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Criminal Law


Mission this week: learn to log in to Westlaw. Go to TWEN, Criminal Law Givelber. Course home-page (currently has syllabus).

January 16: class will be 1:45-3:15pm.

Criminal law in this country is statutory, but instead of learning specific state law, learn the Model Penal Code (cb1165 or cs141). Need to know how model penal code applies to every situation, need to read it long before final exam. Read relevant sections through cases.

Differences between Criminal Law and Civil Law

Assignment for tomorrow: read 'the criminal act' in casebook.

Thursday, January 3, 2002

(Tuesday's Row: Adam to Carrie (front left))

Requirement of an Act

In theory, cannot be punished for thought alone. Requirement of a voluntary act.

Material in 111-136 might be worth rereading at a later date.

Proctor v. State

[176 P. 771]


At least some courts will hold possession on premises which you control to be illegal possession. Modal Penal Code would require 'awareness of control thereof for a sufficient period to have been able to terminate his possession.' Article 2, Section 2.01 (4).

Would probably come down to how much owner of premises tried to stop person from possessing illegal substance on premises.


Basis for illegal omissions: pre-existing relationship between defendant and victim, contract, taken action towards victim, or statutory requirement.

Jones v. US

[308 F.2d 307] 1962 US Court of Appeals


State v. Newton

[340 N.Y.S.2d 77] 1973 Supreme Court of NY (cb125)

Martin v. State

[17 So. 2d 427] 1944 Alabama Court of Appeals (cb127)

People v. Grant

[360 N.E.2d 809] 1977 Appellate Court of Illinois (cb128)

Tuesday, January 8, 2002 (Class 3)

People v. Grant


[360 N.E.2d 809] 1977 Appellate Court of Illinois (cb128)

Robinson v. California

[370 U.S. 660] 1962 Supreme Court of the United States (cb136)

Powell v. Texas

[392 U.S. 514] 1968 Supreme Court (cb139)

Pottinger v. City of Miami

[810 F. Supp. 1551] 1992 Southern District of Florida (cb141)

Johnson v. State

[602 So.2d 1288] 1992 Florida Supreme Court (cb143)

Commonwealth v. Keller

[35 Pa. D & C. 2d 615] 1964 Common Pleas Court of Lebanon County, Pennsylvania (cb148)

Wednesday, January 9, 2002 (Class 4)

Commonwealth v. Keller


[35 Pa. D & C. 2d 615] 1964 Common Pleas Court of Lebanon County, Pennsylvania (cb148)

Keeler v. Superior Court of Amador County

[470 p. 2d 617] 1970 Supreme Court of California (cb154)

People v. Van Alstyne

[46 Cal. App. 3d 900] 1975 California Appellate Court (cb161)

City of Chicago v. Jesus Morales Et Al.

[527 U.S. 41] 1999 Supreme Court of United States (cb162)

  1. Police officer identifies a gang member
  2. Gang member loitering with no apparent purpose.
  3. Police officer orders dispersal.
  4. Those ordered must disobey.

Thursday, January 10, 2002 (Class 5)

City of Chicago v. Jesus Morales Et Al.


[527 U.S. 41] 1999 Supreme Court of United States (cb162)


Alex Cabarga Case

Federal sentencing guidelines take away rehabilitation and reform functions. No parole system.

Tuesday, January 15, 2002 (Class 6)

8th Amendment

Rummell v. Estelle

Solem v. Helm

[463 U.S. 277] 1983 United States Supreme Court (cb84)

Harmelin v. Michigan

[501 U.S. 957] 1991 United States Supreme Court (cb90)

Federal Sentencing Guidlines

Tomorrow: guest speakers at 1:45pm.

Thursday: Mark to Melissa are 'on'.

Thursday, January 17, 2002 (Class 7)

Federal Sentencing Guidelines

Koon v. United States

[518 U.S. 81] 1996 United States Supreme Court (cb104)

Currently, jury does not need to hear evidence on all aspects used in sentencing. Apprende (sp?) may change this.

State of Mind (Mens Rea)

United States v. Balint

[258 U.S. 250] 1922 United States Supreme Court (cb185)

United States v. Dotterweich

[320 U.S. 277] 1943 United States Supreme Court (cb189)

United States v. Park

[421 U.S. 658] 1975 United States Supreme Court (cb192)

Next class: Julie to Rob are 'on'.

Tuesday, January 22, 2002 (Class 8)

State of Mind


United States v. Park

Morissette v. United States

[342 U.S. 246] 1952 United States Supreme Court (cb193)

U.S. v. X-Citement Video

[513 U.S. 64] 1994 United States Supreme Court (cb195)

  1. Transport
  2. in interstate or foreign commerce
  3. any visual depiction if
    1. producing of video involves a minor in sexually explicit acts and
    2. depiction is of minor in sexually explicit acts

U.S. v. U.S.D.C.

[858 F.2d 534] 1988 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (cb196)

Whenever there is criminal statute that contains more than one element (always) there will always be problems with the state of mind requirement.

