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CHAPTER 7. Crime. Click your mouse anywhere on the screen to advance the text in each slide. After the starburst appears, click a blue triangle to move to the next slide or previous slide. Quotes of the Day. “He threatens many that hath injured one .” Ben Jonson, English Dramatist.

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CHAPTER 7

Crime

Click your mouse anywhere on the screen to advance the text in each slide. After the starburst appears, click a blue triangle to move to the next slide or previous slide.


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Quotes of the Day

“He threatens many that hath injured one.”

Ben Jonson, English Dramatist

“Most of the evils of life arise from man’s being unable to sit still in a room.”

Blaise Pascal, French Scientist and Religious Essayist


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Civil Law vs. Criminal Law

Civil law concerns the rights and liabilities between private parties; criminal law concerns those activities that society has outlawed.

  • Procedure for criminal trial -- government decides whether to prosecute; defendant has the right to a jury trial.

  • In a criminal suit, the court determines the guilt, so that a punishment can be given.

  • A felony is a serious crime, with a sentence of one year or more in prison. A misdemeanor is less serious, often with a sentence of less than a year.


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Purpose of Punishment

  • Restraint -- to keep a violent criminal away from the rest of society.

  • Deterrence -- avoid future crimes, both by this criminal and by others “warned” by the punishment.

  • Retribution -- to give criminal a punishment equal to his crime.

  • Vengeance -- to make the criminal suffer.

  • Rehabilitation -- to provide training to allow the prisoner to return to normal life.


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The Prosecution’s Case

  • Conduct Outlawed

    • The prosecution must show that the defendant’s alleged activity is indeed illegal.

  • Burden of Proof

    • The jury must believe beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict. This is to protect innocent defendants from undeserved punishment.

  • Actus Reus (means “the guilty act”)

    • The prosecution must show that the defendant committed the act (not just talked about doing it).

  • Mens Rea (means “guilty state of mind”)

    • SEE NEXT SLIDE


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Mens Rea

The defendant must have had a “guilty state of mind.”

  • General Intent

    • Required by most crimes; the defendant intended to do the illegal act they are accused of doing.

  • Specific Intent

    • Some cases require that the defendant intended to do something beyond the act they are accused of.

  • Reckless or Negligent Conduct

    • Consciously disregarding a substantial risk of injury.

  • Strict Liability

    • Certain actions don’t require a guilty state of mind, only proof that the defendant did the illegal action.


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Defenses

  • Insanity

    • A defendant who can prove he was insane at the time of the crime will be declared not guilty.

    • Two basic tests are used to determine sanity:

      • M’Naughten Rule: must show a serious, identifiable mental illness and that he didn’t understand the nature of his act.

      • Irresistible Impulse: must show that a mental defect left him unable to control his behavior.

  • Entrapment

    • If the government induces a defendant to break the law, they must prove that the defendant was predisposed to commit the crime.


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Defenses (cont’d)

  • Justification

    • A defendant may plead justification if he committed a criminal act in order to avoid a greater harm.

  • Duress

    • A defendant may plead duress if she can show that a threat by a third person caused her fear of imminent physical harm.


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Crimes That Harm Business

  • Larceny -- The trespassory taking of personal property with the intent to steal it.

    • Someone else originally had the property.

    • Applies to personal property, not services or real estate.

  • Embezzlement -- Fraudulent conversion of someone else’s property already in the defendant’s possession.

    • Defendant already had possession (but not ownership or control) of the property.

    • Defendant used property for own uses.


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Crimes That Harm Business(cont’d)

  • Fraud -- Deception for the purpose of taking money or property from someone.

    • Includes bank fraud, wire and mail fraud, insurance fraud, Medicare fraud.

  • Computer Crime -- federal statutes prohibit unauthorized access to computers:

    • in the federal government

    • at financial institutes involved with the government

    • by means of an internet that crosses state lines

Go to the internet for statistics on corporate losses to computer crime.

Click here for internet links describing various computer crimes.


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Crimes Committed by Business

  • If someone commits a crime within the scope of his employment and to benefit the corporation, the company is liable.

  • Punishment

    • Fines -- appropriate since this hurts the profit.

    • Imprisonment? -- yes, in the sense of closing down the company temporarily or permanently.

  • Compliance programs -- if a company has a valid, functioning plan to prevent and detect criminal behavior, the judge must (according to Federal Sentencing Guidelines) reduce the penalty of a crime of an employee.


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Crimes Committed by Business

  • Occupational Safety and Health Act

    • OSHA sets standards for safety in the workplace.

    • A state may set standards tougher than OSHA.

