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52 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
actus reus
An illegal act. The actus reus can be an affirmative act, such as taking money or shooting someone. or a failure to act, such as failing to take proper precautions while driving a car.
Under Anglo-Saxon law, the restitution paid for killing someone in an open fight.
case law
When judicial decisions began to be written and published, judicial precedents were established, and more concrete examples of common-law decisions began to emerge. Together these cases and decisions filtered through the national court system and eventually produced a fixed body of legal rule and and principles, or case law.
circuit judges
Traveling judges appointed by King Henry of England.
civil law
All law that is not criminal, including torts (personal wrongs), contract, property, maritime, and commercial law.
community notification laws
Recent legislative efforts that require convicted sex offenders to register with local police when they move into an area or neighborhood.
In early English law, a process whereby an accused person swore an oath of innocence while being backed up by a group of 12 to 25 oathhelpers, who would attest to his character and claims of innocence.
contract law
The law of personal agreements.
criminal attempt law
The intent may make an act, innocent in itself, criminal; also called inchoate crimes.
A type of larceny that involves taking the possessions of another (fraudulent conversion) that have been placed in the thief's lawful possession for safekeeping, such as a bank teller misappropriating deposits or a stockbroker making off with a customer's account.
A serious offense that carries a penalty of incarceration in a state prison, usually for one year or more. Persons convicted of felony offenses lose the right to vote, hold elective office, or maintain certain licenses.
A dollar amount usually exacted as punishment for a minor crime; fines may also be combined with other sentencing alternatives, such as probation or confinement.
Generally followed customs that do not have moral values attached to them, such as not interrupting people when they are speaking.
The manorial court of the local nobleman in England in the eleventh century.
Acts of a spiritual nature were judged by clergymen and church officials in these courts in England in the eleventh century; also called ecclesiastics.
In medieval England, a group of 100 families who were responsible for maintaining the order and trying minor offenses.
Literally, the hundred group, whose courts tried petty cases of criminal conduct.
inchoate crimes
Incomplete or contemplated crimes such as criminal solicitation or criminal attempts.
A defense to a criminal charge in which the accused maintains that his or her actions were justified by the circumstances and therefore he or she should not be held criminally liable.
Taking for one's own use the property of another, by means other than force or threats on the victim or forcibly breaking into a person's home or workplace; theft.
legal code
The specific laws that fall within the scope of criminal law.
lex talionis
Physical retaliation; an eye for an eye.
False and injurious writings.
mala in se crimes
Acts that are outlawed because they violate basic moral values, such as rape, murder, assault, and robbery.
mala prohibitum crimes
Acts that are outlawed because they clash with current norms and public opinion, such as tax, traffic, and drug laws.
manorial courts
The local hundred who dealt with most secular violations in eleventh century England.
mens rea
Guilty mind. The mental element of a crime or the intent to commit a criminal act.
Universally followed behavior based on societal codes of conduct; society norms.
natural law
Laws rooted in the core values inherent in Western civilization; also called mala in se crimes.
Unwritten rules of conduct and universally followed behavior.
Sexual offenders who target children.
preponderance of the evidence
The level of proof in civil cases; more than half the evidence supports the allegations of one side.
property law
The law governing transfer and ownership of property.
In early England, the senior law enforcement figure in a county, the forerunner of today's sheriff.
royal prosecutors
Representatives of the Crown who submitted evidence and brought witnesses to testify before the jury in the reign of King Henry II.
sexual predator law
Law that allows authorities to keep some criminals convicted of sexually violent crimes in custody even after their sentences are served.
Counties in England and much of Europe in the eleventh century.
During the Middle Ages, an assemblage of local landholders who heard more serious and important criminal cases.
False and injurious statements.
stare decisis
To stand by decided cases; the legal principle by which the decision or holding in an earlier case becomes the standard by which subsequent similar cases are judged.
statute of limitations
Specifies the amount of time by which action must be taken by the state in a criminal matter.
statutory crimes
Crimes defined by legislative bodies in response to changing social conditions, public opinion, and custom.
strict-liability crimes
Illegal acts whose elements do not contain the need for intent, or mens rea; they are usually acts that endanger the public welfare, such as illegal dumping of toxic wastes.
substantive criminal law
A body of specific rules that declare what conduct is criminal and prescribe the punishment to be imposed for such conduct.
During the Middle Ages, groups of about 10 families who were responsible for maintaining order among themselves and dealing with disturbances, fires, wild animals, and so on.
The law of personal wrongs and damage. Tort actions include negligence, libel, slander, assault, and trespass.
tort law
The law of personal wrongs and damage; most similar in intent and form to the criminal law.
treasonous acts
Siding with an enemy in a dispute over territory or succession.
The crime of being a vagrant or homeless person. The first vagrancy laws were aimed at preventing workers from leaving their estates to secure higher wages elsewhere. They punished migration and permissionless travel.
A person who goes from place to place without visible means of support and who, though able to work for his or her maintenance, refuses to do so.
Under medieval law, the money paid by the offender to compensate the victim and the state for a criminal offense.
The portion of the wergild that went to the victim's family.