California Western --
CRIMINAL LAW

Text:   Criminal Law and Procedure, Boyce & Perkins, 10th edition

Optional Text:   Understanding Criminal Law, Dressler

Course Goals:  This course explores the principles of criminal law, issues regarding culpability, common law crimes, and modern statutory developments.  Students should leave the course with an understanding of basic criminal law, as well as the capacity to analyze fact patterns and statutes.  In order to achieve these goals students will be expected to read all course assignments (including introductions, notes, footnotes & the assigned Model Penal Code sections...not just the cases), brief the assigned cases, actively participate in class, and critically analyze assigned readings when called upon.

Attendance: Attendance is mandatory.  Students are responsible for signing the class roster before they leave each class  (please do not call me later to say you forgot to sign the roster or it didn't come around to you...I won't remember if you were there and won't be able to do anything about it). Students should familiarize themselves with the attendance policies. 

Class Participation:  This class will be highly interactive.  As class participation is a critical component in the learning process, students are expected to actively participate in classroom discourse.  If a student is unprepared for a particular class, and the student is called on to recite a case, please inform me that you are unprepared so as not to waste your fellow students' valuable time.  I reserve the right to impose discretionary sanctions on students who are chronically unprepared. 

During the semester the class will be divided into groups.  At the end of each class a group will be called upon to answer a question.  If the group answers the question correctly, members of that group will not be called on in the next class (although voluntary participation will be welcomed).  If the group answers the question incorrectly, then another group will receive the same opportunity.

Office Hours etc.:  My office hours are Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 1:30-2:30 pm.  If these times are not convenient you may email me to schedule a time to meet.  Also, please email me at any time with any questions you may have.  Halfway through the term I will give a practice examination and do a session on exam taking. 

Final Examination: Your grade will be based exclusively on a single final examination at the end of the term.  On the exam I will stress analytical thinking skills.  What I will be testing is your problem solving ability in the context of a concrete factual situation, not simply your ability to memorize and regurgitate the so-called black letter rules.

Course Outline

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