimes
7 Chapter 7: Guns and the Law Frequently used in violent crimesGun Control Act of 1968Prohibits convicted felons, minors, and illegal aliens from buying or possessing weaponsRequires serial numbers on all gunsProhibits mail order sale of firearms and ammunition and the interstate sale of handgunsBy 2002, 30 states had passed laws making it easy to carry a concealed weaponWhich is a better way to reduce crime—more gun control or less gun control?What restrictions, if any, should the gov’t place on manufacture or firearms? The sale of firearms? Possession of firearms?
8 Chapter 7: Substance Abuse and Crime Alcohol is the most widely abused substance in the U.S.Alcohol was a factor in 35% of violent crimes in the U.S. in 20012/3 of victims who suffered violence by a spouse, former spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend report alcohol as a factorDrunk Driving (DUI/DWI)BAC of .08 or abovePenalties include a monetary fine, enrollment in DUI school, community service, license suspended, license revoked, jail sentence
9 Chapter 7: Substance Abuse and Crime A driver who has been stopped may refuse an alcohol testIn GA, you will lose your license for 1 yearDrugsBetween 50-75% of persons taken into the criminal justice system test positive for one or more drugs at the time of arrestControlled Substances ActClassifies drugs into 5 categoriesPenalties and sanctions differ for each group
10 Chapter 7: Substance Abuse and Crime Some states treat simple possession of even small amounts of certain drugs as feloniesSome states have drug forfeiture lawsRepeat offender laws3 strikes and you’re out!Some favor the legalization of drugs such as marijuana since alcohol and tobacco are permitted
11 Chapter 7: Substance Abuse and Crime Are there any controlled substances that should be legalized? If so, which ones?What are the most convincing arguments in favor of legalizing some controlled substances?What are the most convincing arguments against legalizing some controlled substances?How would society change if some controlled substances were legalized?
12 Chapter 8: Criminal LawEvery crime is defined by certain elements which must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt at trial to convict the offenderAnton is a bully. One night while eating at a local diner, he notices Derek selecting a tune on the jukebox. Anton does not like the song Derek selected so Anton orders Derek to change the song. When Derek refuses, Anton punches Derek in the face, breaking Derek’s jaw. Derek misses several weeks of work.Has Anton violated civil laws, criminal laws, or both?Who decides whether Anton should be charged criminally? Sued in a civil action?If Anton is charged with a crime and sued in a civil action, would the civil and criminal cases be tried together?Would procedures in a criminal trial be the same as those in a civil trial?Is going to court the only way to handle this problem?
13 Chapter 8: Criminal LawIf someone breaks into your home when you’re not there and takes your stuff, can they be convicted of robbery?Criminal laws exist at both state and federal levelsSome acts can only be prosecuted in a state courtDrunk driving, assault, etc.Some acts can only be prosecuted in federal courtMail fraud, failure to pay taxes, etc.Some acts can be prosecuted in either
14 Chapter 8: Criminal LawA felony is a crime for which the potential penalty is imprisonment for more than 1 yearA misdemeanor is a crime for which the potential penalty is imprisonment for 1 year or less
15 Chapter 8: Parties to Crime The person who commits the crime is called the principalAn accomplice is someone who helps the principal commit a crimePerson who drives the getaway carA person who orders a crime but who is not present during the crime is known as an accessory before the factAn accessory after the fact is a person who, knowing a crime has been committed, helps the principal or accomplice avoid capture or helps them escape
16 Chapter 8: Parties to Crime Jeb and Marci decide to burglarize Superior Jewelers. Their friend, Carl, an employee at Superior, helps them by telling them the location of the store vault. Marci drives a van to the store and keeps a lookout while Jeb goes inside and cracks the safe. After Jeb and Marci make their getaway, Jeb meets a friend, Shawn, who was not involved in the burglary. Jeb tells Shawn about the burglary and Shawn helps Jeb get a train out of town. David, a former classmate of Jeb and Marci, witnesses the crime but does not tell the police even though he recognizes both Jeb and Marci. How will each person be charged?
