3rd Edition

Criminal Law Historical, Ethical, and Moral Foundations

By Charles P. Nemeth Copyright 2023
    680 Pages 114 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    680 Pages 114 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Criminal Law: Historical, Ethical, and Moral Foundations, 3rd edition, blends legal and moral reasoning in the examination of crimes and explores the history relating to jurisprudence and roots of criminal law. In order to fully grasp criminal law concepts, students must go beyond mere rote memorization of the penal code and endeavor to understand where the laws originate from and how they have developed. This book fosters discussions of controversial issues and delivers abridged case law decisions that target the essence of appellate rulings.

    Grounded in the Model Penal Code, making the text national in scope, this volume examines:

      • Why the criminal codes originated, and the moral, religious, spiritual, and human influences that led to our present system
      • How crimes are described in the modern criminal justice model
      • The two essential elements necessary for criminal culpability: actus reus (the act committed or omitted) and mens rea (the mind and intent of the actor)
      • Offenses against the body resulting in death, including murder, manslaughter, felony murder, and negligent homicide
      • Non-terminal criminal conduct against the body, including robbery, kidnapping, false imprisonment, assault, and hate crimes
      • Sexual assault, rape, necrophilia, incest, and child molestation
      • Property offenses, such as larceny/theft, bribery, forgery, and embezzlement
      • Crimes against the home, including burglary, trespassing, arson, and vandalism

    The book also examines controversial public morality issues such as prostitution, drug legalization, obscenity, and pornography. The final two chapters discuss inchoate offenses, where the criminal act has not been completed, and various criminal defenses, such as legal insanity, entrapment, coercion, self-defense, and mistake of fact or law. Important keywords introduce each chapter, and discussion questions and suggested readings appear at the end of each chapter, prompting lively debate and further inquiry into a fascinating subject area that continues to evolve. Updated to include the latest developments in the law, this book is appropriate for undergraduate students in criminal law and related courses.

    Chapter 1: The Foundation and Heritage of Criminal Law

    Chapter 2: Definitions of Crime

    Chapter 3: Actus Reus and Mens Rea

    Chapter 4: Crimes against the Person: Homicide

    Chapter 5: Crimes against the Person: Assault and Other Offenses

    Chapter 6: Sexual Offenses against the Person

    Chapter 7: Crimes against Property

    Chapter 8: Crimes against Habitation

    Chapter 9: Offenses Contrary to the Public Morality

    Chapter 10: Inchoate Offenses

    Chapter 11: Criminal Defenses


    Charles P. Nemeth has spent the vast majority of his professional life in the study and practice of law and justice. He is a recognized expert on professional ethics and the justice system, private-sector justice, and jurisprudence. Presently, Dr. Nemeth is professor and Director of the Criminal Justice Program—and Director of the Center for Criminal Justice, Law, and Ethics—at Franciscan University of Steubenville. Prior to this, he was chair and professor of the Security, Fire, and Emergency Management Program and Director of the Center of Private Security and Safety at John Jay College in New York City, where he has been named professor emeritus. He is a prolific writer, having published numerous texts and articles on law and justice throughout his impressive career. His text, Private Security and the Law, 5th Edition (CRC Press, 2018) is considered the foremost treatise on the subject matter. His private security expertise is further buttressed by: Private Security and Investigative Process, 4th Edition (CRC Press, 2019); Private Security: Principles and Practice, 2nd Edition (CRC Press, 2022), and Criminal Law, 3rd Edition (Routledge, 2022). In the area of Homeland Security, he has published Introduction to Homeland Security: Practices and Principles, 4th Edition (CRC Press, 2021). He has also served as Chief Editor to a peer-reviewed journal "The Homeland Security Review" and presently serves as editor to a new production "Natural Law and Justice." Dr. Nemeth has been an educator for more than 45 years. He holds memberships in the New York, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania Bars.