Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice
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What are the four key themes of criminal justice?
  1. Individual Rights vs Public Safety
  2. Public Expectations vs How System Operates
  3. Role of Actors, Their Discretion, Effects of this Discretion
  4. Factual Guilt vs Legal Guilt
What is discretion?
  • Discretion refers to the authority of an actor in the criminal justice system to make decisions based on one's own judgment rather than on specified rules
A system in Europe that doesn't use discretion is....
Principle of Legality
What is the difference between factual and legal guilt?
Factual guilt is whether or not someone actually committed a crime and legal guilt is whether or not they can provide enough evidence to prove that they actually committed the crime.
What is civil law?
  • A form of private law because it governs the relationships between individuals in society (e.g. contract law, company law)
What is criminal law?
  • A form of public law designed to prevent or enforce certain types of behavior and punish offenders. (government has control over it)
What are the percents of reasonable doubt for civil and criminal law?
Civil Law - 50%
Criminal Law - 90%
Why can a person be tried in both criminal and civil courts for the same crime?
  • The prohibition against double jeopardy applies only to criminal trials. The corresponding concept in civil litigation is res judicata : one can have only one trial for claims arising from one transaction or occurrence. So you can be tried in both courts for the same crime and are more likely to be convicted in the civil court
  • What is a system of government in which power is divided between a central (national) government and regional (state) governments called?
What are the sources of law?
Constitutions, case law, and statutes
What are the traditional goals of "doing justice"?
  • Rights of Person
  • Like offenses treated alike
  • System fair and impartial
  • Accountability
What must the law balance when it comes to moral dilemmas?
Utility and values (can't say non liquet - It's not clear because the state has a duty to solve these problems)
What is a legal system
  • Operating set of interdependent institutions, procedures and laws/rules directed toward gaining criminal justice
What are the two approaches to crime and how are they different?
Reaction -
What are the thirteen stages of Decision Making?
  1. Investigation
  2. Arrest
  3. Booking
  4. Charging
  5. Initial Appearance
  6. Preliminary Hearing/Grand Jury
  7. Indictment/Information
  8. Arraignment
  9. Trial
  10. Sentencing
  11. Appeal
  12. Correction
  13. Release
What is the Crime Control Model?
A model that values the repression of criminal conduct, focus on factual guilt, focus more on investigations and not as much on the rest.
What is the Due Process Model?
A model that focuses more on individual rights, freedoms, and liberties, focus more on legal side to make sure people's right's aren't violated, more of an obstacle course, focus more on legal guilt.
When does a crime occur?
  • A crime occurs when a person either acts, fails to act, attempts to act, or agrees to act in a way that is in violation of a criminal law, without a defense or justification.
What is substantive criminal law?
Definition of the behavior a law prohibits (Tells what is a crime and what isn't)
What is procedural criminal law?
Rules governing how officials (police, courts, corrections) oversee criminal law (Tells officials how to regulate proceedings)
What is the difference between delicta mala in se and delicte mala prohibita?
Mala in se -
What is natural law?
  • Fundamental laws that are wrong in every society
  • Natural law is pre-existing
What are felonies, misdemeanors, and infractions?
  • Felonies: Crime punishable by death or imprisonment in excess of one year
  • Misdemeanors: Punishable by one year or less of imprisonment
  • Infractions (citations): quasi-criminal, violation of a rule or local ordinance (no jail but maybe a fine)
What are the characteristics of criminal law?
Politicality, specificity, uniformity, penal sanction/intervention
What is politicality?
  • Only rules made by the state of federal governments are crimes
What is specificity?
  • Everybody needs to know what he/she must not do
  • Law has to give a “fair warning”
    • Laws too vague – it is void and can't be law
What is uniformity?
  • Evenhanded justice without respect to persons and their social status
What is penal sanction/ Intervention?
  • Law without punishment is impotent (lex imperfecta)
What are the elements of a crime?
Act with concurrence of mens rea that causes harm
What is Actus Reus?
Human conduct - speech, attempt, conspiracy, Failure to act can be conduct, Voluntariness
What is mens rea?
  • State of mind, blameworthiness, “guilty mind”, Intent to kill – not reason why
What are the four levels of mens rea?
  • Purposeful (intentional)
  • Knowing (stress on knowing act will have effect, less on purpose)
  • Reckless (increasing risk of harm, but do it anyways)
  • Negligent (should have known better)
What is strict liability?
  • Intent/Mens rea does not need to be proven
  • Stress is just on the act – not intent
  • Occupational crimes
  • Statutory rape – the act itself
_____ and _______ must occur at the same time to have concurrence?
Act and State of Mind
What are the most common defenses and what are their definitions?
Alibi (somewhere else), affirmative defense (did the crime but it was justified), burden of proof (State has to prove that they did it)
What are the different types of justification?
Self-defense, battered woman syndrome, entrapment, necessity, duress
What are the four reasons that kids can use immaturity as a defense and shouldn't be tried as adults?
  • They are under significant peer influence, their risk perception is not matured, they don't have a sense of future orientation (can't see what their actions now will have on their future), they have a very low frustration tolerance, they don't have the capacity for self management

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