Introduction 51 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Criminal Law Stories
- Criminal Law Stories
- There remains one final reason that substantive criminal law is a particularly good fit for a “law stories” collection: it is hard to imagine a field of law whose study would benefit more from the “humanizing” effects of rich storytelling. Popular culture is replete with stories of the pain suffered by violent crime victims and their loved ones. Less familiar are the human consequences of involvement in the criminal justice system for the accused and their loved ones. Those convicted of crime are frequently understood in popular culture to be the “incorrigibles”—some even say that the dominant metaphor for today’s criminal justice system is that of “waste management.” By providing a human dimension to these stories, many of the stories place the most important morality questions in deeply personal human terms.
- The third major influence on criminal law evident in this collection is the feminist movement of the 1970s, particularly in the areas of law that address “gendered violence.” The influence of feminist analysis and activism on changes in law and social consciousness is apparent in
- The stories told here reflect three major legal movements that have dramatically influenced the shape of today’s criminal law as well as the social understanding of crime. The first movement is one that is essentially internal to the law—the doctrinal evolution from the common law to contemporary codification associated with the rise of the Model Penal Code. The evolution has been an effort to transform the somewhat loose language and broad moralistic definitions of common law crimes into a more technical and coordinated scheme of criminal law elements. These elements are rooted in rational social policy and rely on calibrated enumerations of cognitive states that serve as proxies for moral culpability. The stages of this transition are captured, for example, in
- Open Chapter
Criminal Law Stories 13 results (showing 5 best matches)
- CRIMINAL LAW STORIES
- The Story of Keller: The Irrelevance of the Legality Principle in American Criminal Law
- The Story of Jacobson: Catching Criminals or Creating Crime?
- The Story of Wanrow: The Reasonable Woman and the Law of Self–Defense
- The Story of Ewing: Three Strikes Laws and the Limits of the Eighth Amendment Proportionality Review
- Open Chapter
Chapter Five: “The Look in His Eyes”: The Story of Rusk and Rape Reform 69 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Until they were contacted for this story, none of the lawyers and judges involved in realized they had played a role in such a long-lasting legacy—a case studied closely by students and teachers of criminal law and feminist legal theory. So how did it become a canonical case?
- Like many guys of his time, Edward Salvatore Rusk of Baltimore, Maryland didn’t take a girl’s “no” to sex as necessarily meaning he had to stop, when he otherwise thought she was interested. He was convicted of rape at the cusp of legal transformation, when sexual behavior that had been commonplace and tolerated by the law was rapidly being recast as criminal. The story of is the story of when and how a set of social norms of sex and dating became unacceptable. It is a story of the legal role and consequences of that social change.
- Susan Estrich was a young Harvard professor who had been the first female president of the Harvard Law Review—and before that, a victim of rape. She made her first major scholarly contribution in 1986 with a
- Criminal Law and Approaches to the Study of Law
- In six years in the trial division, Salkin had prosecuted every imaginable kind of criminal case. He got Eddie Rusk’s case on a routine assignment. He met the victim and heard her story. She seemed ordinary and unremarkable, if a bit foolish to go to a Fell’s Point nightclub where guys were obviously looking to get laid. But she was sincere, even adamant about what happened. He thought that a jury would believe her. She wasn’t weird or dislikable, as key trial witnesses sometimes were. Baltimore City was a tough place to win criminal trials because of the great distrust of law enforcement among the jury pool. Given his credible witness, the case was worth trying, but he told her the jury might well not convict. He charged Eddie with rape and with assault.
- Open Chapter
Chapter One: The Story of Keller: The Irrelevance of the Legality Principle in American Criminal Law 80 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Note, in light of the fact that American law tends to frame legitimacy critiques in constitutional terms, that there has never been a successful, or even a serious—or (perhaps) —constitutional challenge to the judiciary’s common law crime-making power. Many American (and English) courts continue to enjoy this power, even though they generally decline to exercise it or, more to the point, they simply have no occasion to exercise it given the proliferation of legislative and executive criminal laws and “regulations.” When American legislatures, through criminal codes, explicitly restrict criminal law to legislative codes or at least statutes (criminal and others, not to mention administrative regulations), they do so not on account of some fundamental principle, or constitutional norm. Rather, they do so without fanfare and in passing, as confirming a state of affairs in which the courts’ practice of making criminal law has fallen into desuetude, as part of a kind of gentleman’s...