17 Chapter 8: Crimes of Omission Failing to act may be a crime if a person had a legal duty to actNot filing taxesFailing to stop after being in an automobile accident
18 Chapter 8: Preliminary Crimes SolicitationTo ask, command, urge, or advise another person to commit a crimeIt does not require that the person solicited actually commit the crimeAttemptWhen someone performs all of the elements of a crime but fails to achieve the criminal resultIf you shoot to kill someone, but miss
19 Chapter 8: Preliminary Crimes Decide whether any of the individuals involved would be guilty of the crime of attemptMartin, a bank teller, figures out a foolproof method of stealing money from the bank. It takes him some time to get up the nerve to steal any money. Finally, he makes up his mind and tells his girlfriend, Yuka, that tomorrow he will steal the money. Yuka goes to the police, and Martin is arrested an hour later.Gilbert, an accomplished thief, is caught trying to pick Lewis’s pocket. He pleads not guilty and says he cannot be convicted because Lewis didn’t have any money.Rita and Anwar decide to rob a liquor store. They meet at a pub and talk over their plans. Rita leaves to buy a gun, and Anwar leaves to steal a car to use as their getaway. Rita is arrested as she walks out of the gun shop. Anwar is arrested while trying to hot wire a car.Amy decides to burn down her store to collect the insurance money. She spreads gasoline around the building. She is arrested while leaving the store to get a book of matches.
20 Chapter 8: Preliminary Crimes A conspiracy is an agreement between 2 or more persons to commit a crimeIt allows police to arrest conspirators before they come dangerously close to completing the crime9/11
21 Chapter 10: Crimes Against Property Crimes against property includes two groupsCrimes in which property is destroyedCrimes in which property is stolenIn recent years the number of property crimes has fallenArsonThe willful and malicious burning of a person’s property, even if it’s your ownVandalismWillful destruction of, or damage to, the property of anotherCan be either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the extent of the damage
22 Chapter 10: Crimes Against Property Who commits vandalism?In 2010, 12% were female; 80% were whiteDo these figures surprise you? Have you had your property damaged or stolen?If the police do not take lesser crimes like vandalism seriously, will crime escalate?Why do young people sometimes commit acts of vandalism?What, if anything, can be done to reduce vandalism?Should parents be criminally responsible for willful damage caused by their children?
23 Chapter 10: Crimes Against Property LarcenyThe unlawful taking and carrying away of the property of another person with intent to permanently deprive the owner of it.Grand larceny involves the theft of anything above $100 and is a felony.Petty larceny involved the theft of anything below $100 and is a misdemeanor.Shoplifting is a form of larcenyKeeping lost property when a reasonable method exists for finding the owner is also larceny
24 Chapter 10: Crimes Against Property Why do you think people shoplift?What could be done to address these reasons?If you saw a stranger shoplifting, what would you do? Would it be different if you knew the person?A famous movie star is caught shoplifting thousands of dollars worth of merchandise from a clothing store. It is her first offense. What penalty should she receive?
25 Chapter 10: Crimes Against Property EmbezzlementThe unlawful taking of property by someone to whom it was entrusted.For example, the bank teller who takes money from the cash drawer or the stockbroker who takes money from a client that should have been investedRobberyThe unlawful taking of property from a person’s immediate possession by force or intimidationInvolves two harms—theft of property and actual or potential physical harm to the victimIn most states, the difference between larceny and robbery is the use of forceAlmost always a felony
26 Chapter 10: Crimes Against Property ExtortionAlso known as blackmailThe use of threats to obtain the property of anotherRita is a quiet, hardworking student who always does her homework. Madelyn is much more interested in her social life than school, but her parents put a lot of pressure on her to do well. After spending all evening texting and on FB, Madelyn forgets to do her math homework. The next morning on the bus, Madelyn asks to copy Rita’s homework. When Rita refuses, Madelyn threatens to tell everyone a secret she knows about Rita.Is this extortion?What should Rita do?Can you think of any situations you’ve been involved in that could be considered extortion?Is this a problem at school?Do you think it may be underreported?
27 Chapter 10: Crimes Against Property BurglaryThe unauthorized entry into any structure with the intent to commit a crime, regardless of time of dayForgeryA person falsely makes or alters a writing or document with intent to defraudAlso includes uttering which is offering to someone a genuine document known to be a fake
28 Chapter 10: Crimes Against Property Receiving Stolen PropertyBuying or receiving property that you know or have reason to know is stolenBuying goods from a trunk or for an unreasonably low priceIvan met his friend Anthony, who was driving a flash new convertible. Ivan knew that neither Anthony nor his family owned this car, but it looked good, so he got in and let Anthony take him for a ride. Ivan also knew Anthony used drugs and sometimes took other people’s things and sold them to get money to buy cocaine. Anthony offered to sell Ivan an iPod for $20. Ivan agreed.Have any crimes been committed?Why does society make receiving stolen property a crime?Would you ever buy something for an extremely low price from a friend?
