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Lecture 4

LE 115 Lecture 4: Barbaric Punishments ( Death Penalty)

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Quinnipiac University
Legal Studies
LE 115

Lecture 4 Barbaric punishments -not acceptable to civilized society anymore - the term “cruel punishment” must be properly defined -can depend on the defendant’s age (ex: a 16-yr old sentenced to 80 yrs in jail can be considered cruel) -can depend on bonds -death penalty: abolished by most of the states -however, it is not really considered cruel and unusual punishment bc it existed in England (where we got most of our law) and in colonial times and was adopted by the U.S. Disproportionate Punishment: punishment must fit the crime -punishment also depends on background/history of the criminal The Death Penalty -proportionality principle: applies to death penalty cases -mentally handicapped murderers: the mental state of a criminal is taken into account; do they know right from wrong? -juvenile murderers: age of defendant is taken into account three-strikes law: If you have 2 prior felonies and you are charged with a 3 rd crime, you can be sentenced to life in jail -sentence enhancements: allows a prosecutor to charge you as a persistent offender if you have prior charges against you, increasing your sentence ex: a 20-year sentence can be extended to 40 if the jury finds you guilty of multiple offense mandatory minimum sentences: set minimum sentences for particular crimes that cannot be changed by a judge -exist on robberies, murders, home invasion, some drug sales -can be viewed as a check/balance on the judge -others think it gives the prosecutor too much power Guidelines and fixed sentences -Apprendi Rule: any factor that increases the sentence above the prescribed maximum level must be submitted to a jury/proved BRD. Chapter 3 Criminal Liability -mens rea: “guilty mind”; intent -actus rea: “guilty act”; act -you can’t be punished for your thoughts The agreement of these two things indicate someone committed a crime. Ex - Larceny: taking or withholding another’s personal property for your own use -involves both planning the theft and actually doing it Elements of a crime: 1. actus reus: voluntary act 2. mens rea: intent a. levels of culpability i. purposely (highest level of intent) ii. knowingly iii. recklessly iv. negligently (lowest level of intent)
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