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Unit 3 Crimes. Chapter 7: The Nature of Crimes  A crime is something one does or fails to do that is in violation of a law  Decisions as to what constitutes.

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Presentation on theme: "Unit 3 Crimes. Chapter 7: The Nature of Crimes  A crime is something one does or fails to do that is in violation of a law  Decisions as to what constitutes."— Presentation transcript:

1 Unit 3 Crimes

2 Chapter 7: The Nature of Crimes  A crime is something one does or fails to do that is in violation of a law  Decisions 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: 1.Robert sells crack cocaine and uses the proceeds to support his mother, who is on welfare 2.Marley is a passenger in a car she knows is stolen, although she did not steal the car 3.A corporate executive givens millions of dollars to a candidate for the U.S. Senate 4.A wife finds out her husband is having an affair and runs him over with her car 5.Paulina is caught with a pound of marijuana 6.Ted robs a liquor store at gunpoint 7.Ellen leaves a store with change for a $10 bill, knowing that she gave the clerk a $5 bill 8.Lily approaches a man for purposes of prostitution 9.The President of the United States lies under oath 10.Ming refuses to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle 11.A company pollutes a river with waste from its factory 12.Dakota 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 themselves  Less than 40% reported property crimes  Crimes rates are influenced by location, age, gender  People between the ages of commit more violent crimes than any other group  Males commit 4 times as many crimes as females  Violent crimes are more likely to occur during the day  The gov’t spends $150 billion per year in law enforcement

5 Chapter 7: Nature of Crimes  Reasons for the crime rate include  Poverty  Permissive courts  Unemployment  Lack of education  Alcohol and drugs  Inadequate police protection  Rising population  Lack of parental guidance  Breakdown in morals

6 Chapter 7: Nature of Crimes  Would tougher penalties curb crime?  U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any industrialized nation  Certainty of punishment is more important than the length of sentence  Community policing  Crime on Campus  Includes violent assaults, hate crimes, and property crimes

7 Chapter 7: Guns and the Law  Frequently used in violent crimes  Gun Control Act of 1968  Prohibits convicted felons, minors, and illegal aliens from buying or possessing weapons  Requires serial numbers on all guns  Prohibits mail order sale of firearms and ammunition and the interstate sale of handguns  By 2002, 30 states had passed laws making it easy to carry a concealed weapon  Which 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 2001  2/3 of victims who suffered violence by a spouse, former spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend report alcohol as a factor  Drunk Driving (DUI/DWI)  BAC of.08 or above  Penalties 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 test  In GA, you will lose your license for 1 year  Drugs  Between 50-75% of persons taken into the criminal justice system test positive for one or more drugs at the time of arrest  Controlled Substances Act  Classifies drugs into 5 categories  Penalties 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 felonies  Some states have drug forfeiture laws  Repeat offender laws  3 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 Law  Every crime is defined by certain elements which must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt at trial to convict the offender  Anton 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 Law  If 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 levels  Some acts can only be prosecuted in a state court  Drunk driving, assault, etc.  Some acts can only be prosecuted in federal court  Mail fraud, failure to pay taxes, etc.  Some acts can be prosecuted in either

14 Chapter 8: Criminal Law  A felony is a crime for which the potential penalty is imprisonment for more than 1 year  A 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 principal  An accomplice is someone who helps the principal commit a crime  Person who drives the getaway car  A person who orders a crime but who is not present during the crime is known as an accessory before the fact  An 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 act  Not filing taxes  Failing to stop after being in an automobile accident

18 Chapter 8: Preliminary Crimes  Solicitation  To ask, command, urge, or advise another person to commit a crime  It does not require that the person solicited actually commit the crime  Attempt  When someone performs all of the elements of a crime but fails to achieve the criminal result  If 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 attempt  Martin, 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 crime  It allows police to arrest conspirators before they come dangerously close to completing the crime  9/11

