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Week 2

Uploaded: A week ago
Contributor: rcazares7
Category: Biology
Type: Lecture Notes
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Filename:   Week 2.docx (111.93 kB)
Page Count: 5
Credit Cost: 1
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Week 2 (September 2 (No School) and 4) Sources of U.S. Law Sources of Criminal Law: Constitutions The highest form of law in the United States is the Constitution of the United States. The constitution is not a source of specific laws or criminal prohibitions (although it does define treasons as a crime). Instead it serves as a constraint on the police power of the government. The constitution sets limits on the nature and extent of criminal law that the government can enact It guards personal liberties by restricting undue government interference in the lives of individuals and implicitly ensuring personal privacy. The bill of rights contains most of the constitution’s limits on the authority of the government to regulate people. The Constitution imposes a number of specific requirements and restrictions on both the state and federal governments, and it protects individual rights in the area of criminal law. They include: Limits on the governments police power Limits on strict liability crimes Protection against ex post facto laws Protection against laws that are vague and unclear Protection of free thought and free speech Protection of the right to keep and bear arms Freedom of religion Freedom of the press Freedom to assemble peaceably Freedom from unfair deprivation of life, liberty, and property Prohibitions against unreasonable searches and seizures Protection against warrants issued without probable cause Protection against double jeopardy in criminal proceedings Protection against self-incrimination Right to a speedy and public trial before an impartial jury Right to be informed of the nature of the charges Right to confront witnesses Right to the assistance of defense counsel Prohibition against excessive bail Prohibition against excessive fines Prohibition against cruel and unusual punishments Guarantees of equal protection of the laws Legislation: I.e., Statutes, ordinances, and regulations Judicial Decisions: I.e., Common law American Law Institute: I.e., The Model Penal Code A model code of criminal laws intended to standardize general provisions of criminal liability, sentencing, defenses, and the definitions of specific crimes between and among the states. The Model Penal Code was developed by the American Law Institute. The Modern U.S. Legal System Federalism Federalism: Refers to a system of government that has both local and national elements. This is contrasted with unitary systems, which have only one national or centralized government, although regional or local subunits may exist. “A federal system of government is one in which two governments have jurisdiction over the inhabitants.” Under federalism, a central government coexists with various state and local governments. Although federal jurisdiction has grown considerably since the Constitution was adopted, approximately 95% of criminal prosecutions still occur under state law and in state courts. Most crime is investigated by state and local police agencies. The Supreme Court’s decisions have enabled the federal government to expand its authority to meet contemporary problems, but within limits. Separation of Powers 622544786814Executive Legislative Judicial 00Executive Legislative Judicial 069853 Branches of Government 003 Branches of Government The Judicial Component: Entering Court Civil Cases: Private citizens or companies file a complaint. I.e., a lawsuit is brought. Criminal Cases: Governments indict and prosecute, or private citizens press charges. The Judicial Component: Being Heard Ripeness: There must be a controversy at the moment. Mootness: The controversy must not be stale. Political Questions: Courts hold that an issue is best decided by another branch of government. Standing: Whether or not a specific person can bring a complaint. I.e., Must be an injured party. The Judicial Component: Federal Court Supreme Court (1 national) Circuit Courts of Appeal (12 regional, 1 Federal) District Courts (94 districts, each with Bankruptcy) Special Courts (International Trade; Admiralty; Court of Military Justice; Federal Claims) An Adversarial, Accusatorial, Due Process System The Advocacy Model Like other common law nations, the United States employs an adversarial and accusatorial system. An adversarial, accusatorial system is like a contest in which the prosecution is pitted against the defense VS. An inquisitorial system is more like an ongoing inquiry with both the prosecution and the defense seeking the truth Standards of Proof 51435-11171100 Deciders of Criminal Liability Judges: “Trier of Law” Juries: “Trier of Fact” Final Thoughts: Limitations on Criminal Law Limitations on Criminal Law Jurisdiction Cruel and Unusual Punishment Due Process and Equal Protection Right of Privacy

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