Chapter 2

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Chapter 2
2012-01-31 11:36:55
criminal law

Constitutional Limits on Criminal Law
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  1. constitutional democracy
    the balance between the power of gocernment and the rights of individuals.
  2. rule of law
    the proncipals that require that established written rules and procedures define, prohibit, and prescribe punishments for crimes.
  3. 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.
  4. Arbitrary
    legislation is based on random choice or personal whim, not on reason and standards.
  5. void-for-vagueness doctrine
    the principle that a statutes violate due process if they don't clearly define crime and punishment in advance.
  6. 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.
  7. equal protection of the laws
    criminal laws can treat groups of people differently only if the different treatment is reasonable.
  8. expressive conduct ( First Amendment)
    nonverbal communications of ideas and feelings
  9. void-for-overbreadth doctrine
    • 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.
  10. bench trial
    trial without juries, in which judge finds the facts
  11. 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.
  12. First Amendment
    -Freedom of Speech
    -rights of speech, religion, and association
    • expressive conduct
    • -expression not protected under First Amendment
    • --Obscenity, Profanity, Libel and slander, Fighting words, and clear and present danger
  13. libel
    damage to reputation expressed in print, writing, pictures, or signs
  14. Slander
    damaging reputation by spoken words
  15. Second Amendment
    the right to bear arms
  16. Third Amendment
    -ban on the quartering of sodiers in private homes
  17. Fourth Amendment
    -right to be secure in one's "person, house, papers, and effects" from "unreasonable searches"
  18. Eighth Amendment
    • -commands the cruel and unusual punishments shall not be inflicted.
    • --barbaric punishments
  19. Fifth Amendment
    guarantees that federal government shall not deny any individual life, liberty, or property without due process of law
  20. Ninth Amendment
    provision that " the enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people"
  21. Fourteenth Amendment
    provides no state government shall deny and person life, liberty, or property without due process of law.
  22. barbaric punishments
    punishment considered no longer acceptable
  23. cruel and unusual punishment
    punishments banned by the Eight Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
  24. principle of proportionality
    a principle of law stating that the punishment must be proportional to the crime committed.
  25. three-strikes-and-your-out laws
    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.
  26. mandatory minimum sentences
    the legislatively prescribed, nondiscretionary amount of prison time that all offenders covicted of the offense must serve.
  27. fixed (determinate) sentences
    sentences that fit the punishment to the crime
  28. sentencing guidlines
    a narrow range of penalties established by a commission with which judges are supposed to choose a specific sentence.
  29. Apprendi rule
    • 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
  30. abuse-of-discretion standard
    an adjudicator's failure to exercise sound, reasonable, and legal decision making.
  31. 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.
  32. strict scrutiny
    how The U.S. Supreme Court subjects all racial classifications
  33. 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.
  34. de novo
    a court's nondiscretionary review of a lower court's factual or legal findings.