Introduction to the Study of Criminal Law, law homework help

Chapter 1: Introduction to the Study of Criminal Law

(Textbook) Brody, D., & Acker, J. (2010). Criminal Law (2nd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett.

Kansas v Hendricks, 521 U.S. 346, 117 S. Ct. 2072, 138 L. Ed. 2d 501 (1997)

The thrust of Hendricks’ argument is that the Act establishes criminal proceedings; hence, Confinement On Crimes and Punishment: The Domain of Substantive Criminal Law under it necessarily constitutes punishment. He contends that where, as here, newly “Enacted “punishment” is predicated upon past conduct for which he has already been convinced and forced to serve a prison sentenced the Constitution’s Double Jeopardy and Ex Post Facto Clauses are proceedings. The categorization of a particular proceeding as civil or criminal “is first of all a question of statutory construction.” We must initially ascertain whether the legislature meant the statute to establish “civil” proceedings. If so, we ordinarily defer to the legislature’s stated intent. Here, Kansas’ objective to create a civil proceeding is evidenced by its placement of the Sexually Violent Predator Act within the Kansas probate code, instead of the criminal code, as well as its description of the Act as creating a “civil commitment procedure” Kan. Stat. Ann., Article 29 (1994) (Care and Treatment for Mentally Ill Persons”), (emphasis added). Nothing on the face of the statue suggests that the legislature sought to create anything other than a civil commitment scheme designed to protect the public from harm. Although we recognize that a “civil label is not always dispositive, “we will reject the legislature’s manifest intent only where a party challenging the statue provides “the clearest proof” that “the statutory scheme [is] so punitive either in purpose or effect as to negate [the State’s] intention” to deem it “civil” United States v Ward, 448 U.S. 242, 248-249 (1980). In those limited circumstances, we will consider the statue to have established criminal proceedings for constitutional purposes. Hendricks, however, has failed to satisfy this heavy burden.

As a threshold matter, commitment under the Act does not implicate either of the two primary objectives of criminal punishment: retribution or deterrence. The Act’s purpose is not retributive because it does not affix culpability for prior criminal conduct. Instead, such conduct is used solely for evidentiary purposes, either to demonstrate that a “mental abnormality” exists or support a finding of future dangerous. In addition, the Kansas Act does not make a criminal conviction a prerequisite for commitment persons absolved of criminal responsibility may nonetheless be subject to confinement under the Act. An absence of the necessary criminal responsibility suggests that the State is not seeking retribution for a past misdeed. (I think this would be enough from this text, the other could be taken from the internet).

Case Summary:

Question 1. Use your text and the internet to research the case of Kansas v. Hendricks, 521 U.S. 346, (1997). In a narrative format of 750 or more words, outline the case. Give the facts, issue, and court holding.

Case Analysis:

Reference: Hart HLA. Prolegomenon to the principles of punishments. In: Punishment and Responsibility: Essays in the Philosophy of Law, Vol. 1. New York: Oxford University Press; 1991

Question 2. Define punishment and list the five elements of punishment as outlined by H.L.A. Hart. Do you agree with them or not? Why?

Reference: Hart HLA. Prolegomenon to the principles of punishments. In: Punishment and Responsibility: Essays in the Philosophy of Law, Vol. 1. New York: Oxford University Press; 1991

Question 3. What are the purposes of punishment? (Be detailed in your answer giving several reasons and justifications for punishment.) Minimum word count is 250 words.


The Queen v Dudley and Stephens, 14 Q.B.D. 273 (1984)

Indictment for the murder of Richard Parker on the high seas within the jurisdiction of the Admiralty. At the trial before Huddleston, B., at the Devon and Cornwall Winter Assizes, November 7, 1884, the jury, at the suggestions of the learned judge, found the facts of the case in a special verdict which stated “that on July 5, 1884, the prisoners, Thomas Dudley and Edward Stephens, with one Brooks, eighteen years of age, the crew of an English yacht, a registered English vessel, were cast away in a storm on the high seas 1600 miles from the Cape of Good Hope, and were compelled to put into an open boat belonging to the said yacht. That in this boat they had no supply and water and no supply of food, except two 1lb. tins of turnips, and for three days they had nothing else to subsist upon. That the fourth day they caught a small turtle, upon which they subsisted for a few days, and this was the only food had up the twentieth day when the act now in question was committed. That on the twelfth day the remains of the turtle were entirely consumed, and for the next eight days they had nothing to eat. That they had no fresh water, except such rain as they from time to time caught in their oilskin capes. That the boat was drifting on the ocean, and was probably more than 1000 miles away from land. (The other information, I suggest could be taken from the internet, this is briefly from the text)

Executive Decisions:

Question 4. Read the Queen v. Dudley and Stephens on page 11 of your text. If Dudley and Stephens were properly adjudged guilty of murder, and thus suitable candidates for punishment, what measure of punishment should be imposed? Give the rationale for your decision.

On Crimes and Punishments: The Domain of Substantive Criminal Law

Chapter 1: Introduction to the Study of Criminal Law

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