Aspen Publishing

Jumpstart Criminal Law: Reading and Understanding Criminal Law Cases and Statutes

John M. Burkoff


  • ISBN: 9781454823797

In stock.

  • Description

    Jumpstart Criminal Law explores the context in which criminal statutes are drafted and enacted and in which criminal trials and appeals take place by considering the relationship between state and federal criminal prosecutions and trials; the difference between criminal offenses and defenses in different jurisdictions; the steps in the criminal justice process; the separate roles of judge and jury in criminal cases, and their significance; “element analysis” in criminal cases and with criminal statutes; the nature of the different types of criminal law defenses; criminal defense ethics; how, when, and why conduct is criminalized; and the role of “mens rea” and “actus reus” in criminal law. Legal reasoning and the criminal justice process are taught through numerous judicial opinions with analysis, presented in a straightforward and informal writing style comprehensible without in-class explanation. Pedagogical features support learning, such as a chapter with a glossary of the terms, idioms, and procedures encountered in reading cases in criminal law. Many judicial opinions are illustrated by an artist-drawn “cartoon.” The cases do not have complex fact patterns, but rather, are short and easy to read, and apply common rules and principles of law. Helpful exam prep combines examples of issue-spotting, essay, and multiple-choice questions with tips on how to carefully read criminal law exam questions.

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  • Details
    Page Count 208
    Published 03/05/2013
  • Additional Product Details

    Summary of Contents

    Ch. 1. What Can You Learn from Jumpstart Criminal Law?

    Ch. 2. Criminal Law: Glossary of Common Legal Terms

    Ch. 3. Context: Jurisdictional Variance and Dual Sovereignty

    Ch. 4. Context: Steps in the Criminal Justice Process

    Ch. 5. Criminal Trials: Judge and Jury

    Ch. 6. Statutory Element Analysis: The Way Criminal Law Works

    Ch. 7. Criminal Defenses: Three Distinct Types

    Ch. 8. What Conduct is Criminalized and Why?

    Ch. 9. Facts, Rules and Applications in Criminal Decisions: The Importance of IRAC

    Ch. 10. The Importance of the Actus Reus and Mens Rea Elements

    Ch. 11. Appellate Decisions in Criminal Cases

    Ch. 12. Taking Criminal Law Exams for Fun and Profit

    Ch. 13. Final Thoughts