Regina v. Faulkner

[13 Cox C.C. 550] 1877 Court of Crown Cases Reserved (cb202)

Other standard for model penal code culpability: knowledge.

What if person is given $200 to carry backpack with heroine, but claims they do not know what they are transporting.

United States v. Jewell

[532 F.2d 697] 1976 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (cb219)

Next class: Kia to John, up to Stacy, over to Adam

Wednesay, January 23, 2002 (Class 9)

There is no generic definition of specific intent/general intent. Don't use them in this course!

United States v. Doe

[136 F.3d 631] 1998 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals (cb223)

State v. Neuzil

[589 N.W.2d 708] 1999 Iowa Supreme Court (cb223)

Mistake Cases

Regina v. Prince

[L.R. 2 Crim. Cas. Res. 154] 1875 Court for Crown Cases Reserved (cb223)

  1. Taking
  2. any unmarried girl
  3. under sixteen
  4. out of possession
  5. and against will of parent/guardian

People v. Ryan

[626 N.E.2d 51] 1993 Court of Appeals of New York (cb230)

Jen to George-Marie will be 'on' tomorrow.

Thursday, January 24, 2002 (Class 10)

Mistake of Fact and Mistake of Law

Model Penal Code 221.1: Burglary Defined

A person is guilty of burglary if he enters a building or occupied structure, or separately secured or occupied portion thereof, with purpose to commit a crime therein, unless the premises are at the time open to the public or the actor is licensed or privileged to enter. It is an affirmative defense to prosecution for burglary that the building or structure was abandoned.

In hypothetical where woman mistakenly enters other premises and takes jewelry after getting there, woman is not guilty of burglary, since she did not enter with intent to commit a crime.

Person enters what appears to be warehouse to steal for drug money, turns out it is someone's dwelling. This would be a burglary, but under Model Penal Code not of the second degree, since the same state of mind would apply to whether or not it was the dwelling of another at night (either purpose, or if that doesn't make sense, knowledge or recklessness).

Person notices open window to what appears to be a dwelling, breaks in, but discovers it is yarn factory and leaves empty handed. Probably guilty of burglary of the third degree and attempted burglary of the second degree.

If there is no state of mind associated with any element of a crime, then you need to move to rules of construction. Under Model Penal Code if there is any state of mind in any element of crime, then that applies to all elements. If there is no state of mind, then recklessness applies. Presumption against Strict Liability rules.

Mistake of Fact v. Mistake of Law: Model Penal Code draws no such distinction. 2.04:

  1. Ignorance or mistake as to a matter of fact or law is a defense if:
    1. the ignorance or mistake negatives the purpose, knowledge, belief, recklessness or negligence required to establish a material element of the offense; or
    2. the law provides that the state of mind established by such ignorance or mistake constitutes a defense.

United States v. Learned

[26 F. Cas. 893] 1870 East Michigan District Court (cb245)

People v. Bray

[52 Cal. App. 3d 494] 1975 Court of Appeal of California (cb248)

Julio Marrero Case

United States v. Baker

[807 F.2d 427] 1986 Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals (cb252)

Smith case: tenant took and damaged electrical equipment he had installed in apartment, not knowing that property belonged to landlord. Mistake of non-governing law, exonerates defendant.

Cheek v. United States

[498 U.S. 192] 1991 United States Supreme Court (cb255)

Cathleen through Darren for next class.

Tuesday, January 29, 2002 (Class 11)

Julio Marrero Case


Ratzslaff Case

Lambert v. California

[355 U.S. 225] 1957 United States Supreme Court

Long v. State

[65 A.2d 489] 1949 Delaware Supreme Court

Commonwealth v. Twitchell

[617 N.E.2d 609] 1993 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

Hendershott v. The People

[653 P.2d 385] 1982 Colorado Supreme Court

Wednesday, January 30, 2002 (Class 11)

State v. Cameron

[514 A.2d 1302] 1986 New Jersey Supreme Court

Law does not want inhibition-reudcing activity to become reason for limiting seriousness of what someone does. Thus mental condition may be admissible, but inhibition may not. Intoxication as a defense would 'swallow' all of criminal law.

Montana v. Egelhoff

[518 U.S. 37] 1996 United States Supreme Court


Under Egelhoff could have crime of 'drunken murder'. But this is unstable area of law now.


Regina v. Martin Dyos

Joseph Wood Case

(Robinson 65-69)

Jenny to Tarah for tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 5, 2002 (Class 13) (Assignments 13)

Lesson from Dyos case: can't hold someone criminally liable for death where multiple actors may have caused death but can't identify other actor. But if identities of all simultaneously contributing actors are known, then they can all be guilty of murder. They are then all substantially contributing cause of death (traditional doctrine).

On the other hand, if Dyos strikes with intent to kill, and then Tom strikes with intent to kill one minute later and speeds death, than Dyos is only guilty of attempted murder and then Tom is guilty to murder.

