Introduction to Criminal Law
University of Pittsburgh -- Fall Term (98-1) -- AJ 8140/LglSt 8140
Instructor: Lee S. Weinberg, J.D., Ph.D.
Office: 3G22 Forbes Quad
Phone: (412) 648-2652
Required Text: Samaha, Joel, Criminal Law, Fifth Edition, (St. Paul: West Publishing Company, 1996)
Pennsylvania Crimes Code: Pennsylvania law may be found for specific crimes or definitions of legal concepts by clicking on the crime or concept below.
PART I: THE PURPOSE AND PRINCIPLES OF CRIMINAL LAW
I. What Is Criminal Law?
Reading: Samaha, Chapter 1
II. Legality and Constitutional Limitations
Reading: Samaha, Chapter 2
III. What Are The Elements of A Crime?
Requirement of a voluntary act
Reading: Samaha, Chapter 3
IV. Who Can Be Held Responsible or Culpable for Crimimal Conduct?
Reading: Samaha, Chapter 4
V. Are "Uncompleted" or Inchoate Crimes Still Crimes?
Possession of Devices for Theft of Telecommunications Services
Possession of Weapons on School Property
Reading: Samaha, Chapter 5
VI. Defense: I Did It, But It Was Right To Do It -- Principles of Justification
"Choice of Evils" - Justification Generally
Military Orders or other Public Duties
Reading: Samaha, Chapter 6
VII. Defense: I Did It, But It Wasn't My Fault
Reading: Samaha, Chapter 7
PART II: SPECIFIC CRIMES
VIII. Homicides of Varying Degrees
Reading: Samaha, Chapter 8
IX. Other Crimes Against Persons
Sexual Offense Terms Defined
Reading: Samaha, Chapter 9
X. Burning and Burglarizing Habitations
Reading: Samaha, Chapter 10
XI. Other Crimes Against Property
Reading: Samaha, Chapter 11
XII. Offenses Against Public Order and Morality
Reading: Samaha, Chapter 12
Grading/Attendance Policy: The grade will be based on a mid-term examination, a final exam, and contributions to class discussion. Students are expected to attend class and to be prepared to discuss the cases assigned for each class. Failure to attend, late arrivals and early departures, and lack of preparation will all be taken into account in evaluating your overall performance. The examinations will include questions about the cases as well as questions about the underlying legal concepts and legal rules.
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