- (or law good), which is said to play this foundational role in German criminal law, see Markus D. Dubber,
- is not a famous leading case, but it should be. It raises important questions about the foundation of the state’s power to punish through criminal law. These questions generally do not receive much attention in American criminal law teaching, nor have they received much attention in American legal and political discourse in general.
- , then, in what appears to be an unremarkable reference to a nineteenth-century Pennsylvania case on the doctrine of common law misdemeanors, in fact put its finger on the widely acknowledged source of American criminal law, if not on the essence of American state power in general. For its immediate objective, namely to answer the seemingly simple question “What is a common law crime?” this passage proves too much, to put it mildly. Rather than highlighting the nature of criminal lawmaking, it identifies the source of criminal lawmaking.
- involved two so-called morals offenses, not only the common law crime that gets all the attention, indecent disposition of a dead body, but also a statutory one, adultery. thus merely illustrates the judiciary’s long-standing contribution to the state’s comprehensive moral police regime through criminal law. Turning, once again, one’s attention from the secondary issue of institutional competence (the who, or what) to the primary issue of state action (the why, or whether) raises the question of the legitimacy of employing the state’s power to punish through criminal law, no matter who exercises it, against behavior that threatens the public’s moral “police” (or welfare). John Stuart Mill’s harm principle (“That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.”), widely considered the best candidate for a limiting principle of American criminal law, had so little impact on...criminal
- Open Chapter
Biographies of Contributing Authors 23 results (showing 5 best matches)
- is a Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he teaches in the areas of criminal law, computer crime law, criminal justice policy, constitutional law, and international and comparative criminal law. His research interests include the sociology and politics of mass incarceration, computer crime, and the Chinese Legal System.
- is a Charles L. B. Lowndes Professor of Law at Duke Law School, Duke University in North Carolina where she teaches first year criminal law and upper-class courses in criminal justice policy and federal criminal law. Her principal academic interests include the federal government’s role in the criminal justice system, the laws defining federal crimes, and various issues of criminal procedure, including prosecutorial discretion. She is also interested in studying the factors that shape public attitudes regarding crime and how those attitudes ultimately translate into legislative changes in criminal laws and procedures.
- Professor Coker is a nationally recognized expert in domestic violence law and policy. Her research concerns three major areas: the connection between economic vulnerability and domestic violence; restorative justice and other alternative criminal justice interventions; and gender and criminal law doctrine. She is a leading critic of the disproportionate focus on the criminal justice response that characterizes U.S. domestic violence policy. Her empirical study of the adjudication of domestic violence cases in Navajo Peacemaking Courts has influenced work in the fields of restorative justice and domestic violence in the United States and abroad. Her work on the nature of “heat of passion” doctrine uncovered gender related assumptions imbedded in criminal law doctrine. She serves as co-editor, with Jonathan Simon, of the Criminal Law section of
- is an Edwin E. Huddleson, Jr. Professor of Law at the Stanford University Law School and works primarily in the field of criminal justice, writing and teaching in the areas of criminal law, criminal procedure, white collar crime, and sentencing policy. He also founded and now serves as faculty co-director of, the Stanford Criminal Justice Center (SCJC), which promotes and coordinates research and public policy programs on criminal law and the criminal justice system, including institutional examination of the police and correctional systems. Professor Weisberg was a consulting attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the California Appellate Project, where he worked on death penalty litigation in the state and federal courts. In addition, he served as a law clerk to Justice Potter Stewart of the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge J. Skelly Wright of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In 1979, Professor Weisberg received his J.D. from Stanford Law School,...
- is a Frank Carano Professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School where he focuses on criminal law and legal theory more generally. By connecting criminal law, moral philosophy and the theory of social choice, he tries to shed light on some of the most basic building block notions of the law—coercion, deception, consent, and the use and abuse of legal stratagems, among others. Katz is the author of several books:
- Open Chapter
Chapter Three: The Story of Staples and the Innocent Machine Gun Owner: The Good, the Bad and the Dangerous 68 results (showing 5 best matches)
- The Staples story contains within it many different stories. At the most abstract level, it is a story about how the law wrestles with visions of wrongfulness and dangerousness and how those two concerns compete with and shape one another. Doctrinally, it is a story about how the old legal concept of mens rea evolved in response to new social problems but then returned to the concerns that animated its original development. But it is also a series of more particular stories that do not neatly fit into grand narratives about cycles or inexorable historical trends. These ground level stories involve choices made by lawyers, law enforcement agencies, judges, and Staples himself. At the heart of the Staples case was a series of decisions that shaped the case in ways not evident from the four corners of the Supreme Court’s opinions in the case: the government’s decision to prosecute Staples based on a somewhat technical definition of machine gun; the defense’s decision to mount an...
