Presentation on theme: "Chapter 4 Justification and Excuse. Criminal Law Violation of social norms that subjects the offender to punishment."— Presentation transcript:
Chapter 4 Justification and Excuse
Criminal Law Violation of social norms that subjects the offender to punishment
Requirements for a Crime Mens Rea-guilty mind-the criminal knows or should have known certain things are criminal and the criminal chose or failed to chose certain things. Actus Reus-guilty act
Legal punishment is an exercise of legal authority: it occurs when one who is authorized to do so imposes hard treatment that condemns the criminal from violating an authoritative legal standard. Punishment
Justification and Excuse No actus reus-No voluntary act No mens rea-Mistake of fact Affirmative Defenses Justification and Excuse
Justification and Excuse There are cases where, on its face, the conditions sufficient to establish one’s deed as criminal (the required mens rea and actus reus) exist but one would be unworthy of, not deserving, legal punishment due to affirmative defenses. Affirmative defense are of two kinds – justification and excuse.
Justification-what was done was the right act or at least not a wrong act Excuse-Even if it was a wrong act, the perpetrator is not to blame for performing it Justification and Excuse
Punishment condemns the agent as performer of a wrongful act. Justification means the act is not worthy of condemnation. Excuse means the agent does not deserve condemnation.
Justification The general structure of all justification defenses is based upon necessity or lesser evil. The idea is that though one violated the letter of the law, one was right to do so in a particular case because breaking the law would be lesser evil than adhering to it.
Necessity Necessity Typical qualifications on the necessity defense (1) the lack of availability to other recourse within the law (i.e., the harm is imminent); (2) that the legislative branch has not disallowed the defense.
Self defense (can only use like force) The most common justification defense is self-defense. Special issues that arise with self-defense include whether there is a duty to retreat and the amount of force one can use in self defense. Self Defense
Insanity What is an insanity defense? It typically refers to a plea that defendants are not guilty because they lacked the mental capacity to realize that they committed a wrong or appreciate why it was wrong. Some states also allow defendants to argue that that they understood their behavior was criminal but were unable to control it. This is sometimes called the "irresistible impulse" defense. Taken From The Insanity Defense By John P. Martin Washingtonpost.com Friday, February 27, 1998
M’Naghten Rule Daniel M'Naghten was a woodworker who believed he was the target of a conspiracy involving the pope and British Prime Minister Robert Peel. In 1843, M'Naghten traveled to 10 Downing Street to ambush Peel, but mistakenly shot and killed Peel's secretary. During the ensuing trial, several psychiatrists testified M'Naghten was delusional. A jury agreed, declaring him not guilty by reason of insanity. Taken From The Insanity Defense By John P. Martin Washingtonpost.com Friday, February 27, 1998
M’Naghten Rule The M'Naghten rule says defendants may be acquitted only if they labored "under such defect of reason from disease of the mind" as to not realize what they were doing or why it was a crime. Some call it the "right-wrong" test. Taken From The Insanity Defense By John P. Martin Washingtonpost.com Friday, February 27, 1998
ALI Model Penal Code The American Law Institute (ALI) designed a new test for its Model Penal Code in Under this test, "a person is not responsible for criminal conduct if at the time of such conduct as a result of mental disease or defect he lacks substantial capacity either to appreciate the criminality of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law."
The Model Penal Code test is much broader than the M'Naghten Rule and the Irresistible Impulse Test. It asks whether defendants have a substantial incapacity to appreciate the criminality of their conduct or to conform their conduct to the law rather than the absolute knowledge required by M'Naghten and the absolute inability to control conduct required by the Irresistible Impulse Test. ALI Model Penal Code
The ALI test also requires that the mental disease or defect be a mental diagnosis. In this way, it manages to incorporate elements of all three of its predecessors: the knowledge of right and wrong required by M'Naghten, the prerequisite of lack of control in the Irresistible Impulse Test ALI Model Penal Code
Insanity M’Naghten rule-”defect of reason” or “disease of the mind” American Law Institute-Not responsible if “at the time of such conduct as a result of mental disease or defect he lacks substantial capacity to appreciate the wrongdoing of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law.” Insanity
Immaturity-four year olds cannot be expected to control their conduct to fit the demands of the law Duress-one has reasons to violate the law that, though not justifying the action, ordinary folks would not be able to resist Justification and Excuse
Unit 7 Writing Assignment Chapter 4 of your text discusses the retributivist and utilitarian theories for justification of criminal punishment. Many scholars, politicians, and everyday people have disputed the value of criminal laws, sentencing laws, and corrections policies that are supported by these theories. Identify five or more ideas used in utilitarian or retributivist theories and in a paper, explain how these ideas justify punishment. Evaluate the merits of each approach, giving at least five arguments why one is superior to the other. Illustrate some of your points with examples of laws or policies or studies that reflect a utilitarian or retributivist approach. Supplement your discussion with material from at least two sources other than the textbook concerning research on the effectiveness of either approach.
In addition to fulfilling the specifics of the assignment, a successful paper must also meet the following criteria: Length of each summary should be at least 1500 words excluding cover page and references. Viewpoint and purpose should be clearly established and sustained. Assignment should follow the conventions of Standard American English (correct grammar, punctuation, etc.). Writing should be well ordered, logical and unified, as well as original and insightful. Your work should display superior content, organization, style, and mechanics. Appropriate citation style should be followed Unit 7 Writing Assignment
Content Did you identify five or more ideas used in utilitarian or retributivist theories? Did you explain how these ideas justify punishment? Did you assess the merits of each approach? Did you analyze five premises or principles related to utilitarianism and retributivist theories, to understand the merits of each theory? Did you provide at least five arguments why one approach is superior to the other? Did you illustrate your points with examples of laws or policies or studies that reflect a utilitarian or retributivist approach? Unit 7 Writing Assignment
Research Did you use at least two credible sources beyond the text material and validate those resources credibility? Is your research current? Did you use appropriate reference material to support major statements? Did you discuss how you evaluated the credibility of the resources used? Did you provide examples to support your arguments? Unit 7 Writing Assignment
Quality Is your content complete enough to explain your statements? Is there a logical flow to your ideas? Did you present the material in a clear and concise manner to provide easy readability? Unit 7 Writing Assignment
Format Did you prepare your summary in Word? Did you label your file correctly? Did you use APA format to cite your sources? Did you check your document for grammar and spelling? Did your presentation meet the 1500 word minimum length requirement? Unit 7 Writing Assignment