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Quotes of the Day “He threatens many that hath injured one.” Ben Jonson, English Dramatist “Most of the evils of life arise from man’s being unable to sit still in a room.” Blaise Pascal, French Scientist and Religious Essayist
Civil Law vs. Criminal Law Procedure for criminal trial -- government decides whether to prosecute; defendant has the right to a jury trial. In a criminal suit, the court determines the guilt, so that a punishment can be given. A felony is a serious crime, with a sentence of one year or more in prison. A misdemeanor is less serious, often with a sentence of less than a year. Civil law concerns the rights and liabilities between private parties; criminal law concerns those activities that society has outlawed.
Purpose of Punishment Restraint -- to keep a violent criminal away from the rest of society. Deterrence -- avoid future crimes, both by this criminal and by others “warned” by the punishment. Retribution -- to give criminal a punishment equal to his crime. Vengeance -- to make the criminal suffer. Rehabilitation -- to provide training to allow the prisoner to return to normal life.
The Prosecution’s Case Conduct Outlawed The prosecution must show that the defendant’s alleged activity is indeed illegal. Burden of Proof The jury must believe beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict. This is to protect innocent defendants from undeserved punishment. Actus Reus (means “the guilty act”) The prosecution must show that the defendant committed the act (not just talked about doing it). Mens Rea (means “guilty state of mind”) SEE NEXT SLIDE
Mens Rea The defendant must have had a “guilty state of mind.” General Intent Required by most crimes; the defendant intended to do the illegal act they are accused of doing. Specific Intent Some cases require that the defendant intended to do something beyond the act they are accused of. Reckless or Negligent Conduct Consciously disregarding a substantial risk of injury. Strict Liability Certain actions don’t require a guilty state of mind, only proof that the defendant did the illegal action.
Defenses Insanity A defendant who can prove he was insane at the time of the crime will be declared not guilty. Two basic tests are used to determine sanity: –M’Naughten Rule: must show a serious, identifiable mental illness and that he didn’t understand the nature of his act. –Irresistible Impulse: must show that a mental defect left him unable to control his behavior. Entrapment If the government induces a defendant to break the law, they must prove that the defendant was predisposed to commit the crime.
Defenses (cont’d) Justification A defendant may plead justification if he committed a criminal act in order to avoid a greater harm. Duress A defendant may plead duress if she can show that a threat by a third person caused her fear of imminent physical harm.
Crimes That Harm Business Larceny -- The trespassory taking of personal property with the intent to steal it. Someone else originally had the property. Applies to personal property, not services or real estate. Embezzlement -- Fraudulent conversion of someone else’s property already in the defendant’s possession. Defendant already had possession (but not ownership or control) of the property. Defendant used property for own uses.
Crimes That Harm Business (cont’d) Fraud -- Deception for the purpose of taking money or property from someone. Includes bank fraud, wire and mail fraud, insurance fraud, Medicare fraud. Computer Crime -- federal statutes prohibit unauthorized access to computers: in the federal government at financial institutes involved with the government by means of an internet that crosses state lines Click here for internet links describing various computer crimes. Go to the internet for statistics on corporate losses to computer crime.
Crimes Committed by Business If someone commits a crime within the scope of his employment and to benefit the corporation, the company is liable. Punishment Fines -- appropriate since this hurts the profit. Imprisonment? -- yes, in the sense of closing down the company temporarily or permanently. Compliance programs -- if a company has a valid, functioning plan to prevent and detect criminal behavior, the judge must (according to Federal Sentencing Guidelines) reduce the penalty of a crime of an employee.
Crimes Committed by Business Occupational Safety and Health Act OSHA sets standards for safety in the workplace. A state may set standards tougher than OSHA. Money Laundering -- using the profits of criminal acts to promote more crime or concealing an illegal source of money. Commonly associated with the illegal drug trade. Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act Creates both civil and criminal law liabilities. Is aimed at organized crime -- those involved with a series of illegal acts.