21 Chapter 10: Crimes Against Property  Crimes against property includes two groups  Crimes in which property is destroyed  Crimes in which property is stolen  In recent years the number of property crimes has fallen  Arson  The willful and malicious burning of a person’s property, even if it’s your own  Vandalism  Willful destruction of, or damage to, the property of another  Can 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 white  Do 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  Larceny  The 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 larceny  Keeping 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  Embezzlement  The 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 invested  Robbery  The unlawful taking of property from a person’s immediate possession by force or intimidation  Involves two harms—theft of property and actual or potential physical harm to the victim  In most states, the difference between larceny and robbery is the use of force  Almost always a felony

26 Chapter 10: Crimes Against Property  Extortion  Also known as blackmail  The use of threats to obtain the property of another  Rita 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  Burglary  The unauthorized entry into any structure with the intent to commit a crime, regardless of time of day  Forgery  A person falsely makes or alters a writing or document with intent to defraud  Also includes uttering which is offering to someone a genuine document known to be a fake

28 Chapter 10: Crimes Against Property  Receiving Stolen Property  Buying or receiving property that you know or have reason to know is stolen  Buying goods from a trunk or for an unreasonably low price  Ivan 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 vehicle  Taking a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent  If it’s temporarily, it’s joyriding  If it’s permanent, it’s larceny or auto theft  Carjacking occurs if a person uses force or intimidation to steal a car from the driver  Computer Crime  Any 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’s  Spreading viruses  Stealing passwords  Hacking  Transmission of obscene images, movies, sounds  Illegal downloading or copying and sharing of software  Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986  It’s a crime to modify, destroy, or disclose information gained from unauthorized entry into a computer  National 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 committed  Defendant was a carrying a gun, but had a license; the sex was consensual  The defendant may present evidence that no criminal intent was involved  Defendant mistakenly picked up the wrong cell phone

32 Chapter 11: Defenses  Ms. 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 1 st 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 evidence  Defendant committed a criminal act, but the act was excusable or justifiable  Self defense, defense of property, defense of others  A person in danger may use REASONABLE force in self defense  If after stopping an attacker, the defender continues to use force, then the roles become reversed  Make My Day laws  May use deadly force to defend property against an unwarranted intrusion

34 Chapter 11: Defenses  Defendant committed a criminal act but is not criminally responsible for his/her actions  Infancy  Children under a specified age shall not be tried for their crimes but shall be turned over to the juvenile court  Some states allow prosecutors to decide whether to try a child as an adult  The Supreme Court has ruled that the death penalty is unconstitutional for minors  Intoxication  Voluntary 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 wrong  During criminal proceedings, the defendant’s mental state can be an issue in determining whether:  The defendant can stand trial  The defendant was sane at the time of the criminal act  The defendant is sane after the trial  Defense 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 officer  Defendant must show that he/she would have not committed the crime but for the inducement of the officer  Very difficult to prove

37 Chapter 11: Defenses  Can 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 arrested  Jan, a drug dealer, offers to sell drugs to Emilio, an undercover officer disguised as an addict. Emilio buys the drugs, and Jan is arrested  Rashid, 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  Duress  When a person does something as a result of coercion or a threat of immediate danger to life or personal safety  Someone points a gun to your head  Under duress, an individual lacks free will  Duress is not a defense to homicide  Necessity  When an individual is compelled to react to a situation that is unavoidable to protect life  You’re adrift in a boat and need to throw over the cargo to prevent sinking  Also not a defense to homicide  Remember the shipwrecked sailors???

39 Chapter 12: The Investigation  Arrest  An arrest takes place when a person suspected of a crime is taken into custody  An arrest warrant is a court order commanding that the person named in it be taken into custody  On many occasions, police do not have time to get a warrant  Police may arrest based on probable cause  Problem 12.1, p. 136  A police officer needs reasonable suspicion to stop and question someone on the street  If 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 her  You may decline  If you run, that flight may give the officer reasonable suspicion  A police officer may use as much physical force as is reasonably necessary to make an arrest  The Case of Fingers Mcgee, p. 145