- case, public danger trumped traditional mens rea concerns in the interpretation of such federal criminal statutes. The case changed that understanding. Staples’s story of a potentially innocent defendant prosecuted for things he did not know transformed the way both federal and state courts interpreted criminal statutes with ambiguous mental state requirements. precisely, if a defendant’s conduct alone was not clearly criminal, the prosecutor had to prove that the defendant “knew what he was doing.”
- An important example of the continued appeal of the character-based approach to mens rea is the criminal law’s continued hostility to strict liability crimes. Strict liability crimes require little or no moral fault or mental awareness on the part of the defendant with respect to the facts that constituted the offense. While ignorance of the law was no excuse at common law, ignorance of the facts that made the offense wrongful usually was. Offenses that did not require this sort of “guilty knowledge” of the key facts were termed strict liability offenses. The common law abhorred such offenses, and judges interpreting modern statutes often presume that legislatures intended to require culpable mental states—even in the absence of explicit language to that effect. In practice, however, this presumption typically requires proof that the defendant knew facts about the nature of his or her conduct. Indeed, the term “strict liability” rarely means in the criminal law what it means in...
- It is the nature of storytelling to try and make sense of the world in some way. Perhaps that is a tendency best resisted in telling fuller stories about Supreme Court adjudication in criminal cases, an enterprise that by its nature moves back and forth between the disordered world out of which criminal cases often emerge and the construction of doctrines that try to bring coherence to that world. One final incident illustrates this point. After his machine gun case was dismissed, Staples got a call from the U.S. Marshal’s office asking him to come down to the federal courthouse and pick up his AR–15, even though the Government had maintained all the way to the Supreme Court that it was an illegal machine gun. Staples was so nervous about taking the gun out of the courthouse that he asked a Marshal to walk him to the parking lot and put the AR–15 in the trunk of Staples’s car. When told for the first time in 2009 that the Government had returned the AR–15 to Staples, Clark Brewster...
- It is almost always easier to understand a story when you see how it ends. With respect to the public welfare offense doctrine, and its progeny make clear, however, that danger is not a generic concept for the courts. Some types of danger, such as those at issue in food safety or environmental cases, involve widespread sickness, death or destruction emanating from a single act of carelessness. The instrumental logic for criminal punishment of the heedless is strongest in the face of this type of danger, and courts are more willing to presume that criminal liability is not limited to only those who knew what they were doing. Other types of danger involve bad people doing dangerous things under circumstances where their guilty minds may be difficult to prove. These people are perceived as dangerous because of their demonstrably bad character. Such was clearly the case with the National Firearms Act and may have been the case with the narcotics statute at issue in
- Open Chapter
Chapter Seven: The Story of Clark: The Incredible Shrinking Insanity Defense 64 results (showing 5 best matches)
- West Side Story
- The Supreme Court’s interpretation reduces Arizona’s amendment to a symbolic gesture, but symbols matter greatly in an area of law as expressive as the criminal law. The abandonment of ’s cognitive prong, together with the rejection of “opinion” evidence in determining mens rea, signals the law’s turn toward the moral and away from the scientific in answering one of its most basic questions: identifying responsible agents who may be subject to condemnation and punishment. This may be as it should be; Professor Stephen Morse has argued that criminal responsibility is based upon “folk psychology,” which is unscientific but no less legitimate for its critical role in our understanding of ourselves as persons that act according to reason and, thus, according to law. legal insanity encompasses mental illness, as it must, the law will have to create space for science to inform even this most normative of judgments.
- Shortly thereafter, the legislature passed “Laura’s Law,” named after Mark Austin’s victim and championed by her grieving parents. Laura’s Law made two noteworthy changes in Arizona’s insanity law. First, it narrowed the definition of legal insanity by eliminating the cognitive prong of the rule. Thus, Arizona recognized a defendant as insane only “if at the time of the commission of the criminal act the person was afflicted with a mental disease or defect of such severity that the person did not know the criminal act was wrong.”
