Federal Criminal Law - Levin College of Law

Federal Criminal Law
Distance Learning Course Created at the
University of Florida Levin College of Law
Summer Semester
Instructor Information
Professor John F. Stinneford
E-Mail: Contact me through the email function on the Federal Criminal Law web course page.
Instructor Response Time
I typically respond to e-mails received during the week (Monday through Friday) within 24
hours. E-mail received on weekends (Friday evening through Sunday) will be addressed on
Monday. Exceptions to this policy occur when there is a holiday, break, or an unavoidable
situation (i.e., power failure, family emergency, out of town at conference, etc.).
If you do not receive a reply to your e-mail within a reasonable period of time, please send it
again. Sometimes e-mail is captured by SPAM filters, is addressed incorrectly, or just simply
does not make it through. Also, check your own e-mail filters that screen out junk mail. My
replies to students have sometimes been filtered out, and students did not receive them until they
checked their junk e-mail.
Course Description
This course focuses on the several major aspects of federal criminal law, including the
prosecution of public corruption, street crime and organized crime. The course will be taught via
computer, asynchronously. The lectures for a given week will be made available by Sunday at
5:00 p.m., and students may watch them any time through the following Saturday. Students are
required to participate on the Discussion Board each week, offering substantive comments to that
week’s topic.
This is a two-credit course. I have broken the lectures and assignments down to four per week,
to make them more easily digestible, but you can feel free to do more than one set of readings,
and listen to more than one lecture, at any given time.
Please note that this course involves substantial reading – an average of 19 pages per assignment
(sometimes more, sometimes less) – in addition to attendance at lectures, participation in the
discussion board and preparation for the final. Please make sure you have adequate time to give
the course before you commit to it.
Course Materials
We will be using Abrams, Beale & Klein, Federal Criminal Law and Its Enforcement (5th ed.)
and the 2012 supplement thereto. The web course, which contains lectures, assignments,
discussion questions, etc., is located on UF’s “Canvas” distance learning platform.
Using the Course Web Site_______________________________________________________
Each week, I will post four lectures relating to the assigned reading for the week. You should do
the assigned reading prior to listening to each lecture, or you are not likely to get as much out of
the lecture as you should.
With respect to each lecture, I will pose a discussion question in the Course Discussion Board.
You are required to make a substantive post to two of the four discussion questions each week.
Your post should be concise (no more than three or four sentences), but should show that you are
engaging with the material. (“Me too” posts don’t count!) I will grade your posts pass/fail, but it
you fail to complete the assigned work, or if your posts don’t show engagement with the
material, this will count against you in the class participation portion of your grade.
I encourage you to respond to each other’s posts in the discussion forum. At the end of each
week, I will post my own general comments on the question and the student responses.
Unfortunately, I can’t comment on every individual posting, but you can rest assured that I will
contact you if there are any problems with your postings.
NOTE: You must complete your posts during the week in which a given set of readings is
assigned. Late posts will not be accepted.
Grading Policy
Class participation accounts for 30% of your final grade and is comprised of your quality,
substantive contributions on the Course Discussion Board. The remainder of your grade will be
determined via a multiple choice final examination. The final exam will be open-book and opennote.
Course Etiquette
Course Etiquette consists of the rules and guidelines for acceptable behavior in electronic
communication. Remember, while working in an online course you are in an academic setting
and should conduct yourself accordingly.
All students are expected to follow etiquette guidelines as outlined below. Failure to do so may
result in a reduction to your class participation grade.
You are not text messaging friends! You are attorneys in training and should conduct
yourself as such. Express yourself with proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation
(acronyms such as “LOL,” “IMHO,” “BCNU,” etc. are not acceptable).
Out of respect for your fellow classmates’ and instructor’s time, keep your
communications as clear, straightforward, and concise as possible.
Use appropriate mixed case text; avoid using all lower case or all upper case text (i.e.,
You are your words. Your communication in an online course represents you. Always
review and edit your communication before submitting.
Give respect to your classmates. Be courteous, respectful of others opinions, sensitive to
diversity, and polite.
Respect other people's privacy. Do not share other individual’s personal information
(i.e., e-mail addresses, phone numbers, etc.) without permission.
It’s okay to disagree with someone's opinion or constructively criticize an idea. It is
never okay to personally attack another student. Debate the idea; do not attack the
If you would not put it on a billboard, do not post it in an online class.
Obey copyright laws and cite others' work appropriately.
Reasonable Accommodations
Any students who need an accommodation due to a disability should consult with the Student
Affairs office and fill out the appropriate paperwork.
Attendance Policy
Pursuant to ABA Guidelines, a student whose absences exceed twenty (20) percent of the total
number of classes in a course will be barred from taking the final examination and completing
other graded course requirements and, in such instance, will receive the grade of “F” in the
course. Since this is an asynchronous course, failure to listen to a given lecture during the week
assigned will count as an absence. For purposes of this policy, absences during the Drop/Add
period will be considered when calculating total absences for the course.
Your reading assignments for the summer semester are the following pages from the Abrams,
Beale & Klein casebook and its 2012 supplement. (Please note that these are subject to possible
change, which will be announced on the course web page.)
The Scope of Federal Criminal Law
1. cb 18-41
2. cb 41-61, supp. pp. 1-2
3. cb 61-76, supp. pp.2-4
Political Corruption, Fraud and Extortion
Mail Fraud
4. cb 133-45, supp. 39-40
5. supp. 41-80, cb 181 n.9
6. cb 182-194, supp. 80-82
7. cb 194-208, supp. 82
Hobbs Act
8. cb 209-220, supp. 83-85
9. cb 220-236, supp. 85-86
10. cb 236-252, supp. 87-89
Official Bribery & Gratuities
11. cb 253-271, supp. 91-94
12. cb 271-289, supp. 94-100
13. cb 707-top of 712, supp. 297-301, cb 713-first paragraph of 720, supp. 301-22
14. cb 724-25 (through note 2), supp. 323-44.
15. cb 741-755, supp. 360-64.
Street Crime
Narcotics Offenses
16. cb 325-327; supp. 104-13; cb 328-338; supp. 113-14.
17. cb 338-346; supp. 115-28; cb 358-64; supp. 128-29
18. cb 364-381; supp. 129-31
Firearms Offenses
19. cb 483-501; supp. 165-76
20. cb 501-513 through note 1; supp. 176-99
Organized Crime
Money Laundering
21. cb 440-60; supp. 156-61
22. cb 460-82; supp. 161-63
23. 587-608; supp. 265-66
24. 608-619
25. 619-632
26. 632-651; supp. 266-71
27. 651-665; supp. 272-74
28. 665-678; supp. 274-80