Criminal Law

  • 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

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Pre-indictment & Charge

These two exercises are offered to familiarize students with what prosecuting and defense attorneys do from the time an investigation begins until trial preparation and why they do it. Special attention is given to correspondence, pleadings, and the guilty plea. The framework for both exercises is federal practice.

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Presumption of Innocence (Burden of Proof and Presumptions)

This exercise provides a general introduction to constitutional limitations on the assignment of burdens of proof and the creation of evidentiary presumptions. Evidentiary distinctions are addressed only insofar as they make a difference from the standpoint of constitutional law. This exercise is not about the law of criminal evidence, but about the constitutional limitations on that body of law.

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Punishment: Theories

This exercise introduces students to the four standard theories of punishment, retribution, deterrence, incapacitation, and rehabilitation. It familiarizes students with the basic features of each theory in the context of particular statutory provisions and hypotheticals drawn from the law of crimes (substantive criminal law) and the law of punishments (sentencing law).

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Self-Defense

This is a lesson dealing with the basic justification defense of self-defense. Understanding the basics of self-defense is essential to understanding many or all of the justification defenses. The purpose of this lesson is to present very simply the elements of self-defense.

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Suspendatur!

This exercise is designed as a review for students taking the basic first year course in criminal law. Suspendatur! (Latin for “let him be hanged”, the final entry in medieval plea rolls in capital cases) is patterned after the familiar game of hangman, in which each wrong answer adds a part to a stick figure on the gibbet. The student must answer multiple choice and true-false questions based on hypothetical situations. Each right or wrong answer provides substantive feedback in what aims to be at least a mildly humorous fashion.

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