1. Identify the purposes of American criminal law and punishment. In your answer

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Dec 4, 2022


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1. Identify the purposes of American criminal law and punishment. In your answer, include the important concepts in American criminal law to include the following: the goals of American criminal law; the sources of criminal law; the history of punishments of American criminal law; the constitutional guards of criminal law; and the types of punishments used in American criminal law. In your answer, please list and describe all five purposes of criminal law. Then provide a scenario (a detailed factual situation: one you make up or take from a case in current or past news) where a certain disposition (probation, prison, rehab, etc.) would further each purpose
2. Distinguish among the federal, state, trial and appellate courts involved in criminal cases. In your discussion, explain why a state has the general power to make criminal law and to prosecute those who violate the law; describe the specific powers granted to the federal government to make criminal laws; describe the boundaries for congressional power under the Commerce Clause to regulate actions through criminal laws; and identify the ways a state can obtain jurisdiction over the person of a defendant charged with violation of a criminal law.
3. Evaluate specific affirmative and Constitution-based defenses to crimes in American criminal law, including the theories of criminal liability, and the tests used to determine insanity. Regarding the Constitution-based defenses relating to the First Amendment, describe instances in which the First Amendment would NOT be upheld.
4. In the following scenario, analyze misdemeanor and felony crimes in terms of their actus reas and mens rea elements. Your answer should include the essential elements of the crime, using terms as they would apply to the scenario: reasonable doubt; actus reus and mens rea; concurrence, specific intent, scienter, intent, motive; true crimes and strict liability crimes; proximate cause and causation; and presumptions and inferences. (This question assesses outcome #4.)
John Smith decides to go out to his regular Saturday night hangout, the local bar called Smitty’s. While at the bar, John consumes 8 beers and 6 shots of whiskey, over a 3 hour time period. He notices another “regular” at the bar. Her name is Candy. Candy, too, has consumed a lot of alcoholic beverages to the point in which her speech is slurred and her ability to walk a straight line is affected. John offers Candy a ride home. While driving home, John decides that he is in the mood for some female physical company. John turns onto a dirt road which is completely desolate. Candy attempts to get out of the truck but John holds onto Candy’s arm, then grabs some handcuffs from his door pocket and handcuffs Candy to the steering wheel. John parks his truck and begins to physically force Candy into having sex with him. Candy fights back because she does not want to have sex with John. John smacks Candy in the face a few times. Then, John hits Candy in the head with a hammer, knocks her unconscious, and proceeds to have sex with Candy. After John is finished, he attempts to wake Candy up but she is not responding. She has no pulse. John decides to poor gasoline on Candy’s body and sets it on fire.


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