29 Chapter 10: Crimes Against Property Unauthorized use of a vehicleTaking a motor vehicle without the owner’s consentIf it’s temporarily, it’s joyridingIf it’s permanent, it’s larceny or auto theftCarjacking occurs if a person uses force or intimidation to steal a car from the driverComputer CrimeAny violation of criminal law that involves the use of computer technology to commit the prohibited act
30 Chapter 10: Crimes Against Property Creating fake ID’sSpreading virusesStealing passwordsHackingTransmission of obscene images, movies, soundsIllegal downloading or copying and sharing of softwareComputer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986It’s a crime to modify, destroy, or disclose information gained from unauthorized entry into a computerNational Information Infrastructure Act of 1996 makes it illegal to threaten to cause damage to a computer system unless the owner gives something of value
31 Chapter 11: Defenses No Crime has been committed The defendant may present evidence to show that no crime was committedDefendant was a carrying a gun, but had a license; the sex was consensualThe defendant may present evidence that no criminal intent was involvedDefendant mistakenly picked up the wrong cell phone
32 Chapter 11: DefensesMs. Urbanski kept a pistol in her home as protection against intruders. One evening, she heard a noise in the den and went to investigate. She saw a man stealing her TV. The burglar, seeing the gun, ran for the window, but Ms. Urbanski fired and killed him before he could escape. In a trial for manslaughter, Ms. Urbanski pleaded self defense. Would you find her guilty?Mr. Peters has a legal handgun to protect his home against intruders and against the increasing crime in his neighborhood. One night, Takeshi, walks up to Mr. Peters’s driveway looking for a party. Takeshi thinks Mr. Peters is hosting the party and begins yelling and waving his arms. Mr. Peters gets scared, retrieves his handgun, and points it at Takeshi while yelling “Freeze”! Takeshi does not understand English and keeps walking toward Mr. Peters. Thinking he is an intruder, Mr. Peters shoots and kills Takeshi at the front steps of his house. Mr. Peters is charged with 1st degree murder. Does he have a defense?
33 Chapter 11: Defenses Defendant did not commit the crime Defendant may present evidence of mistaken identity or provide an alibi, or DNA evidenceDefendant committed a criminal act, but the act was excusable or justifiableSelf defense, defense of property, defense of othersA person in danger may use REASONABLE force in self defenseIf after stopping an attacker, the defender continues to use force, then the roles become reversedMake My Day lawsMay use deadly force to defend property against an unwarranted intrusion
34 Chapter 11: DefensesDefendant committed a criminal act but is not criminally responsible for his/her actionsInfancyChildren under a specified age shall not be tried for their crimes but shall be turned over to the juvenile courtSome states allow prosecutors to decide whether to try a child as an adultThe Supreme Court has ruled that the death penalty is unconstitutional for minorsIntoxicationVoluntary intoxication is not a defense to a crime
35 Chapter 11: Defenses Insanity People who have a mental disease should not be convicted if they do not know what they are doing or if they do not know the difference between right and wrongDuring criminal proceedings, the defendant’s mental state can be an issue in determining whether:The defendant can stand trialThe defendant was sane at the time of the criminal actThe defendant is sane after the trialDefense must prove evidence of a mental disease or disorder
36 Chapter 11: Defenses Entrapment When the defendant admits committing a criminal act but claims he/she was induced to commit the crime by a law enforcement officerDefendant must show that he/she would have not committed the crime but for the inducement of the officerVery difficult to prove
37 Chapter 11: DefensesCan entrapment be claimed as a defense in any of the following cases?Mary, an undercover police officer masquerading as a prostitute, approached Edward and tells him that she’ll have sex with him in exchange for $50. Edward hands over the money and is arrestedJan, a drug dealer, offers to sell drugs to Emilio, an undercover officer disguised as an addict. Emilio buys the drugs, and Jan is arrestedRashid, an undercover FBI agent, repeatedly offers Sammy a chance to get in on an illegal gambling ring, with the promise that he will win big. After refusing several offers, Sammy, who just lost his job and has no history of gambling, finally gives Rashid $200 as a bet. Rashid arrests Sammy.
38 Chapter 11: Defenses Remember the shipwrecked sailors??? Duress When a person does something as a result of coercion or a threat of immediate danger to life or personal safetySomeone points a gun to your headUnder duress, an individual lacks free willDuress is not a defense to homicideNecessityWhen an individual is compelled to react to a situation that is unavoidable to protect lifeYou’re adrift in a boat and need to throw over the cargo to prevent sinkingAlso not a defense to homicideRemember the shipwrecked sailors???
