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Criminal Law: Cases and Comments; Sixth Edition

NCJ Number
A A Moenssens; R J Bacigal; G G Ashdown; F E Inbau
Date Published
1081 pages
Intended for first-year law students, this overview of criminal law covers the criminal justice system legal concepts of criminality, crimes, and special defenses to criminal prosecutions.
This sixth edition maintains the basic structure of the fifth edition, beginning the study of criminal law by focusing on general concepts of criminality. The text begins with a study of act, intent, lack of intent, proximate cause, and burdens of proof. The difficulty of defining conduct that constitutes an offense is developed from a number of perspectives: the conceptual battles surrounding crimes that require an intent to cause death in cases in which an AIDS sufferer seeks to transmit the disease by biting a victim, as well as whether the act of biting in that case constitutes the use of a "deadly weapon"; the assisted suicide issue and right-to-die cases; the concept of whether the "born alive" rule should be retained when criminal homicide charges are brought after injuries to the fetus causing still birth; etc. After these basic concepts have been developed in the cases and materials, the text moves to the study of specific crimes and defense to criminal liability. The text has retained in one chapter the materials on due process, the right of privacy, equal protection under the law, and cruel and unusual punishment. Following the increasing emphasis on the crime of conspiracy, the materials in this area of the law have been strengthened, particularly in connection with RICO and other Federal conspiracy statutes. Regarding new concepts in defenses to crimes, the text continues to explore the popular "syndrome" defenses, including the "battered spouse" syndrome in self- defense and the special defenses that seek to diminish criminal responsibility, including the post-traumatic stress disorder and a host of other types of diminished capacity defenses proffered by psychiatric or psychological experts in today's cases. The materials on the insanity defense reflect the impact of the recent movements to abolish, limit, or modify that defense. Another significant feature deals with the continued controversy over whether the felony-murder rule should be retained. Overall, the subject content has been updated by the inclusion of many modern cases. Appended relevant provisions of the U.S. Constitution and its amendments, as well as a subject index


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