This casebook provides the most comprehensive treatment available, including the theoretical foundations, the common-law origins, the statutory structure, and the procedural context of modern criminal law. The book concentrates on doctrinal materials that can support both rigorous technical and sophisticated theoretical discussions. The purposes and limits of punishment are addressed through Supreme Court decisions, a focus on statutes throughout the substantive law sections enables training students in the legal art of statutory interpretation as well as exposing them to the hard moral and political problems of legislative choice, and the sentencing materials reprise the theory of punishment in the context of the practically most important stage of the modern process.
The 12th edition carries forward the comprehensive approach of prior editions, empowering the teacher to design a course suited to the needs of the teacher’s students and teacher’s institution. New Supreme Court's decisions, changing the landscape of both substance and procedure, include Skilling v. United States, McDonald v. City of Chicago, Graham v. Florida, United States v. Jones, and Michigan v. Bryant. The material on self-defense has been comprehensively revised, both for the sake of clarity and to include discussion of so-called "stand your ground laws." Statutes (e.g., the New York and California homicide statutes) and the caselaw (e.g., up-to-the-minute material on "willful blindness") have been updated. We also now include a case about the admissibility of neuro-imaging evidence to support a diminished-capacity defense, thus acknowledging how modern brain science has begun to raise both practical evidentiary issues and a substantial challenge to important theoretical premises of the criminal law.
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