Prerequisite: Criminal Law
Exam type: No exam.
Students will write two papers. First, they will write a prosecution or defense memorandum analyzing the law’s applicability for one of the cases. This memorandum will be approximately 5-7 pages and will be due on the day the case is discussed. Second, they will write one paper as a reformer, articulating the relevant differences between the applicable laws, applying the assigned scholarly article’s insights, and offering legal reforms. These papers will be due at our last class meeting. Grades will be based on these two papers and on class participation.
Using detailed fact patterns of cases that were actually criminally prosecuted, students will garner further sophistication in both the practice and the theory of criminal law. Writing prosecution or defense memoranda, students will be required to apply the facts to the statute applicable at the time of the crime, the current statute, and the Model Penal Code. Students will also be required to look at the law as reformers, asking whether any of the statutes adequately deal with the crime at hand. In addition to examining actual cases, students will read scholarly articles on the theoretical issues raised by the cases. These articles will be used to further critically evaluate the criminal law. For each case, students will come to class able (1) to offer a proposed sentence, (2) to explain and defend their proposed sentence, and (3) to analyze the defendant’s liability under the Model Penal Code and the jurisdiction’s then-existing and current statutes.