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18 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
What is the Purpose of criminal Law?
1. Ordered Society
2. to effectuate consequences through punishment
Purposes of Punishment
1. Deterrence (utilitarian)
2. Rehabilitation (utilitarian)
3. Incapacitation (retributvist theory)
society wants to prevent future criminal conduct
(specific deterrence) designed to prevent the particular offender from committing crimes in the future
(general deterrence) designed to discourage the public from committing crimes. This goal of punishment is associated with the utilitarian theory of punishment because it essentially tries to benefit society.
focuses on the individual
- an attempt to better or reform the offender. The rationale for rehabilitation is that if the offender can be reformed, he or she is less likely to commit criminal conduct in the future.
It's designed to make D a better person.
designed to isolate, or remove D from society
- carried out in the form of incarceration or detention.
- incarceration is one of the most severe forms of punishment and is designed to punish the offender for violating the law.
- other than keeping D off streets, incapacitation isn't considered to have societal benefit, as its only goal is punishment.
punishment merely for the sake of punishment
- can be in the form of harming the offender, social balance or effectuating victim vengeance.
- they may make victims of crimes feel better, do not provide an overall societal benefit.
- you get what you deserve.
Utilitarian Theory
founded by Jeremy Benthan, asserts that the purpose of all laws is to maximize the net happiness of society
- forward thinking theory
- punishment should only be imposed if it will provide a societal benefit.
- the threat and/or pain of punishment can reduce crime because human beings calculate between pain and pleasure.
- if the perceived pain from punishment outweighs the potential pleasure from committing the criminal activity, people will not commit the crime.
- This theory works, according to utilitarian because human beings are hedonistic and rational calculators.
Retributivist Theory
set forth by immanuel Kant, posits that punishment is justified when it's deserved.
- punishment simply because the offender has violated the law, must fit the crime- proportionality.
- believe that human beings exercise free will.
- do not belive that punishment needs to provide a societal benefit
- looking backward to justify punishment solely for the voluntary commission of committing a crime.
Principal of Proportionality
- the punishment should fit the crime
- crimes are graded as well as punishments on levels
Crime Types
Malum in Se- coordinates with common law "evil in and of itself"

Malum Prohibita- "wrong because society says it's wrong."
Crime Classifications
1. felonies- more serious
2. Misdemeanors- less serious
3. grading by offenses committed- more serious crimes
unlawful killing of one human being caused by another human being
Common Law Homicide
Murder (today's second degree murder)
Manslaughter (voluntary and involuntary)
- all punishable by death
Malice aforethought
Common Law Murder and 2nd Degree Murder
(1 of 3 mental states)
- intent to kill
- intent to do great bodily harm
- Intentional creation of a very high risk that death or great bodily harm will occur "depraved heart"
(subjective mental state)
Gross (Criminal) Negligence
1. One of two alternative elements
2. Defined as gross departure from what a reasonable person should do under the same circumstances
3. Objective mental state
4. Something less than intentional creation of a very high risk, but greater than ordinary "negligence"
Mitigating Circumstances
1. distinguishing characteristic of voluntary manslaughter
2. Circumstances that society is willing to recognize as sufficient to reduce an intentional killing down from murder to voluntary manslaughter
Heat of Passion
1. Reasonable provocation
2. No reasonable cooling off period.
- would a reasonable person lose control
- D lost control
- No time for a reasonable person to cool off.
- D did not cool off

May also have Imperfect Privelage (not at common law)
- unreasonable belief that life is in danger.
- use of excessive force in self- defense
- Defendant was the initial aggressor.
1st Degree Murder (Penn. 1st degree)
1. willful- intent to kill ie: intentional
2. Deliberate- cooly consider one's options, weigh options
3. Premeditated- take a second look and think about before hand
- planning, motive, manner of killing
1. use of deadly weapon
2. the cruelty of killing
3. declarations of intent to kill
4. procurement of a weapon
5. preparations before the crime to conceal it.
6. calmness after the killing.

(subjective mental state)