Uploaded by Cassidy Brady

Crim Law pt. 1

Theories of Punishment:
1. Utilitarianism- justification is to deter future criminal acts. Has to be more than “they
deserve it”
a. Forms of Utilitarianism:
General Deterrence- convince the general community to avoid criminal
conduct in the future by punishing
Specific Deterrence- deter the individual from committing additional
crimes in the future
Rehabilitation- help correct the offender, help to get them back into
Incapacitation- remove from society, so that they cant commit a crime
2. Retributivism- lex talionis (an eye for an eye) wrongdoers deserve to be punished and
should be graded in proportion to desert
a. Moral culpability- there is an explanation for the actor's intent making them
“deserving” of crime aka desert
b. Types of Retributivism:
Positive- desert is a condition both necessary and sufficient to justify
punishment as much as one deserves even if it would do no utilitarian
good such as deterrence
Negative- a person can legitimately be punished ONLY if he commits a
crime, ONLY in proportion to that crime, and ONLY if doing so produces a
world with no crim
3. Mixed/Hybrid- combines Utilitarian and Retributive.
a. Utilitarian answers general justifying question (deterring future criminal acts)
b. Retributive answers distributive question (who can be punished and how much)
Principle of Legality
1. Principle- no crime without law, no punishment without law
2. Lenity Doctrine
a. MPC rejected lenity in 1.02(3)
3. Common Law Crimes
a. Commonwealth v. Mochan
Was the statutory language so capacious to put a reasonable person on
notice that his language (phone calls) was injurious to the public? Yes
1. Court applied general opened ended principles lacking
particularity and specificity
b. MPC eliminated CL crimes 1.05(1)
4. Requirement of Previously Defined Crimes
a. Ex post facto laws
b. Keeler v. Superior Court
A person must have been provided with adequate notice of the law and
that he would lose his life or liberty
1. The power to define crimes is exclusively in the legislative branch
a. If judges did it on an ad hoc case by case basis the statute
would only be prospective
2. Statutes are not made to reach beyond their plain intent
a. The court cannot enlarge the meaning of “human being”
because of
constitutional restraints (due process) and
Separation of powers
5. Void-for-Vagueness- requires a penal statute too define the criminal defense with
sufficinet definiteness that ordinary people can understand what conduct is prohibited
a. In Re Banks
Constitutional avoidance doctrine: When a statute is susceptible to
multiple interpretations the court should adopt the interpretation resulting
in a finding of constitutionality
1. Narrow the interpretation to required the mental state of intent and
expectation of privacy to avoid declaring statute unconstitutional
b. Desertain v. City of Los Angeles
failure to provide adequate notice of the criminalized conduct to enable
the ordinary citizen to conform to the law makes the code void for
vagueness (no clear line between innocent and guilty conduct)
1. Two flavors of vagueness making statute unconstitutional
a. Fails to provide the kind of notice that will enable ordinary
people to understand what conduct it prohibits
b. Authorizes and encourages arbitrary and discriminatory
2. So broad that it criminalizes innocent behavior and there is no way
to know how to conform behavior