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Criminal Law Outline

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This is an extract of our Criminal Law document, which we sell as part of our Criminal Law Outlines collection written by the top tier of UC Berkeley School Of Law students.

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Theories of Punishment

1. Retributive a. Morality b. Goal to achieve moral equilibrium c. Backwards thinking d. Individual deterrence

2. Utilitarian a. Public safety b. Greater good c. Maximizing utility d. Limit punishment i. Costs of enforcement e. Forward thinking, benefits that will come in the future f. General Deterrence g. Proponents of repeat offender statutes

3. Queen v Dudley a. Cannibalism life boat, punished for killing of another---
retributive view b. If you had looked from utilitarian standpoint---one life for the life of three, greater good Principle of Legality

1. Requirement of previously defined conduct a. No crime without law, no punishment without law i. Keeler-fetus kicker since fetus was not defined as human being under statute, no murder b. If common-law was previously established, adopt the terms of common law i. Commonwealth v Mochan, no phones at common law

2. Statutory Clarity a. City of Chicago v Morales loitering gangsters, unclear what conduct was prohibited, too much discretion to police officers b. Vagueness may invalidate a law for two reasons i. Fails to provide notice of what conduct is prohibited ii. Authorize and encourage discriminatory enforcement

3. Statutory Interpretation a. Muscarello v United States carries was a term of art, not the common meaning of the word b. Legislative intent i. What crime was the statute meant to prevent c. Rule of lenity i. When there is ambiguity in a criminal statute, doubts are resolved in favor of defendant

Actus Reus---deed of the crime, physical or external part of the crime

1. Voluntary act a. Martin v State---drunk and dragged, did not appear voluntarily and therefore not guilty of the crime b. A person is not guilty of an offense unless his conduct includes a voluntary act or the omission to perform an act of which he is physically capable of c. Automatism i. State v Utter---drunk and discharged dad ii. Can be a defense to a crime, must be able to prove iii. Existence in any person a behavior of which he is unaware or has no conscious control iv. State of unconsciousness voluntarily induced through alcohol or drugs, no longer a complete defense v. Decina---epileptic operating a car, aware of a condition that causes you to automatize, responsible for the consequences, not a valid defense vi. Sleepwalking and sexominiac d. Even when an offense does not contain a mens rea component, a voluntary act may still be required for conviction

2. Omissions (Negative Acts) a. If the person who sustains to another a legal relation (husband to wife, parent to child, master to seamen) there is a legal duty to act as long as it does not jeopardizing his or her life i. If there is a domestic relationship, public duty, voluntary choice then you have to execute proper diligence b. When failure to act may constitute a breach of legal duty i. A statute imposes a duty ii. One stands in a certain status relationship to another iii. One has assumed a contractual duty to care for another iv. Where one has voluntarily assumed the care of another and secluded the helpless person to prevent others from coming to his aid v. When a person creates a risk of harm to another c. No duty i. Beardsley-morphine mistress, no duty to act because no spousal relationship, moral duty does not equal legal duty ii. Bystanders

1. Bystanders no duty

a. Kitty Genovese, 38 neighbors hear and nobody comes to her rescue, bystander defect, diffusion of responsibility b. David Cash, friend of Las Vegas child rapist, no duty to act c. No punishment because i. Harder to determine motives and culpability ii. Difficult line drawing problems arise iii. Make worse by intervening iii. Except under special circumstances, no legal duty to inform police of another person's plans to commit a crime

1. But cannot actively conceal plans to a crime

3. Social Harm a. Conduct crime i. Endangerment to socially valuable interest ii. Not punishing the harm, but punishing because of the potential harm to society Mens Rea---guilty mind, a guilty or wrongful purpose, a criminal intent

1. General Issues in Proving Culpability a. Intent i. Results that are the conscious object of the actor ii. Purposefully