41 Chapter 12: The Investigation  Suspicionless Searches  Fixed point searches at or near borders to detect illegal aliens  Mandatory drug and alcohol testing for railroad employees involved in accidents  Racial Profiling in Police Investigations  Occurs when, for example, an officer stops a car solely because it is being operated by an African American  Or an airport security guard stops an Arab for an extra security search  Violates the equal protection clause of the 14 th amendment

42 Chapter 12: The Investigation  Determine if race was appropriately or inappropriately used as a factor in each of the following decisions  After a terrorist attack, the gov’t decided to use more phone wiretaps to gather information in communities that have mosques  In 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 street  A 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 outside  A 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 Confessions  It is standard practice to interrogate the accused after an arrest  5 th Amendment provides protection against self incrimination  The gov’t bears the burden of proof  Confessions are not admissible if they are not voluntary or trustworthy  The Case of the Parolee and the Detective, p. 154

44 Chapter 13: Proceedings Before Trial  Booking and Initial Appearance  At this time, the accused is asked to provide his name, address, date of birth, place of employment, and previous arrests  Fingerprinted and photographed  In 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 one  Bail is set  Defendants charged with a misdemeanor go directly to trial

45 Chapter 13: Proceedings Before Trial  Bail and Pretrial Release  A constitutional right to bail is recognized in all but the most serious cases such as murder  Bail may be paid directly to the court  Some 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 trial  Many poor people are detained in jail because they cannot afford bail or bond.

46 Chapter 13: Proceedings Before Trial  Bail and Pretrial Release  Personal recognizance  The defendant must promise to return and must be considered a low risk of failing to show up for trial  Courts may also release defendants in the custody of a 3 rd party or with an ankle monitor  Statistics 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 Hearing  Used in felony cases to determine if there is enough evidence to go to trial  Defendant has the right to be represented and to cross examine witnesses  If enough evidence supports the prosecutor’s case, the defendant will proceed to trial  Grand Jury  A 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 trial  5 th 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 Jury  Evidence is presented by the prosecutor  Neither the defendant nor his attorney have the right to appear  A judge is not present  Felony Arraignment and Pleas  After 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 Motions  Motion for Discovery of Evidence  Motion for a Continuance  Motion for a change of venue  Motion to suppress evidence  Exclusionary rule  Many claim it’s a legal loophole that allows criminals to go free  Judicial Integrity—the courts should not be parties to law breaking by the police  Deterrence—police will be less likely to violate people’s rights if they know illegally seized evidence will be thrown out  Mapp v. Ohio  Good 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 Bargaining  Most 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 prosecutor  Typically, the prosecutor will allow the accused to plead guilty to a less serious charge in exchange for a guilty plea  When accepting a guilty plea, the judge must make sure the plea was made freely, voluntarily, and with knowledge of all facts  The Power of Plea Bargaining, p. 165

53 Chapter 14: The Trial  Right to a Trial by Jury  Guaranteed by the 6 th Amendment  Defendant may waive his right to a jury trial  Most states use 12 person juries, though 6 is permissible  Why 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  6 th Amendment  Does not define speedy  Defendants often waive their right to a speedy trial  Why 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 Trial  Right to a Compulsory Process and to Confront Witnesses  The defendant can subpoena witnesses to appear in court to testify  Defendant has the right to be present in the courtroom  This 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 cases  What 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 yourself  The prosecutor cannot make mention of the fact that you did not testify  Some witnesses may be granted immunity to testify against you  They must answer incriminating questions

57 Chapter 14: The Trial  Suppose 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  6 th Amendment  Gideon v. Wainwright  Are 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 mistrial  Seldom successful  Defendant generally files a notice of appeal shortly after the verdict  The appellate court then sets a schedule by which it is to receive legal briefs and possibly oral arguments  The defendant’s brief sets out alleged errors of law at the trial that led to the conviction  Possible 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 trial  New information is not presented at an appeal  Appeals courts tend to defer to the trial judges and are not eager to overturn the result of a trial  Defendants may also file a writ of habeas corpus which claims that the defendant is being held illegally  A writ may be issued after DNA testing has proven the defendant didn’t commit the crime


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