  • Money Laundering -- using the profits of criminal acts to promote more crime or concealing an illegal source of money.

    • Commonly associated with the illegal drug trade.

  • Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act

    • Creates both civil and criminal law liabilities.

    • Is aimed at organized crime -- those involved with a series of illegal acts.


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RICO --

Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act

RICO prohibits using two or more racketeering acts to accomplish certain goals.

  • Racketeering Acts

    • Include (among others) embezzlement, arson, mail fraud, and wire fraud.

    • To violate RICO, there must be two or more of these acts.

  • Goals that Violate RICO

    • Using criminal money to invest in or acquire a business.

    • Maintain a business using criminal activity.

    • Operate a business using criminal activity.


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Constitutional Protections

  • No matter what crime a suspect is accused of, the Constitution of the United States offers protection against inhumane treatment and ensures certain human rights.

  • The procedures by which a suspect is investigated, arrested, interrogated and tried is controlled by the Bill of Rights.

  • Almost all important criminal procedure rights have been expanded beyond the federal government to law enforcement at the state and local level.


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The Criminal Process

  • Notification to Police -- the police find out about a suspect, sometimes by an informant.

  • Warrant -- if a search is needed, police take an affidavit (sworn written statement from an informant) to a judge, who issues a warrant, giving permission to search a particular place, looking for particular evidence.

  • Probable Cause -- based on the information given, it is likely that the specified evidence will be found.

  • Search and Seizure -- police may search and seize only what is specified by the warrant.


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The Criminal Process (cont’d)

  • Arrest Warrant -- based on information found in the search, the judge may issue an arrest warrant.

  • Arrest -- when a suspect is arrested, he is informed of his rights and booked (name, photograph and fingerprints are recorded, along with the charges).

  • Bail Hearing -- a judge must promptly decide what the bail (if any) will be. This is the amount that must be paid for the suspect to be set free pending trial.


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The Criminal Process (cont’d)

  • Indictment -- if a grand jury (ordinary citizens) determines that there is probable cause to proceed to trial, the suspect is indicted (charged with the crime).

  • Arraignment -- the indictment is read to the suspect, who then pleads guilty or not guilty to the charges.

  • Discovery -- both sides gather as much evidence as possible. The prosecution must hand over to the defense any evidence favorable to the defense.


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The Criminal Process (cont’d)

  • Motion to Suppress -- if the defense thinks the prosecution got evidence illegally, it will ask the judge to exclude that evidence.

  • Plea Bargaining -- in many cases, the prosecution will offer to end the case with reduced charges if the defendant will plead guilty.

  • Trial and Appeal -- if no plea bargain is reached, the case goes to trial. The prosecution must convince the jury beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict. Convicted defendants may appeal.


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Fourth Amendment

Prohibits illegal searches and seizures.

  • There are six situations in which police may search without a warrant.

    • Plain view -- the evidence is not concealed.

    • Stop and Frisk -- may search a suspect if there is good reason to believe he may be armed.

    • Emergencies -- such as in a chase; suspect may be searched.

    • Automobiles -- if lawfully stopped for other reasons, and evidence is visible, police may search entire car.

    • Lawful arrest -- anyone arrested may be searched.

    • Consent -- if consent is given by the lawful occupant of the home, police may search it.


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Fourth Amendment

  • A search WITH a warrant is unlawful, if:

    • There was no probable cause.

    • The warrant did not specify place or items.

    • The search extended beyond the scope of the warrant.

  • Exclusionary Rule

    • Evidence obtained illegally (either without a warrant or improperly obtained with a warrant) may not be used at trial against the victim of the search.

    • The purpose of the exclusionary rule is to make sure that the police follow proper procedures when conducting a search.


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Fifth Amendment

  • Due Process -- procedures to ensure fairness must be followed.

  • Double Jeopardy -- a defendant may only be tried once for a particular offense, no matter what is found later.

  • Self-incrimination -- the prosecution may not use coercion to force a confession from a suspect. The suspect may refuse to answer any questions that could be used to convict him.

  • Miranda rights -- when arresting a suspect, the police must inform her that she has the right to remain silent, that anything she says can be used against her and that she has a right to a lawyer (for free if needed).


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Other Amendments

The Sixth Amendment

  • Guarantees the right to a lawyer, and to have him present for all stages of the process.

  • Government must provide lawyer, at no charge, for those who cannot afford one.

The Eighth Amendment

  • Prohibits cruel and unusual punishment.

  • Capital punishment (death penalty) has been controversial under this amendment.

  • Forfeiture (forced loss of property) has been allowed under this amendment, but the allowable amount has not been set.