Criminal Law

Updated 2007-04-04 08:11


Concepts surrounding criminal law.


Beyond a Reasonable DoubtReasonable doubt is the that state of the case which, after the entire comparison and consideration of all the evidence, leaves the minds of the jurors in that condition that they can't say they feel an abiding conviction, to a moral certainty, of the truth of the charge.
Legal SufficiencyReasonable doubt as to a matter of law
Factual SufficiencyExplaining reasonable doubt
Burden of ProductionAllocating the burden of coming forward with enough evidence to put a certain fact in issue
Burden of PersuasionAllocating the burden of convincing the trier of fact
Actus ReusPhysical part of a crime; a voluntary act or failure to act which causes harm
Involuntary ActAn act which is done by the muscles without any control by the mind such as a spasm, a reflex action or convulsion, or an act done by a person who isn't conscious of what he is doing such as an act done while suffering from a concussion or sleepwalking.
Mens ReaState of mind
MaliceRequires either (1) an actual intention to do the particular kind of harm that in fact was done, or (2) recklessness as wo whether such harm should occur or not.
PurposelyActor's conscious object to engage in the conduct or to cause the result, or with respect to attendant circumstances, he's aware of such circumstances or he believes or hopes that they exist.
KnowinglyAware that conduct is virtually certain to cause result, or with regards to "conduct" and "attendant circumstances" elements, D acts knowingly if he is aware that his conduct is of the nature or that such attendant circumstances exist.
RecklesslyActor consciously takes substantial and unjustifiable risk of causing harm
NegligentlyInadvertently creates a substantial and unjustifiable risk of which he ought to be aware
Moral Wrong DoctrineOne can make a reasonable mistake and yet manifest a bad character or otherwise demonstrate worthiness of punishment.
Malum in sewrong in itself; inherently evil
Malum prohibitumwrong because it's prohibited; not inherently immoral
Actus Reus of RapeForcible sexual assault without consent
HomicideThe killing of a human being by another human being
Mens Rea of MurderUnlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought (common law)
Mens Rea of ManslaughterThe unlawful killing of a human being without malice aforethought
Malice aforethoughtIntention to cause death or serious bodily harm, to commit a felony, to oppose by force a law enforcement officer in the execution of his duty, or knowledge that an act will probably cause death or serious bodily harm