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act Racketeering Acts Include (among others) embezzlement, arson, mail fraud, and wire fraud. To violate RICO, there must be two or more of these acts. Goals that Violate RICO Using criminal money to invest in or acquire a business. Maintain a business using criminal activity. Operate a business using criminal activity. RICO -- RICO prohibits using two or more racketeering acts to accomplish certain goals.
Constitutional Protections No matter what crime a suspect is accused of, the Constitution of the United States offers protection against inhumane treatment and ensures certain human rights. The procedures by which a suspect is investigated, arrested, interrogated and tried is controlled by the Bill of Rights. Almost all important criminal procedure rights have been expanded beyond the federal government to law enforcement at the state and local level.
The Criminal Process Notification to Police -- the police find out about a suspect, sometimes by an informant. Warrant -- if a search is needed, police take an affidavit (sworn written statement from an informant) to a judge, who issues a warrant, giving permission to search a particular place, looking for particular evidence. Probable Cause -- based on the information given, it is likely that the specified evidence will be found. Search and Seizure -- police may search and seize only what is specified by the warrant.
The Criminal Process (cont’d) Arrest Warrant -- based on information found in the search, the judge may issue an arrest warrant. Arrest -- when a suspect is arrested, he is informed of his rights and booked (name, photograph and fingerprints are recorded, along with the charges). Bail Hearing -- a judge must promptly decide what the bail (if any) will be. This is the amount that must be paid for the suspect to be set free pending trial.
The Criminal Process (cont’d) Indictment -- if a grand jury (ordinary citizens) determines that there is probable cause to proceed to trial, the suspect is indicted (charged with the crime). Arraignment -- the indictment is read to the suspect, who then pleads guilty or not guilty to the charges. Discovery -- both sides gather as much evidence as possible. The prosecution must hand over to the defense any evidence favorable to the defense.
The Criminal Process (cont’d) Motion to Suppress -- if the defense thinks the prosecution got evidence illegally, it will ask the judge to exclude that evidence. Plea Bargaining -- in many cases, the prosecution will offer to end the case with reduced charges if the defendant will plead guilty. Trial and Appeal -- if no plea bargain is reached, the case goes to trial. The prosecution must convince the jury beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict. Convicted defendants may appeal.
Fourth Amendment Prohibits illegal searches and seizures. There are six situations in which police may search without a warrant. Plain view -- the evidence is not concealed. Stop and Frisk -- may search a suspect if there is good reason to believe he may be armed. Emergencies -- such as in a chase; suspect may be searched. Automobiles -- if lawfully stopped for other reasons, and evidence is visible, police may search entire car. Lawful arrest -- anyone arrested may be searched. Consent -- if consent is given by the lawful occupant of the home, police may search it.
Fourth Amendment A search WITH a warrant is unlawful, if: There was no probable cause. The warrant did not specify place or items. The search extended beyond the scope of the warrant. Exclusionary Rule Evidence obtained illegally (either without a warrant or improperly obtained with a warrant) may not be used at trial against the victim of the search. The purpose of the exclusionary rule is to make sure that the police follow proper procedures when conducting a search.
Fifth Amendment Due Process -- procedures to ensure fairness must be followed. Double Jeopardy -- a defendant may only be tried once for a particular offense, no matter what is found later. Self-incrimination -- the prosecution may not use coercion to force a confession from a suspect. The suspect may refuse to answer any questions that could be used to convict him. Miranda rights -- when arresting a suspect, the police must inform her that she has the right to remain silent, that anything she says can be used against her and that she has a right to a lawyer (for free if needed).
Other Amendments Guarantees the right to a lawyer, and to have him present for all stages of the process. Government must provide lawyer, at no charge, for those who cannot afford one. The Sixth Amendment Prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. Capital punishment (death penalty) has been controversial under this amendment. Forfeiture (forced loss of property) has been allowed under this amendment, but the allowable amount has not been set. The Eighth Amendment
“Crime comes in many forms and the culprits can surprise us.” “Crime comes in many forms and the culprits can surprise us.”
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