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Criminal Justice. Unit 1 Crime. What is criminal justice?.

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criminal justice

Criminal Justice

Unit 1


Criminal justice is the application or study of laws regarding criminal behavior. Those who study criminal justice include the police, those working in a judiciary capacity, and lawyers who either defend or prosecute those accused of a crime. Others work to advocate for changes in the current system of criminal justice, such as those who render decisions regarding current laws, like members of Supreme Courts.

Jurisprudence is the study and theory of law. Scholars of jurisprudence, or legal theorists (including legal philosophers and social theorists of law), hope to obtain a deeper understanding of the nature of law, of legal reasoning, legal systems and of legal institutions.

two areas of jurisprudence
Two areas of Jurisprudence
  • Criminal Law
    • Focuses on defining crime
    • Is contained in a wide array of statutes and ordinances enacted by federal, state, and city government.
    • The process of defining and applying criminal law never stops. Legislatures repeal out-of-date laws, modify existing laws, and enact new laws.
  • Criminal Procedure
    • Focuses on the steps taken and decisions made in the investigation, accusation, trial, verdict, and sentencing of a criminal defendant.
    • Are designed to protect a defendant from being falsely accused or wrongly convicted of a crime.
chapter 1

Chapter 1


the basics of crime
The Basics of Crime
  • Criminal vs. Civil Cases
    • Civil Cases
      • Individuals sue one another seeking compensation for injuries done to them.
    • Criminal Case
      • The state prosecutes individuals for injuring society
      • Instead of compensation the state seeks to punish the individual
the sources of criminal law
The Sources of Criminal Law
  • Our criminal law spring from two major sources, laws passed by legislatures and what is called common law.
  • What is Common Law?
  • What are its problems?
  • The primary source of criminal law today is legislative enactment.
where laws come from
Where Laws come from:
  • Constitutions
    • Federal or State
  • U.S. Statutes
  • State Statutes
  • Local Ordinances
  • Common Law
    • Judge Made
History of Michigan’s Constitutions
  • Michigan has adopted four Constitutions. The Constitution of 1835 was adopted
  • two years before Michigan became a state. The Constitutional Convention of 1835
  • met at the Territorial Capitol in Detroit on May 11, 1835, and adjourned on June 24,
  • 1835. The Constitution of 1835 was adopted at an election held on October 5 and 6,
  • 1835, by a vote of 6,752 to 1,374.
  • On June 3, 1850, a Constitutional Convention met at Lansing and completed its
  • revision on August 15. The Constitution of 1850 was presented at the election of
  • November 5, 1850, and adopted by a vote of 36,169 to 9,433.
  • Over fifty years passed before a new Constitution was adopted. On October 22,
  • 1907, a Constitutional Convention convened at Lansing and completed its revision on
  • March 3, 1908. The Constitution of 1908 was adopted on November 3, 1908, by a vote
  • of 244,705 to 130,783.
  • Four attempts were made to call a Constitutional Convention for the purpose of
  • revising the Constitution of 1908 before the question was approved by the voters on
  • April 3, 1961. A primary election for the purpose of electing delegates was held on
  • July 25, 1961, and on September 12, 1961, one hundred forty-four delegates were
  • elected. The delegates met at Convention Hall in the Civic Center, Lansing, on
  • October 3, 1961, and adopted the proposed Constitution on August 1, 1962. The
  • Constitution was submitted at the election of April 1, 1963, and adopted. A recount
  • established the vote as 810,860 to 803,436. The effective date of the Constitution of
  • 1963 is January 1, 1964.
  • The constitutional provisions in this publication are reprinted from the text of
  • the Michigan Compiled Laws, supplemented through January 1, 2009. Materials
  • in boldface type, particularly catchlines and annotations, are not part of the
  • Constitution.
classifications of offenses
Classifications of Offenses
  • Felonies and Misdemeanors
    • Most states make a crime punishable by death or imprisonment in a state prison a felony
    • Time in a local jail is a misdemeanor
    • Other states determine by length of imprisonment
      • More than one year is a felony
      • Less that one year is a misdemeanor
what is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony
What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?
  • Michigan state law includes separate statutes for a large number of different criminal offenses, but there is one major distinction between two categories of crime: misdemeanors and felonies. The difference between a misdemeanor and a felony is one of severity, since felony criminal offenses are considered to be more serious than misdemeanors, and therefore they carry harsher penalties for a conviction. Generally speaking, a felony is punishable by a term of imprisonment lasting anywhere from a year to life, while the maximum sentence for a misdemeanor is one year in jail. For certain, misdemeanor offenses which are charged as violations of local ordinances, such as a first-offense OWI, larceny, embezzlement or shoplifting, the maximum sentence may be limited to 93 days in jail.
misdemeanor vs felony theft
Misdemeanor vs. Felony Theft
  • If the property value ranges between $200 and $1,000, theft is classified as a misdemeanor and merits time in custody of up to one year and a fine of no more than $2,000. If the property value is less than $200, the offender can receive a maximum of 93 days in jail and a fine of less than $500. These terms are valid as of November 2010.
go to page 9 in the text book
Go To page 9 in the Text Book.
  • Answer the 3 discussion questions. (Use complete sentences)
  • Then do Class Activity Part 1 A&B
bell ringer 09 09 2013
Bell Ringer 09/09/2013
  • What Characteristics distinguish criminal from civil cases?
  • What are the two sources of criminal law? How do the differ?
elements of a crime
Elements of a Crime
  • The criminal justice system carefully defines exactly what a crime is. The system also takes care in defining what must be proved to convict a person of a crime.
the four elements of a crime
The four elements of a crime:
  • A prohibited Act
    • The act is almost always defined by a statute
    • The law does not punish people for having a criminal thought. THERE MUST BE AN ACT!
    • Failing to act may also be a crime
    • Actus rea – a wrongful deed which renders the actor criminally liable if combined with….
  • Criminal intent
    • Mens rea
    • Usually falls into four categories
    • The most difficult element to prove
the four elements of a crime continued
The four elements of a crime:continued

