Mini 2016 Advanced Criminal Law CRMJ 384 Sylabus

Syllabus: Advanced Criminal Law

CRMJ 384, Section 001

Minimester 2016

Prerequisite(s): (see UG Catalog)

Contact Information


Instructor Name: Brian Gorman, J.D.

Office Location: Liberal Arts–Room 3220

Office Phone: (410) 704-2206

E-mail Address: [email protected]

Office Hours: After class 4:30PM-5:00PM, or by appointment.

Department Office Phone: (410) 704-2852

Course Classroom: Liberal Arts–Room 3317

Class Meeting Time: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday 1:00PM- 4:30 PM (Jan 4-Jan 21)


Course Overview

This course examines the basic concepts of substantive criminal law through the case method approach. The role of the common law in the development of criminal law doctrines is examined through an examination of the elements of crime including the role of criminal intent and mental states, in addition to criminal actions. Defenses such as mental disease or defect, youth, self-defense, and involuntary intoxication are examined as well. A number of crimes including: murder, rape, robbery, and assault are covered to explore the aforementioned concepts.


Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify common law doctrines and the impact of historical development upon modern law.
  • Critique the application of substantive criminal law in the criminal justice system.
  • Apply substantive criminal law doctrines to real and hypothetical fact patterns.
  • Demonstrate competence in traditional elements of legal scholarship including oral defense of opinions, briefing cases, maintaining course outline, and legal essay writing..

 Required Reading Materials

Wayne R. LaFave, Modern Criminal Law: Cases, Comments and Questions, 2006, 4th Ed. Thomson/West.

Recommended: A pocket legal dictionary such as Black’s.

Class Format

The class requires class participation since the Socratic Method will be used with the case method approach. Each student will be required to share the results of their case briefs with the class and contribute to class discussion.

Course Work

Regular class participation is required to successfully complete the course. Class lecture is limited; learning takes place from the sharing of case briefs and joint analysis of legal doctrines. Also, students must create an outline summarizing the legal tests and doctrines of the cases covered. Outlines must be brought to class on two occasions listed below or face a reduction in your final grade. The outlines will not be graded and may be the product of individuals or study groups working together, but they must reflect cases up to and including the date of inspection or face a loss of 3 points from the final grade of the course for each date. Thus, failure to present a course outline on both of the dates below could result in the loss of a total of 6 points from your final grade.

Outline Check , January 7, 2016

Outline Check , January 14, 2016

 Exam Schedule & Policies

Failure to take an exam without an approved excuse results in an “F” for that exam. Approved excuses include: documented illness or injury such that attendance is not possible, recognized religious holiday/observance, participation in university activities such as athletics so long as advance notice is given, or any other verifiable exigent circumstance beyond the student’s control.  Vacations are not exigent circumstances, no matter how far in advance the trip is booked or costly it may be.  It is the student’s responsibility to plan work, travel and vacation schedules around university obligations.

Week 2.           Mid-term exam #1:      33% Monday, January 11, 2015.

Week 3.           Mid-term exam #2:      33%, Monday, January 18, 2015.

Final:                               34% Thursday, January 21, 2014 (Take Home).

Academic Integrity

Department Statement on Academic Integrity (Updated Spring 2015)

The faculty of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology & Criminal Justice expects students to demonstrate academic integrity at all times, and takes a strong stand against academic dishonesty of all forms. Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated in any class. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, any form of cheating or unapproved help on an exam or academic exercise, copying someone else’s written work without citation, presenting fabricated information as legitimate, any unauthorized collaboration among students, or assisting someone to cheat in any way. Penalties for academic dishonesty are determined by the individual faculty member. The minimum penalty in for academic dishonesty in this class is a failing grade for the assignment. Students who are charged with academic dishonesty must remain enrolled in the course and cannot withdraw. Instructors will file a report of academic dishonesty with the Office of the Student Conduct and Civility Education, the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, and to the Chair’s Office in the department.

For more information on academic integrity, see the TU Student Academic Integrity Policy ( and the College of Liberal Arts’ Academic Integrity and Appeals Information, (

We also encourage students to make use of campus resources to learn more about academic integrity and how to avoid academic dishonesty, such as the resources provided by Cook Library (

Disability and Support Services

Students who have, or suspect that they may have, a disability should seek services through Disability Support Services. Students must be registered with DSS and receive written authorization to obtain disability-related accommodations. If you need accommodation due to a disability, please visit DSS for guidance. The office is located at 7720 York Road, Ph: 410-704-2638 or 3475.

Class Participation/Attendance

Students will be expected to sit in seats in compliance with a seating chart created on the first class to receive credit for attendance. Attendance and participation in class is expected and worth a half grade (+, -, or, no change) on the course grade. Students will be called on to answer questions and participate in class activities. Positive contributions to class combined with regular attendance can result in an increase of a half grade on the course grade, i.e. a “B” would be raised to a “B+”. Detraction from class via disruptions from inappropriate cell phone or laptop usage etc. and/or absences in excess of 2 classes could result in reduction of the course grade by one half grade, i.e. a “B” would be reduced to an “B-”. Otherwise, if there is neither a positive nor negative impact on class from attendance or participation, there will be no change in the course grade. Class participation will be measured by the quantity and quality of class participation. Commitments to participate will be documented regularly at the end of each class when students have the opportunity to volunteer in advance for the presentation of case briefs for the following class

Public Health Emergency/General Emergency Contingency Plans/Notifications.

