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Chapter 4 Inside Criminal Law. Learning Objective 1 Explain precedent and the importance of the doctrine of stare decisis.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 4 Inside Criminal Law. Learning Objective 1 Explain precedent and the importance of the doctrine of stare decisis."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 4 Inside Criminal Law

2 Learning Objective 1 Explain precedent and the importance of the doctrine of stare decisis

3 Learning Objective 1 Law consists of enforceable rules governing relationships among individuals and their society An early example of law was Hammurabi’s Code, which was based on the principle of lex Talionis English common law Stare Decisis

4 Learning Objective 2 List the four written sources of American criminal law

5 Learning Objective 2 1. Constitutional Law The U.S. Constitution and the various state constitutions 2. Statutory Law Laws and ordinances passed by Congress and state legislatures 3. Administrative Law Regulations, created by agencies such as the federal Food and Drug Administration 4. Case Law Court decisions

6 Learning Objective 3 Explain the two basic functions of criminal law

7 Learning Objective 3 Protect and Punish: The legal function of the law Maintain social order by protecting citizens from criminal harm Includes harms to both individuals and society in general Maintain and Teach: The social function of the law Expressing public morality Teaching societal boundaries

8 Learning Objective 4 Delineate the elements required to establish mens rea (a guilty mental state)

9 Learning Objective 4 Corpus delicti consists of: Criminal Act Actus reus Crimes may be acts of commission, or acts of omission, or even attempted acts Mental State Mens rea Intent is required to establish guilt of a crime. Intent includes elements of purpose, knowledge, negligence, and recklessness Concurrence The guilty act and the guilty intent must occur together

10 Learning Objective 5 Explain how the doctrine of strict liability applies to criminal law

11 Learning Objective 5 Mens Rea plays a crucial role in differentiating between varying degrees of criminal responsibility or criminal liability Strict Liability Offenses hold the defendant guilty even if intent to commit the offense is lacking Accomplice Liability Suspects can be charged for crimes they did not actually commit if it can be proven they acted as an accomplice

12 Learning Objective 5 Corpus delicti also consists of: Causation The criminal act caused the harm suffered Attendant Circumstances In certain crimes, accompanying circumstances are relevant to corpus delicti Harm Damages resultant from the criminal act Inchoate offenses are conduct deemed criminal without actual harm being done

13 Learning Objective 6 List and briefly define the most important excuse defenses for crimes

14 Learning Objective 6 Excuse Defenses: Infancy Youthful offenders cannot understand the consequences of their actions. Insanity A person cannot have the state of mind to commit the crime if s/he didn’t know the act was wrong, or didn’t understand the quality of the act. Intoxication Mistake

15 Discussion Questions What category does the term insanity come from? What are some of the standards that are considered in the various states?

16 Video: Klan member verdict

17 Learning Objective 7 Describe the four most important justification defenses

18 Learning Objective 7 Justification Defenses: Duress The defendant is threatened with seriously bodily harm, which induces him/her to commit the crime Self-Defense The defendant must protect him/herself from injury by another Duty to retreat Necessity Circumstances required the defendant to commit the act Entrapment The defendant claims to have been induced by police to commit the act

19 Learning Objective 8 Distinguish between substantive and procedural criminal law

20 Learning Objective 8 Substantive Criminal Law: Law that defines the acts that the government will punish Procedural Criminal Law: Procedures, drawn from the Bill of Rights, that are designed to protect the constitutional rights of individuals

21 Learning Objective 9 Explain the importance of the due process clause in the criminal justice system

22 Learning Objective 9 Procedural due process is a provision in the Constitution that states that the law must be carried out in a fair and orderly manner Substantive due process is a Constitutional requirement that laws used in accusing and convicting persons of crimes must be fair


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