3. Concurrence of the act and the intent

- The person has to intend the act when he or she commits it.

- Sluggo and Nancy example

4. Causation

- The act has to cause the harmful result.

- Homer and Marge example

criminal intent
  • Criminal laws generally punish only those who have criminal intent. But what constitutes a guilty mind depends on the crime
  • The criminal intent required for most crimes usually falls into one of FOUR categories.
criminal intent1
Criminal Intent
  • Specific intent
  • General intent
  • Criminal Negligence
  • Strict Liability
1 specific intent
1. Specific Intent
  • The easiest to define.
  • It means:
    • The person intended just the result that happened
  • Certain crimes, such as theft, require specific intent.
  • Example: Theft of a car
2 general intent
2. General Intent
  • It means:
    • The person either knew that the result would happen or consciously disregard the extreme likelihood that it would happen.
  • Example: New Years Eve gunshot
3 criminal negligence
3. Criminal Negligence
  • Means:
    • A person does some act unintentionally but with an extreme lack of care.
  • Example: Drag Racing
4 strict liability
4. Strict Liability
  • Means:
    • No mental state is required at all.
    • Anyone doing the act is guilty regardless of intent.
  • Almost all common-law crimes required some mental state.
  • Examples: Bigamy and running a red light

Like all crimes, murder is made up of particular elements. These must be proved before a person can be convicted.

Murder at common law and under many statutes is the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought.

malice aforethought
Malice aforethought
  • Is the intent, or mens rea, element of this crime.
  • Malice aforethought is sometimes defined as an actual or implied intention to kill with no provocation by the victim.
  • Actual intent is found when the defendant consciously meant to cause another’s death. Implied intention exists when the defendant either:
    • Intended to cause great bodily harm


