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Criminal code

Criminal Procedure

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Structuring Criminal Codes To Perform Their Function, Paul H. Robinson Jan 2000

Structuring Criminal Codes To Perform Their Function, Paul H. Robinson

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This paper argues that criminal codes have two distinct functions. First, a code must ex ante announce the rules of conduct. Second, it must set out the principles of for adjudicating, ex post, violations of those rules. These two functions often are in tension with one another. Each calls for a different kind of code, addressed to a different audience, with different objectives: To be effective ex ante, the rules of conduct must be formulated in a way that they will be understood, remembered, and able to be applied in daily life by lay persons with a wide range of …


Making Criminal Codes Functional: A Code Of Conduct And A Code Of Adjudication, Paul H. Robinson, Peter D. Greene, Natasha R. Goldstein Jan 1996

Making Criminal Codes Functional: A Code Of Conduct And A Code Of Adjudication, Paul H. Robinson, Peter D. Greene, Natasha R. Goldstein

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A traditional criminal code performs several functions. It announces the law's commands to those whose conduct it seeks to influence. It also defines the rules to be used in deciding whether a breach of the law's commands will result in criminal liability and, if so, the grade or degree of liability. In serving the first function, the code addresses all members of the public. In performing the second function, it addresses lawyers, judges, jurors, and others who play a role in the adjudication process. In part because of these different audiences, the two functions call for different kinds of documents. …


Legality And Discretion In The Distribution Of Criminal Sanctions, Paul H. Robinson Jan 1988

Legality And Discretion In The Distribution Of Criminal Sanctions, Paul H. Robinson

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The judicial system now responds to criminal conduct in two rather divergent steps. A judge or jury first determines if a defendant should be held liable for a criminal offense. If so, then the judge or jury goes on to choose a penalty. Precise rules, designed to ensure fairness and predictability, govern the first stage, liability assignment. In the second stage, sentencing, however, judges and juries exercise broad discretion in meting out sanctions. In this Article, Professor Robinson argues that both liability assignment and sentencing are part of a single process of punishing criminal behavior and should be made more …


Element Analysis In Defining Criminal Liability: The Model Penal Code And Beyond, Paul H. Robinson, Jane A. Grall Jan 1983

Element Analysis In Defining Criminal Liability: The Model Penal Code And Beyond, Paul H. Robinson, Jane A. Grall

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The pursuit of fairness and effectiveness has inspired and guided criminal code reformers of the past two decades. Because penal law protects the most important societal interests and authorizes the most serious sanctions the government may impose - the stigma of conviction, imprisonment, and even death - a criminal code, more than any other body of law, should be rational, clear, and internally consistent. Only a precise, principled code that sufficiently defines forbidden conduct can achieve its goals of condemnation and deterrence. Such a code gives citizens fair warning of what will constitute a crime, limits governmental discretion in determining …