54 terms

Criminal Law Exam 1

5 components of common law murder:
1) unlawful
2) killing
3) of a human being
4) by a human being
5) with malice aforethought
common law version of 1st degree murder
1) unlawful
2) killing
3) of a human being
4) by a human being
5) with malice aforethought
a) premeditation and/or deliberation
b) the deceased is a member of a special class (police officer, child, etc)
common law voluntary manslaughter
1) Unlawful
2) killing
3) of a human
4) by another human
5) with malice aforethought
a) mitigating factor(s)
i) Provocation
ii) Imperfect Self-Defense
iii) Diminished Capacity
b) Intent to cause serious bodily harm but not death
common law involuntary manslaughter
1) Unlawful
2) killing
3) of a human
4) by another human
a) recklessness
b) negligence
c) while committing an illegal act not classified as a felony
common law battery
1) Unlawful application of force
2) to the person of another
3) resulting in either bodily injury or offensive touching
statutory aggravated battery
1) Unlawful application of force
2) to the person of another
3) resulting in serious bodily injury
common law assault
1) The apparent, present ability to carry out;
2) an unlawful attempt;
3) to commit a violent injury;
4) upon another
a) without mitigating circumstances
i) e.g. self defense, consent, prevention of a crime, defense of property
model penal code rape 213.1(1)
A male is guilty of rape if, acting purposefully, knowingly, or recklessly regarding each of the material elements of the offense, he has sexual intercourse with a female under any of the following circumstances:

1) the female is less than 10 years of age;
2) the female is unconscious;
3) he compels the female to submit by force or by threatening her or another person with imminent death, grievous bodily harm, extreme pain, or kid napping;
4) he administers or employs drugs or intoxicants in a manner that substantially impairs the females ability to appraise or control her conduct.
burglary common law (English version)
1) Breaking;
2) and entering;
3) of a dwelling house;
4) at night time;
5) with the intent to commit a felony therein.
burglary common law (American version)
Burglary Common Law (American Version)
1) Entering;
2) a building, automobile, or boat;
3) unlawfully;
4) with the intent to commit theft or any related crime.
[Note] in some states the "night time" part of burglary is still require
what is crime?
any social harm defined and made punishable by law. conduct which will incur a formal and solemn pronouncement of the moral condemnation of the community
what are the different types of crime?
1) crimes against the state
2) crimes against property
3) statutory
4) crimes against the person
5) crimes against justice
what is "beyond a reasonable doubt?"
to constitute beyond a reasonable doubt, the SC has said that a juror's mind must be in a "subjective state of near certitude"
-moral certainty, firmly convinced, no waiver or vacillation, no real doubt
what is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?
misdemeanor: Offense lower than felonies that are punishable by fines or not more than a year in county jail.

