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  • This Subject Area Index lists all CALI lessons covering Criminal Law.
  • The Criminal Law Outline allows you to search for terms of art that correspond to topics you are studying to find suggestions for related CALI Lessons.

Criminal Law

Accomplice Liability - Mens Rea

This lesson continues our discussion of accomplice liability. In a prior lesson, we examined how the common law and the Model Penal Code classified various types of accomplices. In another prior lesson, we examined the actus reus requirement for accomplice liability. In this lesson, we continue the discussion by focusing on the mens rea requirement for accomplice liability.

Actus Reus

This exercise provides an introduction to the act requirement. In particular, it addresses the definition of "act," voluntariness, liability for omissions (failures to act), and possession offenses.

Battered Woman's Syndrome

The focus of this lesson is on battered women, but there are others who might be identified as qualifying for a defense on the same theory. Included could be battered husbands, elderly parents, children, and so forth. Thus, this lesson will explore a number of the issues involved in the invocation of self-defense by such persons and to allow the student to test his or her understanding of how the defense works in such circumstances. The lesson explores when and how the defense can be invoked in various scenarios involving abused persons, and also considers the use of experts and jury instructions.

Causation

This exercise provides an overview of the concept of causation. Factual cause is distinguished from legal cause, and causation in general from mens rea and attempt. Specific issues covered include simultaneous causes, different victim, different manner, and different injury.

Concurrence

This is a basic lesson covering the common law doctrine of concurrence. At common law, crimes required not only an actus reus and a mens rea but concurrence of the two.

Consent

This lesson explores the various ways in which the criminal law considers victim consent. Topics include consent as negating an offense element, consent as justification, effective consent, and limitations on consent as a defense.

Constitutional Limitations: 8th Amendment

This exercise provides a general overview of the Eighth Amendment as it applies to substantive criminal law. It outlines the Amendment's potential scope as well as its actual reach, as defined by the U.S. Supreme Court. Procedural criminal law (and the Court's capital punishment jurisprudence in particular) is ignored, except insofar as it bears on substantive criminal law or helps to define the Amendment's scope.

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