the balance between the power of gocernment and the rights of individuals.
rule of law
the proncipals that require that established written rules and procedures define, prohibit, and prescribe punishments for crimes.
ex post facto law
two major purposes
-protect individuals by ensuring a fair warning
-preventing legislators from passing arbitrary and vindictive laws
laws passed after the occurrence of the occurrence constituting the crime
-criminalizes an act that was innocent when it was committed-increases the punishment for a crime after the crime was committed-takes away a defense that was available to a defendanrt when the crime was committed.
legislation is based on random choice or personal whim, not on reason and standards.
the principle that a statutes violate due process if they don't clearly define crime and punishment in advance.
fair notice (in void-for-vagueness doctrine)
vague laws deny individuals life, liberty, and property without due process of law because they don't give individuals fair warning.
equal protection of the laws
criminal laws can treat groups of people differently only if the different treatment is reasonable.
expressive conduct ( First Amendment)
nonverbal communications of ideas and feelings
the priciple that a statute is unconstitutional if it includes in its definition of "undesireable behavior" conduct protected under the U.S. Constitution.
-protects speech guaranteed by the first amendment by invalidating laws broadly written.
trial without juries, in which judge finds the facts
fundamental right to privacy
preferred right guaranteed in the Bill of Rights that requires a compelling state interest to justify legislation restricting privacy
--first, third, fourth, ninth, fifth, and fourteenth amendments.
-Freedom of Speech
-rights of speech, religion, and association
-expression not protected under First Amendment
--Obscenity, Profanity, Libel and slander, Fighting words, and clear and present danger
damage to reputation expressed in print, writing, pictures, or signs
damaging reputation by spoken words
the right to bear arms
-ban on the quartering of sodiers in private homes
-right to be secure in one's "person, house, papers, and effects" from "unreasonable searches"
-commands the cruel and unusual punishments shall not be inflicted.
guarantees that federal government shall not deny any individual life, liberty, or property without due process of law
provision that " the enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people"
provides no state government shall deny and person life, liberty, or property without due process of law.
punishment considered no longer acceptable
cruel and unusual punishment
punishments banned by the Eight Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
principle of proportionality
a principle of law stating that the punishment must be proportional to the crime committed.
statutes enacted by state governments in the United States which require the state courts to hand down a mandatory and extended period of incarceration to persons who have been convicted of a serious criminal offense on three or more separate occasions.
mandatory minimum sentences
the legislatively prescribed, nondiscretionary amount of prison time that all offenders covicted of the offense must serve.
fixed (determinate) sentences
sentences that fit the punishment to the crime
a narrow range of penalties established by a commission with which judges are supposed to choose a specific sentence.
other than a proir conviction, any fact that increases the penalty for a crime beyond the prescribed statutory maximim; must be submitted to a jury and proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
-applies only to cases in which judges increase sentences
an adjudicator's failure to exercise sound, reasonable, and legal decision making.
the first principle of criminal law
no one can be convicted of, or punished for, a crime unless the law defined the crime and prescribed the punishment before she engaged in the behavior that was defined as a crime.
how The U.S. Supreme Court subjects all racial classifications
Bill of Rights
Bans defining certain kinds of behavior as criminal
-making a crime out of the First Amendment (rights to speech, religion, and associations)
-criminalizing behavior protected by the rightw to privacy by the U.S Supreme Court.
a court's nondiscretionary review of a lower court's factual or legal findings.