1. What he wants to occur iii. Knowingly

1. Those that are virtually certain to occur from his conduct iv. Proving Intent

1. Intent can be inferred from the surrounding circumstances a. People v Conley-wine bottle beat up, use of the bottle, force of the blow, intent to cause permanent disability

2. A person intends the natural and probable consequences of his actions a. People v Conley

3. Transferred Intent a. Harm is done to unintended bystander instead of intended victim b. People v Conley---meant to hurt Marty, actually hurt Sean, defendant guilty of same crime

v. General Intent

1. No specific mental state stated in the statute

2. Battery and rape statues without a specific mens rea vi. Specific Intent

1. A crime in which the intent is stated in the statute

2. Possession of marijuana with the intent to sell

3. Mens rea separate from the actus reus

4. Proof of special motive

5. Proof of attendant circumstances vii. Model Penal Code, kinds of culpability

1. Purposely a. Engage in an act to cause a specific result b. Want to occur, believes or hopes they exist

2. Knowingly a. Actor is aware that the result is virtually certain to occur

3. Recklessly a. Consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the material element exists or will result from his conduct b. Gross deviation from the reasonable person

4. Negligently a. Should be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the material element exists or will result from his conduct viii. Willful Blindness

1. Deliberate effort to avoid unpleasant knowledge

2. Conscious disregard for available information

3. Two ways to decide if there was knowledge a. Missouri Criminal Code, State v Nations slutty 17 year old, not guilty did not have actual knowledge b. Model Penal Code-aware of a high probability of a material element's existence i. United States v Jewell, marijuana mom, permitted willful blindness to constitute knowledge

ix. Problems in Statutory Interpretation

1. Flores---Figueroa, fake social security guy a. What does "knowingly" mean, what does it modify?
b. Knowingly transfers, posses, or uses without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person---does knowingly modify of another person?
x. Strict Liability---do not express mens rea, only need actus reus

1. No mistake of fact defense allowed

2. Statutory rape

3. Pharmaceutical industry---highly regulated industry

4. A statute with no mens rea is not necessarily strict liability, apply common law intent if possible xi. Mistake and Mens Rea

1. Mistake of Fact a. General intent i. Mistake must be reasonable and objective ii. Moral Wrong Doctrine

1. Can permit a conviction of a reasonable mistake if it was morally wrong

2. Regina v Prince---stealing Gina, reasonable to think over 18, morally wrong to steal a girl iii. Legal Wrong Doctrine

1. If defendant has committed a crime, can convict of a more serious offense even if mistake of fact existed

2. Selling child porn to someone believed to be over 18, can convict of felony of selling to someone under 18 b. Specific Intent (what was the specific intent of the person) i. Mistake must be in good faith and subjective ii. People v Navarro---Robin Wood, specific intent was required and not established, could not convict

iii. Good faith can be unreasonable and still be upheld

1. Blurton---wally world robber, thought he was CIA, entitled to mistake of fact, believed in good faith

2. Mistake (or ignorance) of Law a. Reasonably misinterpreting the law by the defendant is not a defense i. People v Marrero-prison guard riding dirty, reasonably thought he was a peace officer, did not rely on an official statement b. Defendant must reasonably rely on an official statement of the law in order for it to be a defense---entrapment by estoppel c. A defendant must show that the statute permitted his conduct, not merely that he believed it did d. Counter Defense i. Omission ii. Ignorance in omitting an act permits a defense iii. Lambert not convicted for omitting to register as a felon

1. Whitney did sing the anthemguilty, did not omit

2. Pharmacist-should keep up with regulations, guilty Causation

1. Actual Case (cause in fact) a. But for test--Prohibited conduct wouldn't have occurred but for the defendant's actions i. Substantial factor test

1. Independently and concurrently

2. 2 ?s acting independently could've cause same prohibited result

3. 1 shoot 1 stab = both guilty even though either could've been enough

4. Can I blame someone else for what happened?
ii. Acceleration

1. Oxedine v State---bathtub beating not a substantial factor, Oxedine can blame GF

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