Criminal Justice Exam 2

what are the three legal requirements for identifying criminal actions

corpus delicti
actus reus
mens rea

what is corpus delicti

refers to the particular elements required in order for prosecutors to establish that a crime was indeed committed

what is actus reus

means the evil or guilty act

mens rea

refers to the perpetrators state of mind at the time of the crime

what are the different levels of mens rea


to establish mens rea the _____ or ____ make a judgement of the individuals capability of forming it

judge or jury

for a deed to be criminal what must concur

intention and action

what is a alibi defense

the defendant denies that he or she committed the crime and offers proof that he or she could not have done so

in a perfect defense

the person is excused from all criminal liability and punishment

in an imperfect defense

the persons liability or punshment is reduced

affirmative defense

the defendant admits to some of the elements of crime but denies that all of the elements were present

what is defense of involuntary action

a claim by the person that the action or behavior was not voluntary

what is a duress defense

a defense in which a person is literally forced into committing a crime because failure to commit it would result in more serious harm
however the crime of homicide is not applicable

defense of necessity

when sometimes under extreme circumstances a person cannot avoid taking criminal action to resolve the situation
(lesser of to evils defense)

self defense

may be used when someone is threatened by another person i compelled to defend him or herself with the use of force

what are the three requirements of self defense

- crime must be necessary
-the action must be proportionate to the threat
-the threat must be immediate or imminent

when does entrapment occur

when law enforcements trap or trick a person into committing a crime that he or she would otherwise not have committed


under some circumstances a defendant may escape criminal liability if the victim actually gave the defendant permission to engage in prohibited acts
-not usually a defense used for more heinous crimes

the defense of infancy or youth

children between the ages of 7 and 14 are presumed incapable of forming the mens rea necessary for criminal liability

what are the 4 forms of defense immunity

-diplomatic immunity
-legislative immunity
-witness immunity

legal definition of insanity

as a defense refers to an individual whose mind was disordered because of defective mental processes at the time of committing the crime

insanity implies diminished or no ________ based on lack of ______

criminal responsibility
mens rea

a theory can be based on observations (deductive) or on inferences (inductive)


rather than being rooted in science criminological theories were based on

-stereotypes of the time
-social and religious moral thought at the time

what are the 4 main schools of thought for criminological theory

-classical school
-biological determinism
-psychological school
-sociological school

what did the classical and neo classical school propose about crime*

-were the first to propose that crime is a matter of free choice
-criminals have rights in the CJ system
-the prevention of crime should be based on altering the factors that cause the crime

what is the pain-pleasure principle

people will seek that which brings them pleasure and avoid which causes pain

who was the first to propose the pain-pleasure principle


what did Beccaria believe about punishment

Beccaria believed that certain swift and appropriate punishment would deter people from criminal behavior

what did bentham reason

that people are calculating humans who logically evaluate the pleasure to be gained by the commissions of an act versus the punishment to be suffered for it

when the____ of the punishment outweighs the ____ to be derived, individuals refrain from criminal behavior.


The Positive School

first emphasized the use of scientific method to gather reliable data about the causes of criminal behavior

what three major schools can the positive school be divided into based on the primary cause of crime


biological perspectives- biological determinism believed

believed crime to be caused by a biological or biochemical influence over which the offender has little to no control

Early in the 19th century biological theories emphasized what about a persons criminal nature

it was due to inherited characteristics

what did Cesare Lombroso believe about criminal behavior

he believed that criminal behavior was a characteristic of human who had failed to fully develop from their primitive origins and were closer to apes that to contemporary humans

what does modern biological theories believe to contribute to criminal behavior

identify a diverse number of biological, chemical, genetic and neurological variables

what are psychological theories of crime based on

they are based on the primary premise that crime is caused by emotions, drives, and mental defect that are often not know to the offender

what is the most commonly applied psychological theory of crime and what does it propose

Freud's psychanalytic theory
proposes that behavior is controlled by subconscious desires

what are the three thoughts that control the humans unconscious mind

-the id which represents our unconscious desires and conflicts
-the superego the moral values systems
-the ego the rational mind

