Chapter 3: Criminal Justice and the Rule of Law Chapter 3 Learning Objectives How does substantive criminal law define a crime and the legal responsibility of the accused? How does procedural criminal law define the rights of the accused and the processes for dealing with the case How has the U.S. Supreme Court interpreted the criminal justice amendments to the Constitution? Foundations of Criminal Law Substantive criminal law Procedural criminal law Civil law Substantive Criminal Law Defines actions that may be punished by the government Often called the penal code Defines what acts and behavior are illegal and punishable Specifies the punishment for offenses Jerome Hall?s Seven Principles of Criminal Law Legality Actus reus Causation Harm Concurrence Mens rea Punishment Legality There must be a law that defines the act or behavior as criminal Act must be prohibited by law before it was committed U.S. Constitution prohibits ex post facto laws Laws are binding only from the date of their creation or from some future date at which they are specified as taking effect Actus Reus An act in violation of the law; a guilty act A person must commit a voluntary act To be something is not a crime; to do something may be Thoughts are not crimes; there must be an act or an omission to an act threaten to act, communicate a threat attempted criminal activity is also illegal conspiracy statutes Causation A legally recognizable cause; the type of cause that is required to be demonstrated in court in order to hold an individual criminally liable for causing harm To clarify the issue of causation, the term ?legal cause? to emphasize the notion of a legally recognizable cause Harm Some crimes called ?victimless? Perpetrators maintain that they are not harming anyone Prostitution, gambling, ?crimes against nature? (sexual deviance), and drug use are but a few crimes classified as victimless Concurrence The coexistence of an act in violation of the law and a culpable mental state Requires that the act and the mental state occur together in order for a crime to take place Five Principles of Concurrence Causation A resulting harm The principle of legality The principle of punishment Necessary attendant circumstances Mens Rea A guilty mind (mens rea) A state of mind which accompanies a criminal act A specific mental state operative in the defendant at the time the behavior in question was enacted Most clearly present when a person acts purposefully and knowingly, but mens rea sufficient for criminal prosecution may also result from reckless or negligent behavior Punishment The principle of punishment says that no crime can be said to occur where punishment has not been specified in the law The punishment needs to be specified so that if a person is found guilty of violating the law, sanctions can be lawfully imposed Seven Principles of Criminal Law Elements of a Crime The basic components of crime: in a specific crime, the essential features of a crime are as specified by law or statute Legislatures define certain acts as crimes when they fulfill the seven principles Actus reus: the act The attendant circumstances Mens rea: the state of mind Responsibility for Criminal Acts Entrapment Self-Defense Necessity Duress (Coercion) Immaturity Mistake Intoxication Insanity Procedural Criminal Law Defines the rules that govern how the laws will be enforced Protects constitutional rights of defendants Provides the rules and procedures officials must follow Defines the procedures that criminal justice officials must follow in enforcement, adjudication, and corrections Fourteenth Amendment The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution states: "No State shall . . . deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.? The Fourteenth Amendment precludes a state from imposing distinctions based upon race; racial segregation in public schools reduces the benefits of public education to one group solely on the basis of race and is unconstitutional Due Process A concept that asserts fundamental principles of justice and implies the administration of laws that do not violate the sacredness of private rights Due process revolution from 1930s to 1960s Warren and Burger shift of safeguards to the states Bill of Rights First ten amendments to the constitution Restrict government action Amendments First Second Fifth Sixth Seventh Ninth Tenth Fourteenth Fourth Amendment The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated. No warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized Fifth Amendment No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger Nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb Nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law Nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation Sixth Amendment In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State or district wherein the crime shall have been committed to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation the right to be confronted with the witnesses against him the right to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense Eighth Amendment Protection against cruel and unusual punishment Prohibition against excessive bail, excessive fines Court Cases Barron v. Baltimore (1833) The protections of the Bill of Rights apply only to actions of the federal government Powell v Alabama (1932) An attorney must be provided to a poor defendant facing the death penalty Court Cases Gideon Wainwright (1963) Indigent defendants have a right to counsel when charges for serious crimes for which they could face six or more months of incarceration are made Chapter 3 Summary Criminal law is divided in two parts: Substantive and procedural Substantive law has seven elements The Supreme Court incorporated most of Bill of Rights with specific provisions to apply to the states Criminal law provides opportunity for various defenses
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