    • Should have known that the act would result in death or great bodily harm.
bell ringer 09 10 2013
Bell Ringer 09/10/2013
  • What are the four categories of Criminal Intent? Provide a brief Description of each.
degrees of homicide
Degrees of Homicide
  • First-degree murder
  • Second-degree murder
  • Felony murder
  • Voluntary manslaughter
  • Involuntary Manslaughter
  • Vehicular homicide
first degree murder
First-degree murder
  • A deliberate and premeditated killing done with malice aforethought.
    • “deliberate” – means it is done with a cool mind, capable of reflection
    • “premeditated” – means the person actually reflected on the murder before committing it.
    • “malice aforethought” – means that the killer had the intent to kill
    • It takes all three elements to establish the specific intent for first-degree murder
second degree murder
Second-degree murder
  • A killing done with malice aforethought, but without deliberation and premeditation.
  • This covers all murders that are not first degree
felony murder
Felony murder
  • A killing done while a person is committing a felony.
  • If the killing is done while committing certain felonies such as robbery, rape, arson, or burglary, it is classified as first degree.
  • Other felonies are considered second-degree
voluntary manslaughter
Voluntary manslaughter
  • An intentional killing committed without malice aforethought.
    • The killer must:
      • Be seriously provoked by the victim
      • Act in the heat of anger, and
      • Not have had an opportunity to cool off

The provoking act does not excuse the killing, but makes the crime a lesser degree than second-degree murder

involuntary manslaughter
Involuntary manslaughter
  • Is an unintended killing that takes place during a crime that is a misdemeanor.
  • It can also be a killing caused by criminal negligence.
vehicular homicide
Vehicular homicide
  • A crime recognized by many states.
  • It covers killings from automobile accidents when the driver is criminally negligent.
bell ringer 09 11 2013
Bell Ringer 09/11/2013
  • Identify all six types of homicides talked about in class.
  • Briefly explain three of them
what is larceny
What is Larceny?
  • Is the usual legal word for THEFT.
  • It means taking without permission someone else’s property and intending not to give it back.
two categories of larceny
Two Categories of Larceny
  • Grand Theft
    • Means stealing property over a certain amount. The amount varies from state to state. It is usually around $500.
    • Grand Theft is a Felony
  • Petty Theft
    • Means stealing property worth less than that of Grand Theft.
    • Petty Theft is a Misdemaenor
the three main forms of larceny
The Three main forms of Larceny
  • Burglary
    • Unlawful entry into any building with the intent to commit a crime
    • Some states include breaking into cars.
  • Robbery
    • Is a crime against a person
    • It is the forcible stealing – the taking of a person’s property by violence or by threatening violence.
  • Armed Robbery
    • Means using a dangerous weapon to take something from a person.
    • Pretending to have a weapon is Armed Robbery
    • Is a more serious offense than robbery
other forms of stealing
Other forms of Stealing
  • Embezzlement
    • When people take property they have been entrusted with.
    • Differs from larceny in that the person takes possession of the property legally
  • Fraud
    • Is knowingly misrepresenting a fact to get property from another person.
    • Fraud is sometimes a crime in itself and more often an element of other crimes, such as larceny by trick, false pretenses, forgery, and writing bad checks.
other forms of stealing continued
Other forms of Stealing (continued)
  • Extortion
    • Is making a threat with the intent of getting property (money) from another person.
    • An extortionist can threaten violence. BUT if the threat is immediate harm it is Robbery.
  • Receiving Stolen Property
    • Is against the law in every state.
    • The crime requires that the person knows or should have known that the property is stolen.
assignment 2
Assignment #2
  • Turn to page 15 on your own due the class activity on your own. DO parts A,B,C,D
  • This is due by the end of the hour.
bell ringer 09 12 2013
Bell Ringer 09/12/2013
  • What is the difference between Robbery and extortion?
  • What is the difference between larceny and embezzlement?
  • Why do states make it illegal for a person to receive stolen goods?
inchoate crimes common law
Inchoate Crimes (Common Law)
  • Is an incomplete crime
  • Principle in the first degree- Person who actually commits the Crime
  • Principle in the second degree- Person who was at or near the crime scene and helped commit the crime.
  • Accessory before the fact- person does not take part in the crime but help prepare for the crime
now a days we label these people as an accomplice
Now a days we label these people as an Accomplice
  • Someone who aids another in committing a crime.
  • An accomplice is just as guilty as the person committing the crime.
accessory after the fact
Accessory after the fact
  • Someone that helps a felon after the crime has been committed.
  • Three things need to occur for this to be a crime
    • The person must help the criminal avoid getting caught or convicted
    • The felony must have already been committed.
    • The defendant must know about the crime and intentionally help the criminal.
  • This is an Inchoate crime consisting of three elements.
    • A person must intend to commit a crime
    • The person must take steps towards committing a crime.
    • The person must not actually commit the crime.
  • An agreement between two or more people to commit a crime.
  • Un like attempt conspiracy does not require a substantial step towards committing the crime.
  • Is an Inchoate crime that consists of asking, ordering, or encouraging another to commit a crime.
  • The person making the solicitation must intend for the other person to commit the crime.
bell ringer 09 18 2013
Bell Ringer 09/18/2013
  • 1. What are inchoate crimes? How do they differ from most crimes? Explain
crimes against the justice system
Crimes Against the Justice System

