Criminal Law  book cover
2nd Edition

Criminal Law

ISBN 9781138374515
Published September 27, 2018 by Routledge
610 Pages 66 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

In order to fully grasp criminal law concepts, students must go beyond mere rote memorization of the penal code and attempt to understand where the laws originate from and how they have developed. Criminal Law, Second Edition blends legal and moral reasoning in the examination of crimes and explores the history relating to jurisprudence and roots of criminal law. It 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
  • Nonterminal 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, trespass, 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.

Table of Contents

The Foundation and Heritage of the Criminal Law
Introduction: The Idea of Criminal Law
The Need for Tradition and Foundation
Criminal Law and the Common Law
A Survey of Legal Tradition
The Ancient Idea of Law and Crime
Early Medieval Legal Thought
Legal Thought in the Later Middle Ages
The Turning Point toward Our Modern System
The Enlightenment to Colonial Period
Definitions of Crime
Defining Crime
Crime as a Moral and Religious Judgment
Crime as Deviance and Aberration
Crime as Severity and Grade
Classification of Offenses
Summary/Petty Offenses
Parties to Crimes
Vicarious Liability
Imputing Criminality to Corporate Action
Actus Reus and Mens Rea
Idea and Mental State in Criminal Culpability
The Nature of a Criminal Act
Actus Reus: Voluntariness and Free Choice
Actus Reus: Commission versus Omission
Defining Mens Rea
Types of Mens Rea
Specific Intent
General Intent
Strict Liability
Mens Rea and the Degrees of Knowledge
Mens Rea with Purpose
Mens Rea with Knowledge
Mens Rea with Recklessness
Mens Rea and Negligence
Crimes against the Person: Homicide
Introduction: The Nature of Homicide
Murder in the First Degree
Murder in the Second Degree
Provocation as Mitigator
Felony Murder Rule
Qualifying Felonies
Any Victim
Any Perpetrator
The Dilemma of Dual Intents
Negligent Homicide (Involuntary Manslaughter)
Crimes against the Person: Assault and Other Offenses
Introduction: Personal Offenses That Inflict Harm
The Taking
Kidnapping and Related Offenses
The Nature of Movement
The Nature of Force
False Imprisonment
Custodial Interference
Crimes Involving Bodily Injury
Simple Assault
Aggravated Assault
Other Bodily Offenses
Protection from Abuse/Domestic Abuse
Hate Crimes
Terroristic Threats
Sexual Offenses against the Person
Introduction: Sexual Offenses against the Person
The Nature of Force
The Nature of Consent
The Nature of Resistance
The Nature of Sexual Penetration
The Nature of the Marital Exemption and Its Ongoing Challenge
The Nature of Gender in Sexual Offenses
The Nature of the Victim’s Character
Statutory Rape
Sodomy/Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse
Sexual Transmission of HIV
Failure to Protect Child from Abuse
Child Molestation
Crimes against Property
Introduction: Offenses against Property
The Taking
The Property
Without License or Privilege
Special Statutory Designs in the Law of Theft
Theft of Services
Retail Theft
Auto Theft
Theft by Receiving Stolen Property
Theft by Intimidation (Extortion)
Theft by Unauthorized Disposition (Embezzlement)
Theft by Deception (Fraud)
Theft by Forgery
The Writing
Alteration, Modification or Change to a Writing
Specific Intent to Defraud
Benefit for Favor
Commercial Bribery
Crimes against Habitation
The Breaking and Entry
Time of Day
Domicile or Other Qualified Structure
The Intents of Burglary
Criminal Trespass
Intent as to License or Privilege
Qualified Structure
Motive and Intent
The Nature of Fire
The Meaning of "Structure"
Criminal Mischief
Offenses Contrary to the Public Morality
Introduction: The Intersection of Law and Morality
Drugs and Controlled Substances
Legalization as Solution
Special Response: Drug Courts
Bigamy and Polygamy
The Nature of Obscenity
The Value and Quality of the Expression
Community Standard of Obscenity
Driving under the Influence/Driving While Intoxicated
Proof of DUI/DWI
Elements of the Offense
Inchoate Offenses
Introduction: The Nature of an Inchoate Offense
Criminal Attempts
Type of Intent
Overt or Substantial Step
Capacity and Impossibility
The Agreement
The Overt Act
Special Case: RICO
Criminal Defenses
Introduction: Defending Criminal Actions
Criminal Defenses: Defense of Self and Property
Self-Defense/Defense of Others
Defense of Others
Defense of Property
Legal Insanity
Three Tests of Insanity
Guilty But Mentally Ill
Mistake/Ignorance of Law
Mistake/Ignorance of Fact
Implied Consent

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Dr. Nemeth has spent the vast majority of his professional life in the study and practice of law and justice. A recognized expert on ethics and the legal system, appellate legal practice and private-sector justice, he also is a prolific writer, having published numerous texts and articles on law and justice throughout his impressive career. He has been an educator for more than 30 years. He holds memberships in the New York, North Carolina and Pennsylvania bars. Dr. Nemeth is soon to be Chair and Professor of Security, Fire and Emergency Services at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. He is a much-sought-after legal consultant for security companies and a recognized scholar on issues involving law and morality.