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Scott, MIT Graduate
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Experience:  MIT Graduate (Math, Programming, Science, and Music)
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1. Explain the purposes or rationales for punishment and

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1. Explain the purposes or rationales for punishment and the arguments in favor of each rationale. Include a discussion about current trends in punishment.
2. Explain the relationship between the general and special parts of criminal law.
3. Explain the text-case method including the reason for its name. Also explain the two reasons for applying criminal principles and definitions to specific cases.
4. Define, describe, compare, and contrast common-law crimes and statutory crimes. Be sure to provide examples.
Chapter Three
5. Define, compare, and contrast constructive, actual, mere, and knowing possession. Be sure to provide an example of each.
6. Explain the importance of the general principle of actus reus. Be sure to discuss the three purposes served by the principle of actus reus.
7. What is the principle of manifest criminality? Provide an example. Explain why you agree or disagree with this principle.
8. Identify and define the two kinds of criminal omission. Describe the circumstances in which omissions and possession are treated as acts.
9. Define, compare, and contrast the “Good Samaritan” rule and the American bystander rule. Which rule is dominant in the United States? Which rule is best? Explain your position.
Chapter Four
10. Discuss what is required for mistake to be a defense. How does this relate to the types of culpability in the Model Penal Code? Be sure to discuss the debate over whether to call mistakes a defense.
11. What are the four types of culpability in the Model Penal Code? Be sure to provide examples. What are the levels of culpability of each relative to the other?
12. What are strict liability crimes? Provide an example. What are some of the arguments for and against such crimes? Do you think there should or should not be strict liability crimes? Explain your position.
13. What does the prosecution have to prove with regard to causation to get a conviction? What are intervening causes and how do they affect a defendant’s responsibility? Be sure to provide examples.
14. It would be inappropriate to refer to “criminal law,” as if it were a singular entity. Why is this? Discuss all that “criminal law” really includes in the U.S.
Chapter Five
1. Discuss the differences between justification and excuse defense. Be sure to give an example of each.
2. List and explain the four elements of self-defense. Are there any exceptions to any of these elements? If so, explain.
3. Explain the choice-of-evils defense and present an example.
4. Discuss the general rules on the use of force and deadly force. Be sure to provide examples.
5. The general rule regarding self-defense is that a person must retreat if they can safely do so before using deadly force. Explain the “castle exception” to this rule.
Chapter Six
1. Discuss, define, compare, and contrast the four major tests of insanity. Which one do you think is best? Be sure to explain your position.
2. What are the two major approaches to the entrapment defense? Which one do you think is best? Be sure to explain your position.
3. What impact did the acquittal of John Hinckley have on the insanity defense in the U.S.? Be sure to provide examples.
4. What are syndrome excuses? Why should they be taken seriously?
5. Why is entrapment a defense? Compare and contrast the two tests of entrapment.
Chapter Seven
1. Discuss the difference between complicity and vicarious liability. Describe which crimes might involve complicity and which crimes might involve vicarious liability. Provide examples.
2. Compare and contrast accomplices and accessories. Why are accessories punished less severely than accomplices? Do you agree with this practice? Why or why not?
3. Discuss the common law approach to parties to crime. Provide an example of each.
4. What are the four elements of most accessory-after-the-fact statutes? Provide examples of each element.
5. Discuss the mens rea and actus reus of accomplice liability. Discuss some of the differences that might be found between jurisdictions.
5. Compare and contrast general and specific intent. How are general and specific intent similar? How are they different? Be sure to provide examples.
Chapter Eight
1. Define, compare, and contrast attempt, solicitation, and conspiracy. Be sure to provide an example of each.
2. What are the two rationales for the crime of attempt? Provide an example of each.
3. Define, compare, and contrast the various approaches to the actus reus of attempt. Provide an example of each. Which do you think is the best? Be sure to explain your position.
4. Discuss legal and factual impossibility regarding liability. Explain why one is a defense to attempt liability and one is not. Provide examples.
5. Describe the dilemma inchoate offenses present to free societies. Discuss the three different ways the problem of inchoate offenses are resolved.
Chapter Nine
6. Discuss how the meaning of “person” is integral to homicide law. How does it present problems at both ends of the life cycle?
7. Define, compare, and contrast voluntary and involuntary manslaughter.
8. Discuss the current law of the actus reus and mens rea of murder. Be sure to provide examples.
9. Most states today have four main types of criminal homicide. Define and discuss these and provide examples.
10. Discuss the issues surrounding the definition of the terms “premeditated” and “deliberate” in first degree murder statutes.
Chapter Ten
11. Discuss, compare, and contrast kidnapping and false imprisonment.
12. Discuss the crime of stalking and stalking laws. Be sure to include how stalking first became a crime, the actus reus of stalking and how stalking statutes vary.
13. Over time, how has the law of rape changed with regard to force and consent?
14. Explain the difference between extrinsic and intrinsic force in regards XXXXX XXXXX actus reus. Discuss the importance of the facts in each case in applying the extrinsic and intrinsic force requirements to acquaintance rape.
15. How has the law of rape and rape prosecutions changed over the years?
Chapter Eleven
1. Discuss, compare, and contrast common law burglary with typical current burglary statutes. Be sure to provide examples.
2. Discuss, compare, and contrast contemporary burglary and criminal trespass. Be sure to provide examples.
3. Discuss some of the new ways that computers and the internet have made it possible for criminals to commit old crimes. Provide examples of how the law has changed to accommodate these new forms of old crimes.
4. Discuss, compare, and contrast larceny, embezzlement, and false pretenses.
5. Discuss and define the crimes of arson and criminal mischief.
Chapter Twelve 6. What types of criminal and civil laws have been used to try to deal with gang problems?
7. Discuss the broken windows theory and provide examples. What has the research shown about the validity of the theory?
8. Discuss the controversy surrounding the laws regulating the behavior of homeless and other street people. What is the argument in support of these laws and what is the argument against these laws?
9. What are victimless crimes, and why are they controversial? Be sure to provide examples.
10. Discuss the issues surrounding panhandling legislation. Be sure to discuss the tension between order and liberty in creating laws regarding behavior such as panhandling.
Chapter Thirteen 11. What is the only crime defined in the U.S. Constitution? What is the definition of that crime, and what else does the Constitution say about it?
12. Discuss, define, compare, and contrast sabotage and espionage.
13. Describe two terrorist events since 1994 that have had a major impact on anti-terrorism laws. Name one congressional act in response to each. Briefly discuss some of the provisions of these laws.
14. Define the term “sedition” and provide examples. What are the two main forms of seditious communications?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Homework

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