Criminal Law

Criminal Law

by Katheryn Russell-Brown, Angela J. Davis

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An Interdisciplinary Approach


Criminal Law provides students with an integrated framework for understanding the U.S. criminal justice system with a diverse and inclusive interdisciplinary approach and thematic focus. Authors Katheryn Russell-Brown and Angela J. Davis go beyond the law and decisions in court cases to consider and integrate issues of race, gender, and socio-economic status with their discussion of criminal law. Material from the social sciences is incorporated to highlight the intersection between criminal law and key social issues. Case excerpts and detailed case summaries, used to highlight important principles of criminal law, are featured throughout the text. The coverage is conceptual and practical, showing students how the criminal law applies in the "real world"—not just within the pages of a textbook.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781483315126
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Publication date: 01/30/2015
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 1,076,082
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Katheryn Russell-Brown is the Chesterfield Smith Professor of Law and Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Race Relations at the University of Florida, Levin College of Law.  Professor Russell-Brown received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley, law degree from the University of California, Hastings, and Ph.D. in criminology from the University of Maryland.  Prior to joining the University of Florida law faculty in 2003, Professor Russell-Brown taught in the Criminology and Criminal Justice department at the University of Maryland for 11 years.  She has been a visiting law professor at American University and the City University of New York (CUNY).  She has been a lecturer at Howard University and her first teaching position was at Alabama State University.  Professor Russell-Brown teaches, researches, and writes on issues of race and crime and the sociology of law.  Her article, "The Constitutionality of Jury Override in Alabama Death Penalty Cases," was cited in the U.S. Supreme Court decision, Harris v. Alabama (1995).  In 2009, Professor Russell-Brown was awarded a Soros Justice Advocacy Fellowship.  Her project focused on ways to integrate criminal justice issues into the elementary education curriculum.  Professor Russell-Brown’s work includes the textbook Criminal Law (Sage, 2016) (co-authored with Angela J. Davis) and books, The Color of Crime, 2d edition (New York University Press, 2009), Protecting Our Own: Race, Crime and African Americans, (Rowman and Littlefield, 2006), and Underground Codes: Race, Crime, and Related Fires (New York University Press, 2004).

Angela J. Davis is a professor of Law at the American University Washington College of Law where she teaches Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, and Criminal Defense: Theory and Practice. Professor Davis has been a Visiting Professor at George Washington University Law School and Georgetown University Law Center. She has served on the adjunct faculty at George Washington, Georgetown, and Harvard Law Schools. Professor Davis is the author of Arbitrary Justice: The Power of the American Prosecutor (Oxford University Press, 2007), the co-editor of Trial Stories (with Professor Michael E. Tigar) (Foundation Press, 2007), and a co-author of the 6th edition of Basic Criminal Procedure (with Professors Stephen Saltzburg and Daniel Capra) (Thomson West 2012). Professor Davis’ other publications include articles and book chapters on prosecutorial discretion and racism in the criminal justice system. Professor Davis received the American University Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching in a Full-Time Appointment in 2002, the American University Faculty Award for Outstanding Scholarship in 2009, and the Washington College of Law’s Pauline Ruyle Moore award for scholarly contribution in the area of public law in 2000 and 2009. Professor Davis’ book Arbitrary Justice won the Association of American Publishers 2007 Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division Award for Excellence in the Law and Legal Studies Division. She was awarded a Soros Senior Justice Fellowship in 2004. Professor Davis is a graduate of Howard University and Harvard Law School. She serves on the Board of Trustees of the Sentencing Project and the Southern Center for Human Rights.Professor Davis served as the Executive Director of the National Rainbow Coalition from 1994 - 1995. From 1991 - 1994, she was the Director of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (“PDS”). She also served as the Deputy Director from 1988 – 1991 and as a staff attorney at PDS from 1982 – 1988, representing indigent juveniles and adults charged with crimes. Professor Davis is a former law clerk of the Honorable Theodore R. Newman of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction and Overview of Criminal Law
Criminal Law Terms and Concepts
Sources of Criminal Law
Classifications, Distinctions, and Limitations in Criminal Law
Crime and People in the Criminal Justice System
The Structure of the Criminal Justice System
Case Briefing
Chapter 2: Constitutional Limits on Criminal Laws
First Amendment
Second Amendment
Fifth Amendment
Eighth Amendment
Fourteenth Amendment
Right to Privacy
Chapter 3: The Elements of a Crime
A Voluntary Act (Actus Reus)
Guilty State of Mind (Mens Rea)
Concurrence and Causation
Strict Liability
Chapter 4: Incomplete Crimes
Merger Doctrine
Other Incomplete Offenses
Chapter 5: Theft and Other Property Offenses
Larceny and Theft
False Pretenses
White-Collar Crime
Chapter 6: Public Order Crimes and Offenses Against Public Decency
Public Order Crimes
Crimes Against Public Decency
Chapter 7: Rape and Other Violent Crimes
Rape and Other Sexual Assaults
Assault and Battery
Chapter 8: Criminal Homicide
Intentional Killings
Unintentional Killings
Felony Murder
Capital Punishment
Chapter 9: Justification Defenses
Types of Defenses
Defensive Force
Duress and Necessity
Chapter 10: Excuse Defenses
Competency and Insanity
Syndrome “Defenses”
Cultural Defenses
Chapter 11: Punishment and Sentencing
Prisoners’ Rights
Chapter 12: State-Involved Crimes
Crimes Against the State
Crimes Committed by Public Officials

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