39 Chapter 12: The Investigation ArrestAn arrest takes place when a person suspected of a crime is taken into custodyAn arrest warrant is a court order commanding that the person named in it be taken into custodyOn many occasions, police do not have time to get a warrantPolice may arrest based on probable causeProblem 12.1, p. 136A police officer needs reasonable suspicion to stop and question someone on the streetIf the officer has reasonable suspicion that a person is armed and dangerous, he may do a limited pat down—stop and frisk (Terry stop)
40 Chapter 12: The Investigation Even if an officer does not have reasonable suspicion or probable cause, he may go up to any individual and ask to speak to him or herYou may declineIf you run, that flight may give the officer reasonable suspicionA police officer may use as much physical force as is reasonably necessary to make an arrestThe Case of Fingers Mcgee, p. 145
41 Chapter 12: The Investigation Suspicionless SearchesFixed point searches at or near borders to detect illegal aliensMandatory drug and alcohol testing for railroad employees involved in accidentsRacial Profiling in Police InvestigationsOccurs when, for example, an officer stops a car solely because it is being operated by an African AmericanOr an airport security guard stops an Arab for an extra security searchViolates the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment
42 Chapter 12: The Investigation Determine if race was appropriately or inappropriately used as a factor in each of the following decisionsAfter a terrorist attack, the gov’t decided to use more phone wiretaps to gather information in communities that have mosquesIn a neighborhood where several African Americans have been arrested for recent burglaries, a police officer searches an African American youth who is walking down the streetA man reports overhearing two Spanish speaking men in a coffee shop planning to rob a specific jewelry store the next day. The witness could not see the men’s faces and does not know their names. The next day the police go to the store and question two Latino looking men who are sitting in a car outsideA woman entering the United States holds a passport from a country with witch the United States was recently at war. A customs agent detains her for questioning
43 Chapter 12: The Investigation Interrogations and ConfessionsIt is standard practice to interrogate the accused after an arrest5th Amendment provides protection against self incriminationThe gov’t bears the burden of proofConfessions are not admissible if they are not voluntary or trustworthyThe Case of the Parolee and the Detective, p. 154
44 Chapter 13: Proceedings Before Trial Booking and Initial AppearanceAt this time, the accused is asked to provide his name, address, date of birth, place of employment, and previous arrestsFingerprinted and photographedIn certain circumstances, the police may take fingernail clippings, handwriting specimens, or blood samples and urine tests.Shortly thereafter, the accused must appear before a judge or magistrate.Defendant’s rights are explained and the charges against him are read.The defendant has an attorney appointed or given the opportunity to obtain oneBail is setDefendants charged with a misdemeanor go directly to trial
45 Chapter 13: Proceedings Before Trial Bail and Pretrial ReleaseA constitutional right to bail is recognized in all but the most serious cases such as murderBail may be paid directly to the courtSome courts may require the entire amount or a percentage.If a person released on bail fails to return to court, the court will keep the money.If the defendant does not have the money, a bond company may put up a bail bond in exchange for a fee.If a bond is posted, the bond company will be required to pay the full amount of the bond if the defendant does not return for trialMany poor people are detained in jail because they cannot afford bail or bond.
46 Chapter 13: Proceedings Before Trial Bail and Pretrial ReleasePersonal recognizanceThe defendant must promise to return and must be considered a low risk of failing to show up for trialCourts may also release defendants in the custody of a 3rd party or with an ankle monitorStatistics indicate that a large number of defendants commit crimes while out on bail
47 Chapter 13: Proceedings Before Trial What is the purpose of the constitutional right not to be subjected to excessive bail? Should it apply to all people who are arrested?Can you think of any circumstances in which a person should be released without any bail requirements?Can you think of any circumstances under which a person should not be released on bail?Do you think the bail system needs reform?You Be the Judge Bail Hearing, p. 159
48 Chapter 13: Proceedings Before Trial Preliminary HearingUsed in felony cases to determine if there is enough evidence to go to trialDefendant has the right to be represented and to cross examine witnessesIf enough evidence supports the prosecutor’s case, the defendant will proceed to trialGrand JuryA group of people charged with determining whether there is sufficient cause to believe that a person has committed a crime and should be made to stand trial5th Amendment requires that before anyone can be tried for a federal crime in federal court, there must be a grand jury indictment.