- case was notable on its own. After all, Clark was asking the Supreme Court to constitutionalize the much-maligned insanity defense, and a decision in his favor would, in the view of many, have a significant effect on the criminal laws of the states. The case presented the type of substantive criminal law question that the Court had studiously avoided for decades under the leadership of the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who championed federalism principles and states’ rights. There was no reason to think that much would change under new Chief Justice John Roberts, who seemed to be cut from the same conservative cloth. On the other hand, the two justices who were most openly skeptical about the constitutional status of the insanity defense—Justices Rehnquist and Sandra Day O’Connor—were no longer on the bench.
- Understanding Criminal Law
- Open Chapter
Chapter Eight: The Story of Jacobson: Catching Criminals or Creating Crime? 72 results (showing 5 best matches)
- The function of law enforcement is the prevention of crime and the apprehension of criminals. Manifestly, that function does not include the manufacturing of crime. Criminal activity is such that stealth and strategy are necessary weapons in the arsenal of the police officer. However, “A different question is presented when the criminal design originates with the officials of the government, and they implant in the mind of an innocent person the disposition to commit the alleged offense and induce its commission in order that they may prosecute.”
- The court reversed on two separate grounds. The first was that because the government officials had never intended that the proposed importation occur, there was never any prospect of a crime to which Woo Wai would be a party. This ground reflected a common law concept that preceded modern entrapment law but often reached similar results, a notion of “consent.” This was really a private law doctrine whereby the purported victim of the crime vitiated any criminal liability by staging the supposedly criminal event. Victim consent of this type operated as a defense, whether the staging party was a private entity (like an employer catching a filching employee) or a government agent. This consent doctrine did not survive the expansion of inchoate criminal liability under modern law, where a person can still be guilty of attempting or
- All of these defenses are like entrapment in that they are legal manifestations of the idea that the government should not too readily be able to make criminals out of persons who otherwise would have obeyed the law. But as entrapment law has evolved, it has applied in situations of government inducement not readily captured by these alternatives.
- The difference in focus between the subjective and objective approach has led to a scholarly debate about whether entrapment is analytically part of criminal law or criminal procedure. Under the objective test, where the critical issue is the conduct of the police, entrapment could be understood as a member of the family of procedural regulations of law enforcement behavior, like, say, the Fourth Amendment. On this view, entrapment prevents conviction for reasons other than the defendant’s lack of culpability.
- By contrast, the subjective approach, with its focus on predisposition, examines the defendant’s mental state. Therefore, the focus is on culpability. Mens rea and culpability are questions of substantive criminal law. Under this approach, a conclusion that entrapment has been made out is a conclusion that the defendant does not deserve to be punished. The majority approach, and the approach in the Supreme Court, is subjective. Therefore, at least doctrinally, entrapment is properly understood as a matter of substantive criminal law in most jurisdictions.
- Open Chapter
Chapter Two: The Story of Robinson: From Revolutionary Constitutional Doctrine to Modest Ban on Status Crimes 74 results (showing 5 best matches)
- had the potential to alter fundamentally the jurisprudence of crime and punishment in America, bringing the core of criminal law doctrine within the fold of constitutional law. But its promise would go unfulfilled, as the case was downscaled from a revolutionary spark to a modest principle. If at all, any constitutional reformation of criminal law would be decades away and would come through the oblique means of criminal procedure.
- The Construction of Responsibility in the Criminal Law
- also stand as fascinating case studies in the frailty of humankind. Of course, there are the stories of the defendants themselves: Lawrence Robinson, who at trial denied ever using drugs and then died of a heroin overdose before his case was heard by the Supreme Court; and Leroy Powell, who was arrested more than 120 times for public intoxication over the course of two decades. Then there are the stories of those whose plight they represent—the countless Americans who suffer from substance abuse and find themselves embroiled in the criminal justice system as a result. “While drunkenness may be the occasion for the arrest,” one judge wrote about the alcoholic’s crime, “human inadequacy is the gravamen of the offense.”