In the event of a University-wide emergency course requirements deadlines and grading schemes are subject to changes that may include alternative delivery methods, alternative methods of interaction with the instructor, class materials, and/or classmates, a revised attendance policy, and a revised semester calendar and/or grading scheme.  In the case of a University-wide emergency, please refer to the following about changes in this course:

Course web page on Blackboard.

  • E-mail’s from your instructor at [email protected]
  • Instructor’s chosen emergency telephone number: 410-704-2206.
  • For general information about any emergency situation, please refer to the following:
  1. Web Site:
  2. TU Text Alert System:  This is a service designed to alert the Towson University  community via text messages to cell phones when situations arise on campus that affect the ability of the campus to function normally.  Sign up:

Policy on Repeating Course

Students may not repeat this course more than once (make a third attempt at this course) without the prior approval of the Academic Standards Committee. Please call 4-4351 or visit ES 235 for more information.

Final Grades

The grades that can be issued to students in undergraduate courses are: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, D+, D, F. Note that there is no A+, C-, or D- grade at the undergraduate level. The breakdown for determining grades is: A = 93-100%, A- = 90-92.9, B+ = 87-89.9, B = 83-86.9, B- = 80-82.9, C+ = 77-79.9, C = 72-76.9, D+ = 67-71.9, D = 62.1-66.9, F = 62 and below.

  Course Schedule


Class Flow Chart

  1. The Origins and Modern Use of the Common Law


                        – Introduction, Establishment and use of Precedents

Week                  Cases                                                           Page/Source

 Week 1                             

NY v. Abbott/Moon                                                           follow hyperlink in case title

Brief Template


                              – Limits of the Law: Statutory Interpretation


Matter of Nawrocki                                                                 follow hyperlink in case title


                        – Limits of the Law: Territorial Jurisdiction

  West v. MD                                                                            follow hyperlink in case title

(My Outline)

US v. Rand                                                                               follow hyperlink in case title


                        – Limits of the Law: Ex Post Facto Laws & Void-for-Vagueness Doctrine


MD v. Raines                                                                            follow hyperlink in case title

(My Outline)

Jeandell v. MD I                                                                       follow hyperlink in case title

Jeandell v. MD II                                                                      follow hyperlink in case title

(My Outline)

                        *practice exam exercise*


                        – Conclude Limits on Defining Criminal Behavior

Pierce v. Commonwealth                                                         102 (See La Fave Case Book)

See Partial Brief

(My Outline)

See also La Fave note case 3, p. 105


Mental State

            -Intent & Knowledge

Regina v. Cunningham                                                          112

State v. Rocker                                                                         116


               – Intent & Knowledge

Ford v. State                                                                            123

Smallwood v. State                                                                  127

Sandstrom v. Montana                                                           133


State v. Beale                                                                           138

(My Outline)

US v. Jewell                                                                             138

(My Outline)

Barnes v. U.S.                                                                          147

(My Outline)


                        *Outline Check* Thursday January 7

Week 2.

Exam #1 Monday January 11, 2016


                       – Recklessness, Negligence & Strict Liability


State v. Hazelwood                                                                  152

State v. Larson                                                                         157

State v. Cushman                                                                     167


Recklessness, Negligence & Strict Liability continued

State v. Stepniewski                                                                 171

State v. Sexton                                                                         182

People v. Marrero                                                                   189


  1. The Act Requirement

                         – Voluntary Act, Act of Possession

 State v. Caddell                                                                       207

People v. Gory                                                                         225

Wheeler v. US                                                                          228


                        –– Act of Possession & Omissions (Failure to Act)


Ulster County v. Allen                                                              233

State v. Williquette                                                                   240


  1. Homicide

-Human Being as Protected Interest


Hughes v. State                                                                            251


                        Intentional Killing: Heat of Passion Test


Mullaney v. Wilbur                                                                  261

Patterson v. NY                                                                         267

People v. Washington                                                              272

Bedder (Note Case)                                                                   274

                        – Heat of Passion Test, Deliberate Premeditated Test, & Reckless Negligent  Killing


People v. Berry                                                                               278

(My Outline)

State v. Guthrie                                                                              287

(My Outline)

Hyam v. Dir. Public Prosecutions                                            300

(My Outline)


                        #9(1/16) – Reckless & Negligent Killing, Killing by Unlawful Act


US v. Escamilla                                                                         312

State v. Goodseal                                                                     317

State v. Rose                                                                            337


                        – Causation


Kibbe v. Henderson                                                                 341

Regina v. Blau                                                                         345

People v. Stewart                                                                     353


                         Thursday January 14, 2016  *Outline Check #2

  Exam #2 Monday, January 18.


                        – Death Penalty

Gregg v. Georgia                                                                    356

Mental Disease and Defect


Pate v. Robinson                                                                      375

Jackson v. Indiana                                                                  381


                        – Mental Disease and Defect & Addiction


Daniel M’Naghten                                                                   392

Powell v. Texas                                                                         442

U.S. v. Moore                                                                          453


– Voluntary & Involuntary Intoxication, Immaturity


Montana v. Egelhoff                                                                462

Minneapolis v. Altimus                                                          475

State v. Q.D.                                                                            481


Justification & Excuse: Defense of Self & Others

 U.S. v. Peterson                                                                          488

(My Outline)

Bechtel v. State                                                                         501

(My Outline)

Law v. State                                                                             513

(My Outline)

Bishop v. State                                                                         518

(My Outline)


                        – Scientific Evidence in Criminal Law

Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals (92-102), 509 U.S. 579 (1993).

                        Available at:


(My Outline)


**Final Thursday, January 21 (Take Home)**