49 Chapter 13: Proceedings Before Trial Grand JuryEvidence is presented by the prosecutorNeither the defendant nor his attorney have the right to appearA judge is not presentFelony Arraignment and PleasAfter a preliminary hearing, the defendant is required to appear in court and enter a plea.Not guilty—trial date set (jury or bench trial)Nolo contendere (No Contest)
50 Chapter 13: Proceedings Before Trial Pretrial MotionsMotion for Discovery of EvidenceMotion for a ContinuanceMotion for a change of venueMotion to suppress evidenceExclusionary ruleMany claim it’s a legal loophole that allows criminals to go freeJudicial Integrity—the courts should not be parties to law breaking by the policeDeterrence—police will be less likely to violate people’s rights if they know illegally seized evidence will be thrown outMapp v. OhioGood faith exception
51 Chapter 13: Proceedings Before Trial What is the exclusionary rule? How does it work?Why do you think the Supreme Court adopted the exclusionary rule? Do you think it’s a good idea?What is the good faith exception to the exclusionary rule?
52 Chapter 13: Proceedings Before Trial Plea BargainingMost criminal cases never go to trial (about 90%)Guilty pleas that result from a process of negotiation among the accused, the defense atty, and the prosecutorTypically, the prosecutor will allow the accused to plead guilty to a less serious charge in exchange for a guilty pleaWhen accepting a guilty plea, the judge must make sure the plea was made freely, voluntarily, and with knowledge of all factsThe Power of Plea Bargaining, p. 165
53 Chapter 14: The Trial Right to a Trial by Jury Guaranteed by the 6th AmendmentDefendant may waive his right to a jury trialMost states use 12 person juries, though 6 is permissibleWhy is the right to a jury trial guaranteed by the Bill of Rights? Why might someone choose not to have a jury trial?Should jury verdicts be unanimous?Do you think juries should deliberate and come to a conclusion in private or should it be made public?Jury Nullification, p. 168
54 Chapter 14: The Trial Right to a Speedy and Public Trial 6th AmendmentDoes not define speedyDefendants often waive their right to a speedy trialWhy is the right to a speedy trial important?How soon after arrest should a person be brought to trial?Do you think televising criminal trials is a good idea?
55 Chapter 14: The TrialRight to a Compulsory Process and to Confront WitnessesThe defendant can subpoena witnesses to appear in court to testifyDefendant has the right to be present in the courtroomThis can be restricted if the defendant becomes disorderly or disruptive. He can be removed or bound and gagged!This right is modified in child abuse casesWhat are the arguments for and against closed circuit television in child abuse cases?Should it be allowed in cases involving rape or other violent crimes?
56 Chapter 14: The Trial Freedom from Self-Incrimination You cannot be forced to testify against yourselfThe prosecutor cannot make mention of the fact that you did not testifySome witnesses may be granted immunity to testify against youThey must answer incriminating questions
57 Chapter 14: The TrialSuppose you are a defense attorney. What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a criminal defendant testify at trial?If you were a member of the jury in a criminal trial, what would you think if the defendant refused to testify? Would you be affected by the judge’s instruction not to draw any conclusion from this?If a defendant is forced to stand in a lineup, give a handwriting sample, or take an alcohol breath or urine test, does this violate the privilege against self-incrimination?Do you think U.S. law should be changed so that defendants are required to testify in criminal cases?
58 Chapter 14: The Trial Right to an Attorney 6th AmendmentGideon v. WainwrightAre court appointed attorneys as good as privately paid ones?Assume a defendant wants to handle his own case. Should this be allowed?Assume a lawyer knows that his client is guilty. Is it right for the lawyer to try to convince the jury the person is not guilty?
59 Chapter 14: The Trial Criminal Appeals The defendant can ask the trial judge to overturn the jury’s verdict and declare a mistrialSeldom successfulDefendant generally files a notice of appeal shortly after the verdictThe appellate court then sets a schedule by which it is to receive legal briefs and possibly oral argumentsThe defendant’s brief sets out alleged errors of law at the trial that led to the convictionPossible errors include: ineffective assistance of counsel, improperly admitting evidence, giving the jury the wrong instructions, improper use of a sentencing guideline, etc.
60 Chapter 14: The Trial Criminal Appeals Appellate court is also given a transcript of the original trialNew information is not presented at an appealAppeals courts tend to defer to the trial judges and are not eager to overturn the result of a trialDefendants may also file a writ of habeas corpus which claims that the defendant is being held illegallyA writ may be issued after DNA testing has proven the defendant didn’t commit the crime