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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 93659 Find in a Library
Title: Concepts of Criminal Law
Author(s): R W Ferguson; A H Stokke
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 306
Sponsoring Agency: Holbrook Press
Boston, MA 02110
Sale Source: Holbrook Press
470 Atlantic Avenue
Boston, MA 02110
United States of America
Type: Instructional Material
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Designed for use in college criminal justice programs, this text integrates the history of criminal law, methods of legal research, and basic concepts of criminal codes with current research on controversial issues.
Abstract: The book emphasizes the importance of legal research in a criminal case, discussing case law, elements covered in a legal brief, and how to use the law library. A history of criminal law begins with ancient codes and then focuses on the development of common law and modern legal philosophy in the 18th and 19th centuries. Specific topics reviewed include the concept of stare decisions, constitutional restrictions on the powers of Congress and legislatures, pre-emption theories, repeal, mala in se and mala prohibita crimes, victimless crimes, police powers, and substantive versus procedural law. An overview of criminal law addresses its purposes, language and construction of penal statutes, conflicts between statutes, and liability. The text then explains the classification of crimes into felonies, misdemeanors, and infractions as well as several theories of punishment. Also discussed are habitual criminal laws, merger and included offenses, and capital crimes. Other chapters examine intent, definition of a criminal act, causation, attempted crimes, and conspiracy. The discussion of the capacity to commit crime explores exemptions to criminal liability such as insanity and diminished capacity. Also considered in this context are double jeopardy, motive, intoxication, and parties to a crime. The book concludes with an overview of the most commonly violated criminal statutes. A summary of constitutional guarantees, a glossary, a subject index, and a case index are supplied.
Index Term(s): Course materials; Criminal law; Law-related education
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