LAW 505-46 Criminal Law

This course is designed to give students an introduction to the principles governing the criminalization of conduct. To this end, this course will discuss and examine the history and development of common law and statutory crimes and criminal responsibility in the United States. Class discussions will focus on the competing interests and policies, which come into play when society has determined that certain conduct is criminal. We will also discuss the underlying and competing philosophical approaches to answer questions such as what constitutes a crime? Who should be punished and why? And under what circumstances will we excuse or justify conduct, which violates criminal law? Lastly in this course we will explore the intersections of law and morality regarding criminal responsibility. By the end of this course, students should be able to give a workable definition of what constitutes a crime, gain a familiarity with the elements of a crime, identify, and scrutinize principles of criminal responsibility and analyze and discuss implications of legal concepts within specific fact patterns.