Criminal law - MPC vs. Common Law vs. Majority modern rule

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
MC1220
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:40 pm

Criminal law - MPC vs. Common Law vs. Majority modern rule

Postby MC1220 » Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:17 pm

Does anyone have/know of a good chart that outlines differences between Model Penal Code, common law, and the modern American rule for various crimes? Thanks so much.

User avatar
ahduth
Posts: 2468
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:55 am

Re: Criminal law - MPC vs. Common Law vs. Majority modern rule

Postby ahduth » Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:22 pm

MC1220 wrote:Does anyone have/know of a good chart that outlines differences between Model Penal Code, common law, and the modern American rule for various crimes? Thanks so much.


What in the world is the modern American rule? Do you mean Federal law?

And who uses common law? You mean common law as it has continued on in the states' statutes?

MC1220
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:40 pm

Re: Criminal law - MPC vs. Common Law vs. Majority modern rule

Postby MC1220 » Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:29 pm

By modern American rule I meant the rule used in the majority of U.S. jurisdictions (in terms of state law - which most criminal law is). My professor has emphasized the common law (i.e. the law in England before the founding of the colonies) throughout the semester.

User avatar
MrPapagiorgio
Posts: 1747
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:36 am

Re: Criminal law - MPC vs. Common Law vs. Majority modern rule

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:41 pm

MC1220 wrote:By modern American rule I meant the rule used in the majority of U.S. jurisdictions (in terms of state law - which most criminal law is). My professor has emphasized the common law (i.e. the law in England before the founding of the colonies) throughout the semester.

Your professor is doing you a disservice. While it is true that many of the crimes we now enforce through statutes were first acknowledged at common law (often in England and adopted in the 18th/19th centuries in this country), modern criminal law is enforced through statutory provisions.

Cogburn87
Posts: 467
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:26 pm

Re: Criminal law - MPC vs. Common Law vs. Majority modern rule

Postby Cogburn87 » Tue Nov 29, 2011 1:54 am

MrPapagiorgio wrote:Your professor is doing you a disservice. While it is true that many of the crimes we now enforce through statutes were first acknowledged at common law (often in England and adopted in the 18th/19th centuries in this country), modern criminal law is enforced through statutory provisions.


By "common law" he clearly means those criminal rules that were eventually codified, but predate modern attempts at organized reform such as the MPC (e.g., statutes prohibiting malice murder v. an MPC-type approach to grading homicide).

I don't really see this as disservice. Many states still have inelegant criminal codes reflecting that they are simply a piecemeal codification of old common law rules and recognizing this fact doesn't cause great mischief. In fact, this is the terminology used in the Dressler casebook.

User avatar
ahduth
Posts: 2468
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:55 am

Re: Criminal law - MPC vs. Common Law vs. Majority modern rule

Postby ahduth » Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:02 am

Cogburn87 wrote:
MrPapagiorgio wrote:Your professor is doing you a disservice. While it is true that many of the crimes we now enforce through statutes were first acknowledged at common law (often in England and adopted in the 18th/19th centuries in this country), modern criminal law is enforced through statutory provisions.


By "common law" he clearly means those criminal rules that were eventually codified, but predate modern attempts at organized reform such as the MPC (e.g., statutes prohibiting malice murder v. an MPC-type approach to grading homicide).

I don't really see this as disservice. Many states still have inelegant criminal codes reflecting that they are simply a piecemeal codification of old common law rules and recognizing this fact doesn't cause great mischief. In fact, this is the terminology used in the Dressler casebook.


Right, I think the "modern American rule" thing threw me off. It is important however to recognize that this stuff isn't common law anymore - most of the "true" common law cases you're studying are there to provide a conceptual basis for things like mens rea and so forth. And its important to recognize the wide variations you'll get in state statutes - felony murder comes to mind in my insomniac state right now, but there's some specific standard where Wisconsin is a huge outlier and will grab you for virtually anything, probably manslaughter or some other negligence standard crime. Probably something I should know for the exam...

To go back to the original point, it's a fools errand to try and strictly compare the MPC and the various states' statutes. Some states have heavily relied on the MPC themselves, whereas others are still steeped in common law. Our prof is providing us with a statute if we're not to use the MPC. Comparative state criminal law is probably more of a research topic than a law school course.

lawnerd1
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:23 pm

Re: Criminal law - MPC vs. Common Law vs. Majority modern rule

Postby lawnerd1 » Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:00 am

--LinkRemoved--

MC1220
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:40 pm

Re: Criminal law - MPC vs. Common Law vs. Majority modern rule

Postby MC1220 » Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:02 am

Thanks everyone for your input - and thanks lawnerd for the chart! that's exactly the type of thing I was looking for.




Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider] and 4 guests