2 Written Sources of American Criminal Law American criminal law is codified, or written down and accessible to all.This allows citizens to know which acts are illegal, and to understand the procedures used to determine an individual’s innocence or guilt.Written sources of law are known as substantive law.
3 Written Sources of American Criminal Law The U.S. Constitution and the various state constitutionsStatutes (or laws) and ordinances passed by Congress and state legislaturesRegulations, created by agencies such as the federal Food and Drug AdministrationCase law (court decisions)
5 The Purposes of Criminal Law Protect and Punish: the legal function of the lawMaintain social order by protecting citizens from criminal harmIncludes harms to both individuals and society in generalMaintain and Teach: the social function of the lawExpressing public moralityTeaching social boundaries
6 The Elements of a CrimeCriminal law normally requires that the corpus delicti (the body of the crime) be proved before a person can be convicted of wrongdoing
7 The Elements of a Crime Corpus delicti consists of: Criminal Act - Actus reusCrimes may be acts of commission, or acts of omission, or even attempted acts.Mental State - Mens reaIntent is required to establish guilt of a crime. Intent includes elements of purpose, knowledge, negligence, and recklessness.Concurrance - The guilty act and the guilty intent must occur together.
8 The Elements of a CrimeMens Rea plays a crucial role in differentiatingbetween varying degrees of criminalresponsibility or criminal liability.Strict Liability – offenses hold the defendant guilty even if intent to commit the offense is lackingAccomplice Liability – Suspects can be charged for crimes they did not actually commit if it can be proven they acted as an accomplice
9 The Elements of a Crime 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.
10 Defenses Under Criminal Law Excuse Defenses:These defenses applyWhen the actor lacksthe requisite mentalcondition to form intent.There are four excusedefenses.Justification Defenses:These defenses applywhen the defendantadmits to the criminalact, but argues that theact was justified.There are fourjustification defenses.
11 Defenses Under Criminal Law Excuse Defenses:Infancy - Youthful offenders cannot understand the consequences of their actions.Insanity- A person cannot have the state of mind (intent) to commit the crime if s/he didn’t know the act was wrong, or didn’t understand the quality of the act.
12 Defenses Under Criminal Law Insanity is determined by:M’Naughten RuleA person is insane if they can’t distinguish right from wrongALI/MPC TestAlso known as the substantial capacity test, the defendant must lack the capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of his/her conduct.Irresistible Impulse TestA person is insane if some “irresistible impulse” resulting from a mental deficiency drove him or her to commit the crime
14 Defenses Under Criminal Law Excuse Defenses:IntoxicationVoluntary and InvoluntaryMistakeMistake of FactMistake of Law
15 Defenses Under Criminal Law Justification Defenses:DuressThe defendant is threatened with seriously bodily harm, which induces him/her to commit the crime.Self-DefenseThe defendant must protect him/herself from injury by another.Duty to retreat? “Castle Doctrine” no duty to retreat if in your home.
16 Defenses Under Criminal Law Justification Defenses:NecessityCircumstances required the defendant to commit the act.EntrapmentThe defendant claims s/he was induced by police to commit the act. (Predisposed to commit the crime?)
17 Procedural Safeguards Substantive Criminal Law:Law that defines the actsthat the government willpunish.Procedural CriminalLaw:Procedures, drawnfrom the Bill ofRights, that aredesigned to protectthe constitutionalrights of individuals.
18 Procedural Safeguards The Bill of Rights:The first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution are known as the Bill of Rights.The Bill of Rights was adopted by the states in Since then, seventeen more amendments have been addedThe Bill of Rights has served as the basis for procedural safeguards of the accused in the U.S.
19 Procedural Safeguards Procedural safeguards in the U.S. Constitution include:Fourth Amendmentprovides protection from unreasonable searches and seizuresFifth Amendmentrequires that no one can be deprived of life, liberty, or property without “due process of the law,” including protections against double jeopardy and individuals being required to be a witness against himself or herself
20 Procedural Safeguards Sixth Amendmentguarantees a speedy trial, a trial by jury, a public trial, the right to confront witnesses, and the right to a lawyer at various stages of criminal proceedingsEighth Amendmentprohibits excessive bails, fines, and cruel and unusual punishmentsFourteenth Amendmentprovides due process and equal protection of the laws
21 Procedural Safeguards Procedural due process is a provision in the Constitution that states that the law must be carried out in a fair and orderly mannerSubstantive due process is a Constitutional requirement that laws used in accusing and convicting persons of crimes must be fair.