- just a ban on status crimes, with no other effect on American criminal law? Is it like Samuel McMorris’s other big case, , “a derelict on the waters of the law,” standing as “an isolated deviation from the strong current of precedents”? Neither decision generated a revolution in substantive criminal law. Since and, in fact, Supreme Court decisions on constitutional criminal procedure have had a far greater influence on American criminal law doctrine.
- ; nor has it attempted to regulate appellant’s behavior in the privacy of his own home. Rather, it has imposed upon appellant a criminal sanction for public behavior which may create substantial health and safety hazards, both for appellant and for members of the general public, and which offends the moral and esthetic sensibilities of a large segment of the community…. so viewed brings this Court but a very small way into the substantive criminal law. And unless is so viewed it is difficult to see any limiting principle that would serve to prevent this Court from becoming, under the aegis of the Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause, the ultimate arbiter of the standards of criminal responsibility, in diverse areas of the criminal law, throughout the country
- Open Chapter
Chapter Six: The Story of Wanrow: The Reasonable Woman and the Law of Self–Defense 80 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Similar arguments regarding the ways in which criminal law reflects a “male” point of view would be made by later feminist scholars.
- These were not the first women attorneys to join CCR. Harriett Rabb worked with CCR from its founding in 1966 until 1969. She would later head up the Employment Rights Project at Columbia Law School, bringing one of the first round of employment sex discrimination cases against major New York law firms. Cynthia G. Bowman,
- The case is described in wonderful detail in Rhonda Copelon and Sylvia A. Law,
- Trial Stories at 14 (Michael E. Tiger & Angela J. Davis eds., 2008). Yaroshefky, now a law professor at Cardozo School of Law, represented Allery at trial.
- The Stories Converge: The Story of
- Open Chapter
Chapter Nine: The Story of Rizzo: The Shifting Landscape of Attempt 81 results (showing 5 best matches)
- (2) … Conduct shall not be held to constitute a substantial step … unless it is strongly corroborative of the actor’s criminal purpose. Without negativing the sufficiency of other conduct, the following, if strongly corroborative of the actor’s criminal purpose, shall not be held insufficient as a matter of law:
- offers further refinements for our understanding of attempt law, as well. It underscores how the substantive criminal law of attempt necessarily relies on various rules of criminal procedure—laws governing when and how the police intervene before the final act, or how the police elicit mental state evidence from the suspect or his or her accomplices. So changes in attempt law partly reflect changes in the other realms of legal doctrine, also illuminates the venerable issue of “impossible attempts,” illustrating how impossibility, often seen as an exotic side issue to the more conventional forms of attempt law, may actually be an inseparable part of the general law of attempt, distinguishable only by rhetorical artifice. Finally, ...the trial judge’s preliminary decision whether sufficient evidence of attempt exists to even get the question to the jury. The MPC’s mechanism for guiding this preliminary decision points a procedural way out of the substantive morass of attempt law...
- The rhetoric here is elegant, as the court demonstrates that any case of failed criminal effort can be viewed in retrospect as having been impossible to achieve if we take the extraneous interrupting circumstances as fixities in the universe. On the other hand, it tempts us with its throwaway point about some acts being “inherently impossible” to achieve, never telling us what might fall into that category. Traditional law school pedagogy often posits such cases. What if Jane, who is eighteen years old, wrongly thinks she is still seventeen and votes in an election? Has she attempted illegal underage voting? Or is this attempted crime truly impossible because Jane will absolutely never be able to violate this law? Or should we fear that her demonstrable willingness to flout the law might find another feasible criminal goal? As for a law ...some intellectual pressure on us to decide what the real goal of attempt law is. Is it to punish the morally culpable who take serious steps...
- In McClain on Criminal Law, § 226, it is held: Where there is the intent to commit, and an act is done tending to effect the commission thereof, the attempt is punishable, although by reason of extraneous circumstances the actual commission of the crime is impossible….
- Hon. Eugene R. Canudo, Criminal Law of New York 32 (1967). Another commentator observed:
- Open Chapter
Acknowledgements 2 results
- Thanks as well to Paul Caron, creator of the Law Stories series, and the Foundation Press team, especially John Bloomquist, for making the book possible.
- We thank first the contributors to this volume, whose careful attention to nuance and detail has brought to life the “back stories” collected here. We are grateful, too, for their unflagging patience and good humor through the extended period of time it took to bring this book to press.