felony:A serious crime characterized under federal law and many state statues as any offence punishable by death (capital offence) or jail in excess of one year.
what are the four criteria of the Furman test? (making it a violation of the 8th Amendment
1) a punishment that by its severity is degrading to human dignity
2) a severe punishment that is obviously inflicted in a wholly arbitrary fashion
3) a severe punishment that is clearly rejected throughout society
4) a severe punishment that is patently unnecessary
What happened in Coker v Georgia? What are its applications for punishment theory?
Defendent Coker was serving time for kidnapping, murder, rape, etc. when he escaped. He entered a home and took the woman hostage and tied up the husband. Raped the woman. And then kidnapped her. Coker was sentenced to death, but the decision was reversed because the punishment of execution was too severe for the rape of an adult woman.
What is the purpose of 3 strikes laws? (Ewing v CA)
3 strikes laws are designed to ensure longer prison sentences for those who commit a felony and who have previously been convicted of a felony. (Ewing's third felony was stealing 3 golf clubs, so he was sentenced to 25-life but he argued that was grossly disproportionate to the crime at hand. Court affirmed conviction - justified in the State's public interest of incapacitating and deterring criminals.
what is the utilitarian theory?
maximizing good of society
1) general deterrence
2) individual deterrence
3) incapacitation
4) reform
what is retribution theory?
an eye for an eye
-when you break the law, you should be punished. not for the sake of rehab, but because you broke the law.
-balancing act
what is the legality principle?
condemns judicial crime creation
what is the void for vagueness principle?
forbids the delegation of lawmaking authority to the courts
what is the strict construction principle?
that the law favor the accused
what is actus reus?
the physical or external part of the crime
what is omission?
the failure to act when individuals are supposed to respond in a certain way
1) family
2) children
3) strangers (under certain circumstances)
Martin v State
Martin was convicted of being drunk on a public highway because he was arrested in his home and the officers took him to the highway. Reversed and remanded.
State v Utter
Defendant Utter was drinking (immense amounts) and when his son came home from school, he reverted to military combat training and stabbed his son, killing him. Defendant argues he was not responisble for the crime due to his mental state. Decision is upheld. Absence of consciousness "excludes the possibility of a voluntary act without which there can be no criminal liability"
People v Beardsley
Defendant was shacking with his frequent prostitute while his wife was away. She took several morphine pills which he tried to stop her from doing. Sent her to basement when wife came home. She died during this time. Court rules that Beardsley was not responsible for this woman, because she was not his wife or relative. The fact that she was his house guest does not morally obligate him.
what is mens rea?
the mental component of any crime
People v Conley
Boys leave party. Conley approaches one and swings a wine bottle at his face, and misses his intended target but hits another boy in the face, causing permanent disability. Conley argues that the court failed to prove BARD that the injuries are permanently disabling and that he intended to cause permanent disability. Defense has burden of proving intent. Taking in consideration the weapon used, the force of the blow, surrounding circumstances, and lack of warning are enough to support intent.
State v Nations
Nations owns a strip club where a girl who was underage (16) was illegally dancing on stage. Girl told Nations she was of age but had no license to prove it ("was going to get it later"). Nations was arrested for child endangerment. State said Nations had "knowledge" that girl was under age, but truly she just refused to learn it, which is a case for "reckless" behavior at best. Judgment reversed.
5 types of mens rea
1) purposefully -consciously intends for action to product result
2) knowingly - practical certainty that action will lead to result
3) recklessly - engaging in high risk activity that a rational person wouldn't engage in
4) negligently - unaware of consequences where a rational person would be aware
5) strict liability - doesn't matter what individual is thinking
________ and _______ are NOT defenses
ignorance; motive
what is strict liability?
crimes where the mens rea component is irrelevant.
cons of strict liability?
1) no definite deterrence factor
2) unjust to punish a defendant who doesn't possess a guilty mind
pros of strict liability?
1) someone still committed a crime, so they still need to be punished - retributionist standpoint
what's the argument against "ignorance as a defense"?
1) no one would ever be punished for anything
2) it would encourage ignorance of the law
when can ignorance potentially matter?
1) when the law is so new that it's unpublished
2) existing conflict between laws (i.e. state v federal)
3) crimes that require specific levels of knowledge (i.e. insider trading - you would have to know the information is illegal)
4) permission to be in violation of the law
what is perkin's rule?
basic form - ignorance is not a defense, however there is wiggle room
what is the honest mistake defense?
ignorance can matter when the ignorance negates the required mental state of the crime. for example, People v Navarro - man stole wood he believed to be abandoned, was this a reasonable/honest mistake? yes.
What is the but-for test?
The defendant's actions are the cause-in-fact of the consequence. Result would not have happened without action of defendant.
What is a substantial factor?
The defendant's action is sufficient to bring about the result (rarely used)
What happened in Oxendine v State?
Oxendine and his GF beat his son on two separate occasions. GF's assault caused tears in the child's abdomen. Second assualt caused more trauma. Child died shortly after arriving at the hospital. The doctors couldn't determine which action was the true cause of the child's death, or even if the 2nd beating accelerated the death. Judgment reversed
What is proximate cause?
indirect cause - A caused B and B leads to death. like the substantial factor
What happened in Kibbe v Henderson?
Kibbe and Krall meet Stafford at bar, offer to drive him with intent to rob him. Do so, then abandon him on the side of the highway. College kid accidentally hits Stafford and kills him. Kibbe contends that he did not directly cause Stafford's death. Case is remanded
Why is this not a felony murder case?
Velazquez v State
Agree to have a drag race, at the end, the deceased turns around and drives over a canal, crashes and dies. Velazquez does the same but survives. Overturned conviction.
When does "death" occur?
Normally when the heart and lungs stop functioning (life literally ends) - CL - but can sometimes be when a person is brain dead.
When does life occur?
1) CL - live birth
2) fetus is viable outside the womb
What separates 1st degree from 2nd degree murder?
1st degree murder has premeditation component (or victim is member of special class). 2nd degree is everything else that also isn't manslaughter.
What separates murder from manslaughter?
mitigating circumstances like - imperfect self defense, provocation, and diminished capacity
What is felony murder?
killing that occurs during the commission of an inherently dangerous felony
What are limitations of felony murder?
1) Merger rule
2) technically you're still committing the felony (fleeing) if you're never arrested
3) sometimes non-felons commit the killing and in that case the remaining felons may or may not be held responsible
what is preponderance of evidence
alternative to BARD, lower standard
be careful with felony murder: act involved MUST satisfy the statutory criteria. Example: Certain felonies fall under 1st degree (rape, burglary, etc), but everything else falls under 2nd degree murder
reasonable man
how a reasonable person would interpret/react to an event.