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2011-03-07 13:52:15
Criminal Law Case Levin Utah

Levin Polisci 3220
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  1. Queen v. Dudley and Stephens 1884
    • cannibalization case on high seas
    • D & S, adrift at sea and starving
    • killed cabana boy and ate him, did not draw lots
    • court rejected defense of necessity, noted christian duty
    • to self sacrifice,
    • killing is justified in defense of human life only against
    • the attacker, not an innocent third party
  2. State v. Egan
    • Charged with nonfeasance, common law crime
    • argued statute incorporating c-l was vague
    • ct. held courts can't repeal statute, reader has
    • a duty to find out what the law is e.g. by reading up on
    • the common law
  3. Rogers v. Tennessee SCOTUS 2001
    • R. convicted 2nd degree murder
    • C-l rule one year and one day precludes conviction
    • Tenn. S-C upheld
    • SCOTUS ruled Tenn S-c not subject to EP (only strictly applies to
    • legislature) when the change is reasonable/not unexpected
  4. Keeler v. Superior Court Cal. S-C 1970
    • Keeler killed viable fetus
    • Court held C-L definition of murder applies, i.e. victim must be
    • born alive
    • Court cannot change definition of murderby rejecting c-l definition
    • sep powers
    • ex post facto/ due process
  5. Chicago v. Morales SCOTUS 1999
    • Addressed vagueness, due process of chicago loitering law aimed at gangs
    • no distinction between good loitering and bad loitering
    • too much discretion in the hands of police, no fair notice
  6. Papachristou v. Jacksonville SCOTUS 1972
    • challenged vagrancy law aimed at scoundrels vagabonds, common loafers
    • makes status a crime, criminalizes innocent behavior
    • encourages arbitrary enforcement
  7. Lawrence v. Texas SCOTUS 2003
    • Lawrence engaged in homosexual sodomy
    • violates privacy (Griswold) inherent in liberty
    • overturns Bowers v. Hardwick specifically
    • no harm (government interest) being prevented
    • sexual acts in privacy of home get special consideration
  8. Martin v. State Alabama appeals 1944
    • Martin convicted of being drunk on public hwy after police put him there
    • final act not voluntary
    • actus reus must be voluntary to be criminal
    • no mens rea to commit act
  9. People v. Grant Illinois 1977
    • Grant assaulted cop due to seizure, automaton phenomenon
    • automatic behavior, though not an insanity defense, precludes
    • voluntariness therefore jury was improperly instructed
    • but can be liable if a previous voluntary act e.g. getting drunk\
    • precipitated act
  10. Robinson v. California SCOTUS 1962
    • law making addiction itself a crime
    • Punishing for status is cruel and unusual b/c
    • addiction is an illness
    • White dissent: why can he be punished for the act that results from the
    • illness, but not the illness itself
    • 8/14 amendments
  11. Johnson v State S-C Florida 1992
    • J used crack while pregnant convicted of delivering controlled substance
    • through umbilical cord
    • legislature did not intend law to be applied in this way
    • no proof beyond reasonable doubt that delivery occurred during the "window"
    • no specific actus reus to delivery, i.e. taking the drug, by itself isnt actus reus
    • for delivering to the baby esp because birth time is unforeseeable
  12. Kansas v. Hendricks SCOTUS 1997
    • H. violent repeat sex offender
    • Kansas creates civil process to committ him (SVP Act)
    • does not violate d.j., d.p. or e.p. prohibition b/c not retributive in nature
    • state can deprive liberty for public safety, thus not "punishing" for a future act
    • but preventing future danger - incapacitation
  13. Ewing v. California SCOTUS 2003
    • 3 Golf clubs stolen
    • subject to three strikes rule sentenced to 25 years
    • proportionality does not apply to non capital cases unless the discrepancy is
    • particularly egregious - deference to legislature exercising police power
  14. Olsen v. State
    • Olsen executed three people during robbery
    • Jury did not properly apply mitigating factors because many of the factors used in pr. case
    • could apply broadly
    • capital punishment must be narrowly applied otherwise is cruel and unusual
    • e.g. imposing excessive fear improper (too broad) agravating factor because it could reasonably be applied to
    • any murder (murder is inherently violent)
  15. McCleskey v. Kemp SCOTUS 1987
    • M. killed a white police officer
    • Baldus study finds racial disparity in sentencing based on race of victim
    • challenge fails because in the particular case he can't prove discrimination
    • also contention that others in similar situations did not receive d.p.is arbitrary and
    • capricious rejected: leniency is part of the process, and is actually required to be fair
  16. People v. Dillard California Court of Appeal 1984
    • D. found guilty of possessing loaded firearm in public
    • Ct reject argument that an element of the crime was intent/scienter (knowledge of the
    • wrongful act)
    • common law principle of scienter has been modified, not needed where it would preclude prosecution
    • and where the purpose is regulation to further the public good if it was the intent of the legislature not to include it
  17. U.S. v. Wulff 6th Cir. 1985
    • W. convicted of felony offering to sell protected species, scienter not required by Act
    • MBTA felony provision unconstitutional b/c
    • Not a common law crime (notice)
    • Felony severely damages reputation/ possibility of significant time
    • Directed misdemeanor conviction
  18. Lambert v. CA SCOTUS 1957
    • L. convicted of failing to register as felon (mala prohibita, police power), not allowed to present lack of knowledge as defense
    • Lack of opportunity to conform to the law (notice) violates due process
    • Punishes status (applies only to convicts) – conduct consisting of presence would be innocent if done by the average member of society
  19. Regina v. Faulkner Ct. of Crown Cases 1877
    • While trying to steal rum, F. accidentally set fire to the ship
    • Ct. held that since the fire was incidental to the felony, did not constitute felonious arson
    • Was not a foreseeable result of the theft
  20. Jones v. US D.C. Cir. 1962
    • While under Jones’ care, baby died of malnourishment – convicted of manslaughter
    • Failure to act can only be criminal where there is a legal duty, not solely moral
    • A jury must find whether in fact there was a legal duty, e.g. Jones voluntarily assumed care and prevented others from aiding
  21. U.S. v. Moldonado U.S. Ct. of Appeals 1994
    • M. convicted of possession of cocaine with intent to sell
    • Held that possession includes constructive possession, i.e. M. had the drugs within his control (he consented to the placement of the drugs in his room) and had demonstrated by conversation that his intent was to take control
  22. People v. Beardsley Supreme Court of Michigan 1907
    • B.’s mistress overdosed while in his house (booze and morphine)
    • B. not liable because he did not have a legal duty to act, no duty created by her mere presence in his house, her status as mistress, as opposed to his duty had she been his wife
  23. Regina v. Prince Ct. for Crown Cases
    • Prince found guilty of taking an unmarried girl under 16 out of the possession of her father
    • Held that knowledge is not required (of her age), the perpetrator does so at his own peril
    • Brett argues that if the d. is reasonable in believing the facts to be such that his act is not a crime, he lacks mens rea and is not responsible