- Open Chapter
Chapter Twelve: The Story of Ewing: Three Strikes Laws and the Limits of the Eighth Amendment Proportionality Review 84 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Before turning to Ewing’s sentence, Justice O’Connor reviewed the legislative history and purpose of California’s three strikes laws, noting that the lawmakers responded to widespread public concern about crime by “targeting the class of offenders who pose the greatest threat to public safety: career criminals.” The three strikes law in California and similar laws in other states represented a “deliberate policy choice that individuals who have repeatedly engaged in serious or violent criminal behavior, and whose conduct has not been deterred by more conventional approaches to punishment, must be isolated from society in order to protect the public safety.” The Court’s deference to legislative policy choices meant that sentencing policy is made by the state legislatures, not the courts. Recidivism is a serious concern, and states have a valid interest in deterring and segregating habitual criminals. Moreover, there was evidence that California’s policy had been effective: four years...
- the Court has not always deferred to legislative policy choices and local decision making. In the criminal context, the Court employed proportionality analysis in to strike down a forfeiture order that a majority of the Court found to be disproportionate to the crime in question and thus an “excessive fine” prohibited by the Eighth Amendment. The Court seemed to be willing to use proportionality analysis to protect a criminal defendant’s property, but not his liberty. And in the civil context, the Court has been very active in policing the permissible scope of punitive damages. It has identified five factors that it will employ to determine whether a punitive damage award is reasonable, and employing those criteria it has overridden punitive damage verdicts authorized by state law and approved by local juries. ...and unusual criminal punishments but includes no provision directly addressing punitive damages, and the corporate defendants in civil cases generally have more...
- • Except for cases to which the three strikes law applies, California reserves sentences as severe as Ewing’s for criminals convicted of far worse offenses, such as murder, and 90% of typical first degree murderers serve less than twenty years in prison.
- Whatever the hopes of its supporters, the variation in charging policies among California’s district attorneys reflects the fact that the adoption of the three strikes law did not eliminate all discretion in cases falling within its terms. To the contrary, prosecutorial discretion survived, and—perhaps more surprisingly—an important form of judicial discretion survived as well. Prosecutors normally have wide discretion not to prosecute an individual whose conduct violates the law. And just as they often declined to prosecute first offenders who entered drug treatment, California prosecutors exercised their discretion by not charging second or third strikes in some individual cases. Once the prosecutor charged a second or third strike, however, the evident purpose of the three strikes law was to restrict judicial sentencing discretion. But another section of the state penal code that was not amended by the three strikes law gave state courts the authority to dismiss criminal charges...
- Judge Myers held a sentencing hearing. Deputy District Attorney Link presented evidence that Ewing had previously been convicted of first degree robbery and three separate residential burglaries in 1993, all of which were classified as serious or violent felonies under the three strikes laws. Link urged Judge Myers to sentence Ewing as a third striker, emphasizing his long criminal record. “He has had 10 convictions in his lengthy criminal history for someone as young as he is….
- Open Chapter
Chapter Eleven: The Story of Rahman: Religious Advocacy at the Intersection of Crime and Free Speech 34 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Specifically, Abdel–Rahman’s story and trial is remarkable for what it could have but apparently did not achieve: establishing a workable modern standard for seditious conspiracy and carefully marking when espousing anti-government religious beliefs crosses into the criminal incitement of violence.
- We know that, in the very recent past, when terrorists have struck, they have been apprehended under the criminal law in United States courts. Thus, the criminal law has been our primary tool in asserting the values of our society and protecting our citizens against the likes of Timothy McVeigh, who destroyed the federal building in Oklahoma City in a terrorist bombing, and Sheik Abdel Rahman and his followers, the terrorists who carried out the first attack against the World Trade Center in New York City in 1993.
- Teaching Criminal Law in at Post–9/11 World: If Everything Has Changed, So Must We
- Cynthia Lee & Angela Harris, Criminal Law: Cases and Materials 834–35 (2nd ed. 2009) (discussing conspiracy, which can be tried anywhere an overt act has been committed, as being a favorite charge of federal prosecutors).