_____ theories are not extensively used and adopted within the criminal justice system


what three contexts have the physiological theories been applied too

- insanity plea
-use of criminal profiling
-rehabilitative practices

what do social process theories argue

they argue that we learn behavior, which is then maintained or extinguished by the rewards or punishments we associate with it

what attempts to explain how we become who we are

social processes

________ theories emphasizes factors such as interaction with others, socialization, imitation, reinforcement, role-modeling, stereotyping, and reaction of others to our behaviors

social processes

what does the social theory seek to explain

it seeks to explain the development stages to delinquent or criminal behavior

_______ theory posits that social learning does not have to occur firsthand but can entail watching others and noting the consequences of their behavior

social learning

what does the differential association theory suggest

that criminal behavior is learned during normal social interactions and that the same learning principles are involved in reinforcing criminal and law abiding behavior

what does differential association emphasize about criminal behavior

learning criminal behavior occurs in intimate group settings and assumes that anyone can become criminal if placed in a situation that fosters such behavior

what idea did Charles Horton cooley develop and what does it mean

looking glass self, believed that we come to define ourselves by the way others see us
How we see ourselves will affect who we become and what we will do in life

the labeling theory

attempts to explain the complicated route a person takes in becoming a criminal, progressing through gradual stages of criminality, and the role that society plays defining a person as criminal

labeling theory distinguishes between primary and secondary deviance. What is primary deviance

is the original deviant act that earns the offender a deviant label

labeling theory distinguishes between primary and secondary deviance. what is secondary deviance

are the further acts of deviance that are committed after one is already labeled as deviant and may in fact be due to already having earned a deviant label

what are the four facets to Travis Hirschi's social bond theory

- attachment
- commitment

what is Gottfredson and Hirschi's self-control theory

self control is the ability to control ones impulses, emotions, desires, and behaviors

what is Reckless's containment theory

personal factors such as self-concept, self-control, goal-directedness, conscience, tolerance of frustration, sense of aspiration, and identification with lawful norms all keep behavior in check

Social Control theory

theory focuses primarily on belief systems-not laws of formal rules- that hold people to society's standards

_____ also exist at a more individual level and these bonds form the basis of social bond theory, self control theory, and containment theory


what does adoption of negative and antisocial value learned in neighborhoods and subculture produce

criminal behavior

what may occur when there is cultural conflict

crimes but not all of it is crime

social disorganization theory

attributes crime to the failure of social institutions and organizations to meet the needs of a community or neighborhood

where are social disorganization factors typically found

high crime areas that have been subject to rapid change due to industrialization, immigration, and urbanization

who were the sociologist that came up with the concentric circle and what is it

Clifford Shaw and Henry McKay
theory that explains why neighborhoods in certain geographical parts of the city were more likely to experience crime than others

Strain theory

proposes that extraordinary pressures make a person more likely to commit a crime

who used the strain theory and why

used the theory to focus on the inability to achieve desired life goals as a cause of crime

how does the social conflict theory view criminal behavior

as the product of the conflict between the wealthy and powerful and the poor and powerless

critical theory

is a branch of social conflict theory concerned with the way in which structural conditions and social inequalities influence crime

feminist criminology

applies feminist thought to the study of crime and draw our attention to a number of criminology's sexist practices and point out that women and men experience the world differently

peacemaking criminology

urges us to think of crime causation from a different point of view

the life course delinquency perspective

argues that delinquency follows identifiable trends from birth to old age

dual taxonomy theory

is a contemporary offshoot of strain theory that combines biological and psychological elements with social factors to explain the persistence of crime across the life course

who are life course persistent offenders

are individuals who get in trouble and engage in delinquency at young ages and continue their criminal behavior throughout the course of their lives

who are adolescent-limited offenders

tend to participate in antisocial behavior during limited periods of time during adolescence

what are the 3 primary rules for assessing Insanity

-the M'Naghten Rule
-the Durham Rule
-The American Law Institute

what is the M'Naghten Rule

the right or wrong test

what are the terms of the M'Naghten Rule

- the defendant must have had at the time of the crime a defect of reason from disease of mind to render him knowing right from wrong
- an irresistible impulse test

what is the irresistible impulse test

helps to ascertain whether the defendant mental disorder rendered him or her incapable of controlling urges to behave in particular ways

what is the Durham Rule

an accused is not criminally responsible if his unlawful act was the product of mental disease or mental defect

what is the American Law Institute Rule

required that the defendant have a mental disease or defect that cause him to lack substantial capacity either to appreciate the criminality of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of law

what did Gresham Sykes and David Matza develop

the neutralization theory

what is the neutralization theory

justifications used to avoid taking responsibility