Dyos would have been liable in torts. Criminal law in this case comes to different result: if you don't know for sure that defendant's action caused injury then can't hold them liable.

Interaction of mens rea and causation. In torts, law will sometimes carry causation further in intentional torts than in unintentional torts. In criminal law, situation is reversed: crimes with higher mens rea standards may not allow for as long as chain of causation. Rationale: want to punish people for what they set out to do less than what they actually they did.

Commonwealth v. Rhoades

[401 N.E.2d 342] 1980 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (cb300)

Hypotheticals (cb303)

Commonwealth v. Root

[170 A.2d 310] 1961 Pennsylvania Supreme Court

People v. Kevorkian

[527 N.W.2d 714] 1994 Michigan Supreme Court

For tomorrow nobody in particular is 'on', but will cover murder and some of manslaughter.

Wednesday, February 6, 2002 (Class 14) (Assignments 13-14)

People v. Kevorkian


[527 N.W.2d 714] 1994 Michigan Supreme Court

People v. Beardsley

[113 N.W. 1128] 1907 Michigan Supreme Court

Palmer (cb343) and Leg (cb344) cases:


Francis v. Franklin

United States Supreme Court

Row including Angela to April for tomorrow. Only responsible for Berry and Woo. Will get through all of provocation tomorrow.

Thursday, February 7, 2002 (Class 15) (Assignments 15-16)

History of Murder

People v. Walker

[204 N.E.2d 594] 1965 Illinois Court of Appeals (cb380)

Distinction between justification and excuse (both are partial):

Rowland v. State

[35 So. 826] 1904 Mississippi Supreme Court (cb386)

In 20th century, questions began to arise as to why there were only a few situations that could count as justificitino or excuse.

People v. Berry

[556 P.2d 777] 1976 California Supreme Court (cb402)

People v. Wu

[235 Cal. App. 3d 614] 1991 California Court of Appeal (cb415)

For next time, everyone from Jeanette back is 'on'.

Tuesday, February 12, 2002 (Class 16) (Assignments 16-17)

People v. Wu


[235 Cal. App. 3d 614] 1991 California Court of Appeal (cb415)

Intentional killings are either murder or voluntary manslaughter--problems with voluntary manslaughter category, though.

Commonwealth v. Welansky

[55 N.E.2d 902] 1944 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

Case of father who accidentally left child in car, who then died. Maybe no utilitaritarian justification for punishment, but what about retribution?

State v. Williams

[484 P.2d 1167] 1971 Washington Court of Appeals

For next time, Christina to Larry, and over to Anna (are 'on').

Wednesday, February 13, 2002 (Class 17) (Assignments 17-18)

State v. Williams


[484 P.2d 1167] 1971 Washington Court of Appeals

Reckless Homicide

Mayes v. People

[106 Ill. 306] 1883 Illiniois Supreme Court

Commonwealth v. Malone

[47 A.2d 445] 1946 Pennsylvania Supreme Court

Commonwealth v. Woodward

[1997 WL 694119] 1997 Massachusetts Superior Court (cb455)

Dog Cases

People v. Stamp

[2 Cal. App. 3d 203] 1969 California Court of Appeal

Max to Ariel are 'on' tomorrow.

Thursday, February 14, 2002 (Class 18) (Assignments 18-19)

People v. Stamp


[2 Cal. App. 3d 203] 1969 California Court of Appeal

Why felony murder rule?

  1. Extreme recklessness
  2. Bad people should be strictly liable
  3. Safer felonies
  4. Deter felony to begin with

People v. Gladman

[359 N.E.2d 420] 1976 New York Court of Appeals

Bethany to Michelle are 'on' for Tuesday.

Tuesday, February 19, 2002 (Class 19) (Assignment 19)

People v. Hickman

[297 N.E.2d 582] 1973 Illinois 3d District Appellate Court

DeSean? McCarthy?

People v. Washington

[402 P.2d 130] 1965 California Supreme Court

Taylor v. People

[477 P.2d 131] 1970 California Supreme Court

Hypothetical Question

Adam to Carrie are 'on' for tomorrow (on death penalty material).

Wednesday, February 20, 2002 (Class 20) (Assignments 20-21)


People v. Moran

[158 N.E. 35] 1927 New York Court of Appeals (cb501)

History of Capital Punishment

Thursday, February 21, 2002 (Class 21) (Assignment 21)

Jones v. United States

[527 U.S. 373] 1999 United States Supreme Court (cb519)

Lockett v. Ohio

[438 U.S. 586] 1978 United States Supreme Court (cb538)

Tison v. Arizona

[481 U.S. 137] 1987 United States Supreme Court (cb546)

McCleskey? v. Kemp

[481 U.S. 279] 1987 United States Supreme Court (cb555)

Spring Break (February 23-March 2)

Notes are continued in ClassNotesCriminalLawGivelber2, which should load faster!

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Last edited April 25, 2002 12:30 pm ET (diff)