- Criminal Law
- Open Chapter
Chapter Four: The Story of Berry: When Hot Blood Cools 54 results (showing 5 best matches)
Chapter Ten: The Story of Tally: Judge Tally and the Problem of the Superfluous Accomplice 16 results (showing 5 best matches)
- One might well wonder why the court makes so much of the lack of a causal connection. Why could it not proceed in the same way as the Alabama Supreme Court with regard to Judge Tally and dispense with a causal nexus on the ground that this was a case of complicity? Why not say, in other words, that Huddleston was an accomplice of Tally and the Skeltons and therefore did not need to make a causal contribution to the death to be held liable? To be sure, this was not a criminal case, but the concept of complicity exists in tort law just as much as in criminal law, and is dealt with in largely parallel fashion. The likely reason the judges did not take this course is that they had not found the defendant, Huddleston, to have intentionally aided the Skeltons or Judge Tally. After all, they did not even find him to have engaged in a negligent wrong—a fortiori they could not find him to have engaged in an intentional one. Absent an intention, he could not be thought of as an accomplice,...
- 1. Ordinarily criminal law treats a criminal who tries but fails to bring about a criminal result more leniently than it treats someone who brings the result about. In other words, attempts are judged to be less blameworthy than completed crimes. The essence of an attempt would seem to be that the defendant tried to cause a certain outcome but failed. Ordinarily this involves cases in which the outcome the defendant desired does not come about because something went awry. But in unusual cases, the attempt may go awry because the desired event happens on its own. If the defendant takes aim at his target, the bullet misses, but the victim minutes later has a heart attack (not of fright but quite unrelated to the shooting), the defendant will only be liable for the attempt. Or, as happened in an actual case, the defendant took aim at an enemy lying on the ground, whom he took to be alive, but who in fact was already dead (having been shot by someone else). Here too the defendant is...
- Brief reflection should make it clear that we could not possibly require that in order for someone to qualify as an accomplice he must have a proximate connection to the criminal harm. Just think of someone who hires another person to commit a murder. It seems clear that the person hiring the killer should be as liable as the killer himself. If we insisted on a proximate connection between the accomplice and the ultimate harm, we would not be able to convict him: The killer’s actions would be an intervening cause. Indeed this is surely the key reason the complicity doctrine was invented, to make it possible to impose liability in such cases despite the presence of an intervening cause. Now one might wonder why the law has not simply eliminated the intervening act doctrine which makes it impossible to impose liability in such cases. Why does the law take the roundabout path of creating the complicity doctrine merely for the purpose of suspending the intervening act doctrine? The...
- ...the criminal result in the sense that but for it the result would not have ensued. It is quite sufficient if it facilitated a result that would have transpired without it. It is quite enough if the aid merely rendered it easier for the principal actor to accomplish the end intended by him and the aider and abettor, though in all human probability the end would have been attained without it. If the aid in homicide can be shown to have put the deceased at a disadvantage, to have deprived him a single chance of life, which but for it he would have had, he who furnishes such aid is guilty, though it cannot be known or shown that the dead man, in the absence thereof would have availed himself of that chance, as where one counsels murder, he is guilty as an accessory before the fact, though it appears to be probable that murder would have been done without his counsel; and as, where one being present by concert to aid if necessary is guilty as a principal in the second degree, though,...
- court took avoids one kind of counterintuitive result, perhaps the most important kind, namely that of letting all participants in a collaborative criminal enterprise off the hook simply because they “overdetermined” the outcome, so that every participant considered individually was superfluous and therefore cannot be said to be the “but for” cause of the eventual harm. Alas, this particular counterintuitive result is avoided only at the price of accepting other ones, like those I delineated.
- Open Chapter
Copyright Page 1 result
- This publication was created to provide you with accurate and authoritative information concerning the subject matter covered; however, this publication was not necessarily prepared by persons licensed to practice law in a particular jurisdiction. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal or other professional advice and this publication is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. If you require legal or other expert advice, you should seek the services of a competent attorney or other professional.
- Open Chapter
- Publication Date: November 30th, 2012
- ISBN: 9781599414393
- Subject: Criminal Law
- Series: Law Stories
- Type: Overviews
- Description: This collection of case stories illustrates the balance, continuity, and evolution in substantive criminal law doctrine in light of the social and political contexts in which those doctrines are perennially tested. These stories focus on the pre-litigation behavior of defendants, raising important moral and cultural questions about human nature and human society and how social norms get translated into workable legal doctrines. They survey the typical variety of doctrines addressed in a standard criminal law course, elucidating the classic themes of common law jurisprudence.