Criminal Law

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This text has become successful due to its methodical and careful explanation of traditional law categories, not because it includes every latest trend in an effort to attune to media whims. The book presents classic or contemporary cases, depending on which best illustrates a particular law. Samaha focuses on presenting a number of fully explicated cases, including some case excerpts, to cover the range of criminal law.
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Editorial Reviews

This text/CD-ROM package explains general principles and their application to specific crimes, and presents cases that apply general principles to facts. Chapters follow a traditional arrangement, with the first eight chapters covering general criminal law, and later chapters covering the law in homicide, kidnapping, burglary and arson, property crimes, and quality of life crimes. This seventh edition contains 39 new cases, and "whatever happened to" boxes on victims and criminals in famous cases. The CD-ROM contains links to complete, unedited versions of cases discussed in the book, links to the US and state constitutions, criminal codes, and US Supreme Court opinions, and Internet research questions. The author teaches criminal law at the University of Minnesota. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
From the Publisher
"Samaha's CRIMINAL LAW is still the best book out there for undergraduates, both the pre-law and pre-law enforcement students."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780314696755
  • Publisher: West Group
  • Publication date: 10/28/1982
  • Pages: 466

Meet the Author

Joel Samaha is Professor of History and Sociology at the University of Minnesota, where he teaches Introduction to Criminal Justice, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, The Supreme Court and the Constitution, and a special joint Sociology/History Department course entitled Is There a Wartime Exception to the Bill of Rights? He received his B.A., J.D., and Ph.D. from Northwestern University and studied under the late Sir Geoffrey Elton at Cambridge University, England. Professor Samaha was admitted to the Illinois Bar, briefly practiced law in Chicago, and then taught at UCLA. In 1971, he joined the University of Minnesota, where he served as Chair of the Department of Criminal Justice Studies for four years, taught television and radio courses in criminal justice, co-taught a National Endowment for the Humanities seminar in legal and constitutional history, and was named Distinguished Teacher in 1974. Professor Samaha's works have appeared in Historical Journal, American Journal of Legal History, Minnesota Law Review, William Mitchell Law Review, and Journal of Social History.
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Table of Contents

Table of Cases
Ch. 1 The Nature and Origins of Criminal Law 2
The Nature of Criminal Law 7
Sources of Criminal Law 11
Classifying and Grading Crimes 22
Perspectives on Crime and the Criminal Law 27
Ch. 2 The General Principles of Criminal Law 40
The Principle of Legality 43
Constitutional Limits 43
The Principle of Punishment 66
Ch. 3 The General Principles of Criminal Liability 90
Actus Reus 93
Mens Rea 114
Concurrence 131
Causation 132
Grading Offenses 140
Ch. 4 Parties to Crime: The Doctrine of Complicity 146
Parties to Crime 148
Vicarious Liability 162
Ch. 5 Uncompleted Crimes: Attempt, Solicitation, and Conspiracy 178
Attempt 180
Conspiracy 207
Solicitation 221
Ch. 6 Defenses to Criminal Liability: Justifications 230
Self-Defense 234
Defense of Others 250
General Principle of Necessity 251
Execution of Public Duties 260
Resisting Unlawful Arrest 264
Defense of Homes and Property 266
Consent 269
Ch. 7 Defenses to Criminal Liability: Excuses 278
Duress 280
Intoxication 286
Mistake 290
Age 295
Entrapment 299
Insanity 302
Diminished Capacity 319
Syndromes 322
Ch. 8 Crimes Against Persons I: Criminal Homicide 330
Criminal Homicide Actus Reus 333
Causing Another's Death 342
Criminal Homicide Mens Rea 345
Types and Degrees of Criminal Homicide 345
Ch. 9 Crimes against Persons II: Criminal Sexual Conduct, and Others 388
Criminal Sexual Conduct 390
Battery 413
Assault 418
False Imprisonment 423
Kidnapping 424
Ch. 10 Crimes Against Habitation: Burglary and Arson 434
Burglary 436
Arson 451
Ch. 11 Crimes Against Property 458
History of Theft 461
Larceny 462
Embezzlement 471
False Pretenses 472
Consolidated Theft Statutes 476
Receiving Stolen Property 477
Forgery and Uttering 481
Robbery and Extortion 484
Ch. 12 Crimes against Public Order and Morals 494
Crimes Against Public Order 498
Public Morals Offenses 544
Appendix 559
Glossary 563
Index 569
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