Criminal Law

Criminal Law


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Criminal Law provides students with an integrated framework for understanding the U.S. criminal justice system with a diverse and inclusive interdisciplinary approach and thematic focus. Authors Katheryn Russell-Brown and Angela J. Davis go beyond the law and decisions in court cases to consider and integrate issues of race, gender, and socio-economic status with their discussion of criminal law. Material from the social sciences is incorporated to highlight the intersection between criminal law and key social issues. Case excerpts and detailed case summaries, used to highlight important principles of criminal law, are featured throughout the text. The coverage is conceptual and practical, showing students how the criminal law applies in the “real world”—not just within the pages of a textbook.




Angela J. Davis is a professor of Law at the American University Washington College of Law where she teaches Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, and Criminal Defense: Theory and Practice. Professor Davis has been a Visiting Professor at George Washington University Law School and Georgetown University Law Center. She has served on the adjunct faculty at George Washington, Georgetown, and Harvard Law Schools. Professor Davis is the author of Arbitrary Justice: The Power of the American Prosecutor (Oxford University Press, 2007), the co-editor of Trial Stories (with Professor Michael E. Tigar) (Foundation Press, 2007), and a co-author of the 6th edition of Basic Criminal Procedure (with Professors Stephen Saltzburg and Daniel Capra) (Thomson West 2012). Professor Davis’ other publications include articles and book chapters on prosecutorial discretion and racism in the criminal justice system. Professor Davis received the American University Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching in a Full-Time Appointment in 2002, the American University Faculty Award for Outstanding Scholarship in 2009, and the Washington College of Law’s Pauline Ruyle Moore award for scholarly contribution in the area of public law in 2000 and 2009. Professor Davis’ book Arbitrary Justice won the Association of American Publishers 2007 Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division Award for Excellence in the Law and Legal Studies Division. She was awarded a Soros Senior Justice Fellowship in 2004. Professor Davis is a graduate of Howard University and Harvard Law School. She serves on the Board of Trustees of the Sentencing Project and the Southern Center for Human Rights.Professor Davis served as the Executive Director of the National Rainbow Coalition from 1994 - 1995. From 1991 - 1994, she was the Director of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (“PDS”). She also served as the Deputy Director from 1988 – 1991 and as a staff attorney at PDS from 1982 – 1988, representing indigent juveniles and adults charged with crimes. Professor Davis is a former law clerk of the Honorable Theodore R. Newman of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction and Overview of Criminal Law Criminal Law Terms and Concepts Sources of Criminal Law Classifications, Distinctions, and Limitations in Criminal Law Crime and People in the Criminal Justice System The Structure of the Criminal Justice System Case Briefing Chapter 2: Constitutional Limits on Criminal Laws First Amendment Second Amendment Fifth Amendment Eighth Amendment Fourteenth Amendment Right to Privacy Chapter 3: The Elements of a Crime A Voluntary Act (Actus Reus) Guilty State of Mind (Mens Rea) Concurrence and Causation Strict Liability Chapter 4: Incomplete Crimes Attempt Solicitation Conspiracy Merger Doctrine Other Incomplete Offenses Chapter 5: Theft and Other Property Offenses Larceny and Theft Embezzlement False Pretenses Burglary Arson White-Collar Crime Chapter 6: Public Order Crimes and Offenses Against Public Decency Public Order Crimes Crimes Against Public Decency Chapter 7: Rape and Other Violent Crimes Rape and Other Sexual Assaults Robbery Kidnapping Assault and Battery Chapter 8: Criminal Homicide Definitions Intentional Killings Unintentional Killings Felony Murder Capital Punishment Chapter 9: Justification Defenses Types of Defenses Defensive Force Duress and Necessity Chapter 10: Excuse Defenses Competency and Insanity Infancy Intoxication Syndrome “Defenses” Cultural Defenses Chapter 11: Punishment and Sentencing Punishment Prisoners’ Rights Sentencing Chapter 12: State-Involved Crimes Crimes Against the State Crimes Committed by Public Officials


SAGE Publications, Inc


Los Angeles, CA

Criminal Law