The criminal Justice System trust police officers, attorneys, judges, jurors, witnesses, and other officials to act honestly and without improper interference from others.

That does not always happen.

contempt of court
Contempt of Court
  • Contempt is when a person or people show disrespect, disrupt, the court room, or fail to follow court order.
  • Two types of contempt
  • Civil- usually involves not following court orders, a fine is usually the penalty.
  • Criminal-is a crime, and its purpose is to punish those who disrupt or attack the integrity of the courts.
criminal contempt
Criminal contempt
  • The U.S. Code declares that federal courts have the “power to punish by fine or imprisonment, or both” the following:
  • (1) Misbehavior of any person in its presence or so near thereto as to obstruct the administration of justice;
  • (2) Misbehavior of any of its officers in their official transactions;
  • (3) Disobedience or resistance to its lawful writ, process, order, rule, decree, or command.
  • Perjury occurs when a person takes an oath in cases that “a law of the United States authorizes an oath to be administered” and will fully makes statements that he believes or knows to be untrue.
  • A related crime is the subornation of perjury and it is when one person persuades another person to perjure themselves.
witness tampering
Witness Tampering
  • U.S. Code outlaws, among other things, using physical force or the threat of physical force to get a witness not to testify.
jury tampering
Jury Tampering
  • The U.S. Code forbids anyone who “corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, endeavors to influence, intimidate, or impede any grand or petite” jurors from carrying out their duties.
  • It also outlaws any acts that are intended to “influence, obstruct, or impede, the due administration of justice,” such as influencing the outcome of a jury trial by deliberately disseminating information within the earshot of the jurors,
obstruction of justice
Obstruction of Justice
  • Interference with the orderly administration of law and justice.”
  • This means that obstruction of justice can encompasses many of the crimes we have already discussed.
to prove obstruction of justice the government must
To Prove Obstruction of Justice the government must…..
    • 1) a judicial proceeding is pending
    • (2) the defendant knows about the judicial proceeding
    • (3) the defendant acted in such away intending to corruptly influence or impede the proceeding.
  • Notice that the person does not have to succeed in influencing the case.
  • Bribery occurs when a person gives something of value, such as gifts or money, to public officials with the intention of influencing such officials.
  • To establish a bribery case, the government must prove that the person offering the bribe intended to influence an official action. The government does not have to prove that the official accepted the bribe.
bell ringer 09 19 2013
Bell Ringer 09/19/2013
  • Explain Perjury and give an example of it.
bell ringer 09 20 2013
Bell Ringer 09/20/2013
  • What are hate crimes?
  • What is a cyber crime?
hate crimes
Hate Crimes
  • any crime committed against a person or a person’s property motivated because of the person’s race, religion, nationality, or ethnicity.
cyber crime
Cyber crime
  • encompasses any criminal act dealing with computers and networks. Additionally, cyber crime also includes traditional crimes conducted through the internet.
  • Hacking is electronically breaking into or disrupting computer systems.