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Criminal Definitions


What is the focus of criminal law? Focuses on situations in which our society condemns behavior as criminal and what we do with people who engage in that behavior.
What is the purpose of the 14th Amendment primarily about? The state cannot deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law.
List the sources of criminal law. Common law, legislative crimes (statutory) and the Model Penal Code (M.P.C.)
What is COMMON LAW? A law of crimes that developed decisions that came before the courts. Law made by the courts.
What are Legislative Crimes? Statutes that define and establish: A) Crimes' definitions B) Defenses to a crime and C) Potential punishments for the specific crime.
Discuss the Model Penal Code. Per Guzman-"The most imprtant document in criminal law." Established by the American Law Institute. A model set of criminal law that represent current conditions. NOT A LAW-just a MODEL.
Define Jury Nullification. The juryignores the law and evidence and renders a "not guilty" verdict. Usually this is done when the jury wnats to send a social message that is larger than the case. Jury is focused on justice, morality and fairness.
What is substantive criminal law. Consists of that body of law which declares what conduct is criminal and prescribes the punishment for such conduct. A) Definition of specific defenses B) General principles of liability.
Decision to charge a defendant is based on what? A) THe strenght of the the DAs evidence B) Availability of alternatives (diversion/revocation) C) Is the charge at the correct level D) Single or multiple prosecution choice.
What is the role of the GRAND JURY? They are 12 private citizens who are selcted to review a case. They meet in a closed session and listen to ONLY the prosecutor and decide if an INDICTMENT is or is not issued charging the defendant.
What are PRETRIAL MOTIONS. They are a briad range of objections or requests made before trial commences. These can be claims against the grand jury indictments, attacks on the charhing instrument, requests for disclosure of the DAs evidence and requests to suppress evidence.
What is a HABEUS CORPUS? A writ to bring a person before the court. Usually the make sure the defendnat's imprisonment or detention is not legal. Obtain review of "right to or amt. of bail," regularity of the extradition process and the jurisdiction of a ct. that imposed senten
What is WILLFUL BLINDNESS? When a person has his suspicion aroused but deliberately omits to make further inquiries because he wishes to remain in ignorance (NOTE: Deliberate ignorance abd positive knowledge are equally culpable).
What does it mean to PROVE? To prove with admissible evidence.
What is STRICT LIABILITY? The imposition of criminal liability without fault. Generally imposed on each element of the specified crime.
Per the Model Penal Code-what is PKRN? Purposely, Knowingly, Recklessly and Negligently.
What are OMMISSION CASES? Cases where a person is convicted of a crime for their failure to act. Punished for doing nothing.
Who has the burden of proof regarding defenses? Defendant by raising a resabnable doubt to a specific issue or by a preponderance of evidence.
When does the law impose a legal duty to act? when there is a close personal relationship betwen parties; there is a contract that req. asistance; a non-criminal code req. the person to take action; and, if they start to give aid the must reasonably complete the task.
What is independent circulation? Having established with evidence that a fetus has breathed.
Define BRAIN DEATH. The permanent cessation of all brain function that, absent mechanical support would result in the cessation of other bodily functions.
What is a deadly weapon? One which, from the manner used, is calculated or likely to produce death or serious bodily inury.
Give a few examples of deadly weapons that are intrisically deadly. Loaded gu, knife, axes, swords, ice picks and daggers.
What are the four general types of cases involving the disparity between INTENDED and ACTUAL results? Unintended victim, Unintended Manner, Unintended type of harm and Unintended degree of harm.
Discuss UNINTENDED VICTIM. Where the result intended is exactly as intended BUT instead it happens to someone other than the intended victim.
Discuss UNINTENDED MANNER. Where the end result that the defendant wnated to produce was successful BUT it was achieved in a different way (i.e. Unintended manner).
Discuss UNINTENDED TYPE OF HARM. Where the result achieved is different than the result initially desired.
Discuss UNINTENDED DEGREE OF HARM. Where the result intended is the result achieved but to a different degree of harm.
What does GENERAL INTENT mean? Sometimes general intent is usd in the same manner as criminal intent to mean "the general notion of mens rea" OR it may mean to encompass all forms of the mental state requirement.
What does SPECIFIC INTENT mean? It means the mental state required for a particular crime.
What does criminal law say about PRESUMED INTENT. That a person is "presumed to intend the natural and probable consequences of his acts."
Discuss MOTIVE. Noteably not relevant regarding substantive law. IS recognized in the procedural aspect of criminal law. A motive for committing a crime is relevant for proving guilt when the evidence is circumstantial.
What is meant by deliberation? Requires a cool mind that is capable of reflection.
What is meant by premeditation? Requires that the person with the cool mind did reflect - at least briefly before his act of killing.
Explain voluntary manslaughter. An intentional homicide committed under certain extenuating circumstances such as heat of passion.
Explain heat of passion. Circumstances must be such that a reasonable person would have been provoked and not have cooled off under same or set of circumstances.
Explain criminal negligence. Conduct, measured by an objective standard, which creates a high degree of risk. (and from recklessness: also requires a subjective awareness of the risk).
Created by: Rochelle28nm


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