Glossary of Crim J7 Chap. 6 key terms

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person's reason for committing a crime
common law
law originating from usage and custom rather than from written statues, the term refers to an wnwritten body of judicial opinion, originally developed by English courts, that is based upon nonstatutory customs, traditions, and precedents that help guide judicial decision making
corpus delicti
facts which show that acrime has occurred; literally means "body of crime"
statutory law
written or codified law; the "law on the books" as enacted by a governtment body or agency having the power to make laws.
reasonable force
degree of force that is appropriate in a given situation and is not exvessive; the minimum degree of force necessary to protect oneself, one's property, a thrid party, or the property of another in the face of a substantial threat
act of process of rendering laws in written form
an offense punishable by incarceration, usually in a local confinement facility, for a period whose upper limit is prescribed by statuein a given jurisdiction, typically limited to a year or less
a rule of conduct, generally found enacted in the form of a statute, that proscribes or mandates certain forms of behavior. Statutory law is often the result of moral enterprise by interest groups that, through the exercise of political power are successful in seeing their valued perspectives enacted into law
mens rea
state of mind that accompanies a criminal act; guilty mind
case law
body of judicial precedent, historically built upon legal resoning and past interpretations of statuory laws, that serves as a guide to decision making, especially in the courts
mala in se
acts that are regarded, by tradtition and convention, as wrong in themselves
legal principle that ensures that previous judicial decisions are authoritatively considered and incoporated into future cases
procedural law
aspect of the law that specifies the methods to be used in enforcing substantive law
inchoate offense
an offense notyet completed. also, an offense that consists of an action of conduct that is a step toward the intended commission of another offense
alter ego rule
rule of law that, in some jurisdictions, holds that a person can only defend a thrid party under circumstances and only to the degree that the third party could act on his or her own behalf
battered women's syndrome (BWS)
I.series of sommon characteristics that appear in women who are abused physically and psychologically over an extended period of time by the dominant male firgue in their lives. II. pattern of psychological symptoms that develops after somebody has libved in a battering realtionship. III. pattern of responses and persceptions presumed to be characteristic of women who have been subjected to continuous physical abuse by their mates
criminal negligence
behavior in which a person fails to reassonably perceive substantial and undjustifiable risks of dangerous consequences
deadly force
force likely to cause death or great bodily harm
strict liability
liability w/o fault or intention; strict liability offenses do not require mens rea
criminal law
branch of modern law that concerns itself with offenses committed against society, its members, their property, and the social order
substantive criminal law
part of the law that defines crimes and specifies punishments
defense (to a criminal charge)
evidence and arguments offered by a defendant and his or her attorney to show why that person should not be held liable for a criminal charge
diminished capacity
defense based upon claims of a mental condition that may be insufficient to exonerate a defendant of fuilt but that may be relevant to specific mental elements of certain crimes or degrees of crime
criminal offense punishable by death or by incarceration in a prison facility for at least a year
double jeopardy
common law and constitutional prohibition against a second trial for the same offense
statement of contention by an individual charged with a crime that he or she was so distange when the crime was committed, or so engaged in other provable activities, that his or her participation in commission of that crime was impossible
penal code
written, organized, and compiled form of the criminal laws of jurisdiction
legal cause
legally recognizable cause; a legal cause must be demonstrated in court in order to hold an individual criminally liable for causing harm
M'Naughten rule
rule for deremining insanity which asks whether the defendant knew what he or she was doing or whether the defendant knew that what he or she was doing was wrong
legal defense in which the defendant claims that some personal condistion or circumstance at the time of the act was such that he or she should not be held accountable under the criminal law
protection of oneself of of one's property from unlawful injury or from the imediate risk of unlawful injury; justification that the person who committed an act that would oterhwise consitute an offense reasonabley believed that the act was necessary to protect self or property from immediate danger
violation of the criminal law. also, in some jurisdictions, a minor crime, such as jaywalking, sometimes described as ticketable
legal defense in shich defendant admist committing the act in question but claims it was necessary in order to avoid some greater evil
jural postulates
propositions developed by the famous jurist Roscoe Pound that the law reflects shared needs without which members of society could not coexist. Pound's jural postulates are often linked to the idea that the law can be used to engineer the social structure to ensure certain kinds of outcomes (such as porperty rights, as embodied in the law of theft, do in capitalist societies)
elements (of a crime)
in a specific crime, the essential features of that crime as specified by law
insanity defense
legal defense based on claims of mental illness or mental incapacity
guilty but mentally ill (GBMI)
verdict, equivalent to finding of "guily" that establishes that the defendeant, although mentally ill, was in sufficient possession of his or her faculties to be morally blameworthy for his or her acts
minor violateion of state statue or local ordinance punishable by a fine or other penalty or by a specified, usually limited, term of incarceration
mala prohibita
acts that are considered wrongs only because there is a law against them
the "gathering, transmitting, or losing" of information related to the national defense in such a manner that the information becomes available to enemies of the United States and may be used to their advantage
coexistence of an act in violation of the law and culpable mental state
natural law
rules of conduct inherent in human nature and in the natural order which are thought to be knowable through intuition, inspiration, and the exercise of reason, without the need for reference to man-made laws
stare decisis
legal principle which requires that courts be bound by their own earlier decisions and by those of higher courts having jurisdictionover them regarding subsequent cases on similar issues of law and fact. the term literally means "standing by decided matters"
reckless behavior
activity which increases the risk of harm
a wrongful act, damge, or injury not involving a breach of contract. also, a private or civil wrong or injury
actus reus
an act in violation of the law. also, a guilty act
imporper or illegal inducemtn to crime by agenst of enforement; defense that may be raised when such inducements occur
"a US citizen's actions to help a foreign government overthrow, make war against, or seriously injure the United States." also, the attempt to overthrow the government of the society of which one is a member
civil law
part of the law that governs relationships between parties
rule of law
the maxim that an orderly society must be governed by established principles and known codes, which are applied uniformly and fairly to all of its members
attendant circumstances
facts surrounding an event
procedural defense
defense which claims that the defendant was in some dignificant wasy discriminated against in the justive process of that some important aspect of official proce4dure was not properly followed in the investigation or preosecution of the crim charged
philosophy of law. also, the science and study of the law

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