Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home1/wdupray/public_html/pennacrimlaw.com/wp-content/themes/freshnews_new/functions/admin-hooks.php on line 160

Archive | 2. Law RSS feed for this section

Homicide: Bullets, Beers, & Butane

November 14, 2011

Comments Off

Homicide:  Bullets, Beers, & Butane

Doesn’t matter how you kill someone – shoot him in the head, get drunk and run him over, or burn down his house – it’s all homicide.  The difference is going to be between Murder and Manslaughter, and the degrees within each.  The difference is also going to be from maybe two years in prison […]

Continue reading...

Incarcerating the non-violents. Time to stop?

November 12, 2011

1 Comment

Incarcerating the non-violents.  Time to stop?

It’s a drumbeat echoed throughout academia.  The argument is that non-violent offenders pose no risk to society, and that we’re using precious resources incarcerating them that could be better used elsewhere.  If the premise were true – that no risk is posed to society – then it would be an easy argument to support. The […]

Continue reading...

Why do we put people to death?

November 11, 2011

Comments Off

Why do we put people to death?

For the same reason we neuter cats.  Next. Look at the Constitution’s Due Process and Cruel and Unusual Clauses. 5th – nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law 8th – nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted We want two things – a sentence that meets the crime, and a procedure of […]

Continue reading...

What’s a Preliminary Hearing all about?

November 11, 2011

1 Comment

What’s a Preliminary Hearing all about?

Let’s start with the first section of the 5th Amendment: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury The flow from investigation to arrest begins with the cops and then includes the DA – and therein lies the problem. […]

Continue reading...

Conspiracy: The stumbled-into crime

November 10, 2011

Comments Off

Conspiracy:  The stumbled-into crime

So you talked to some guy.  He asked and you replied, “IF I was going to boost a car, the first things I would make sure of is …”  And you followed it up with, “and that’s a big if – because I ain’t boosting no car.”  A couple of days later, the guy drives […]

Continue reading...

I want a Mock Jury. Why ain’t you doing that?

November 9, 2011

Comments Off

I want a Mock Jury.  Why ain’t you doing that?

I’ll do anything.  Love mock juries.  Gonna cost you about $5,000 for an online jury and up to $50,000 for a live one.  I’d much prefer a live one, but will go with online if that’s all you can afford.  Whip that checkbook out!  Let’s get this puppy cranking! Oh.  I didn’t realize you were […]

Continue reading...

I lost my criminal case and want to appeal. Now what?

November 8, 2011

Comments Off

I lost my criminal case and want to appeal.  Now what?

Remember all those times your attorney said, “Objection, relevancy” or “Objection” something else?  She was preserving the issues for appeal.  When an objection is made during the trial, it is most often to testimony.  The arguments over admitting physical evidence or certain testimony (like admissions) happened before trial.  The judge ruled then what evidence could […]

Continue reading...

Accomplice liability: I was just a lookout – what’s this Murder charge?

November 8, 2011

2 Comments

Accomplice liability:  I was just a lookout – what’s this Murder charge?

Your two buddies are going to break into a warehouse that holds untold riches.  You’re going to sit across the street with cell phone in hand.  Another buddy is going to be on top of a building behind the warehouse, also with cell phone in hand.  Your jobs are to text your friends inside if […]

Continue reading...

Causation in Criminal Law

November 3, 2011

Comments Off

Causation in Criminal Law

You can read here for perspective.  I’ll wait.  Go ahead. Back?  Cool. Causation is really funky.  It’s a deep topic that is driven by previous cases offering up very specific fact patterns.  They’ve been distilled into rules, but every criminal case is going to rest on the finest details of that case.  Think of Causation […]

Continue reading...

Mens Rea – The Evil Mind

November 2, 2011

3 Comments

Mens Rea – The Evil Mind

Mens rea is Latin.  It means “the evil mind.”  (See how it fits into the broader scheme of things here.)  It doesn’t matter if you shot somebody.  There’s lots of non-criminal reasons, beyond cleansing the gene pool, to shoot someone.  Could have been an accidental discharge.  Could have mistaken him for a deer – he was, […]

Continue reading...