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CJ 2501-002 INTRODUCTION TO CRIMINAL LAW


Spring 2015 Main Campus
Instructor: Professor Catresa G. Meyers, Esq.
Telephone: 215-204-2765
Cell phone: 215-870-7299
E-mail address: cgmeyers@temple.edu or catresameyers@gmail.com
Office: Gladfelter 560
Office Hours: By appointment
Class Meetings: MWF 3:00 PM 3:50 PM; Room: ANDRSN 208
Disability Statement: This course is open to all students who meet the academic
requirements for participation. Any student who has a need for accommodation based on the
impact of a disability should contact the instructor privately to discuss the specific situation as
soon as possible. Contact Disability Resources and Services at 215-204-1280 in 100 Ritter
Annex to coordinate reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities.
Statement on Academic Freedom: Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inseparable
facets of academic freedom. The University has adopted a policy on Student and Faculty
Academic Rights and Responsibilities (Policy # 03.70.02) which can be accessed through the
following link: http://policies.temple.edu/getdoc.asp?policy_no=03.70.02.
Course Goals and Methods: As the title suggests, this course is an introduction to criminal law.
It will involve an exploration of fundamental concepts and the evolution of criminal law. In
addition, the elements of specific crimes and defenses will also be examined. We will not delve
into areas of Criminal Procedure, Evidence or Constitutional Law, except on a tangential basis. I
recognize that every student that attends this class does not have intentions of attending law
school, but I intend to train you to think like lawyers. To further this goal, the class will employ the
Socratic method of teaching. You will be expected to brief criminal cases and articulate your legal
analysis during class.
Required Text: Samaha, Joel, Criminal Law (10th Ed.) Wadsworth (2011). The book is
available at the Temple Bookstore. Additional required readings and assignments will be posted
on Blackboard.
Course Policies
Attendance Policy: Attendance will be taken on a regular basis. Material covered in class will
appear on your exams. Moreover, class participation is essential for your success in this course.
Therefore it is to your advantage to attend class and be on time. Absences will be excused for
medical or family emergencies and religious observances, when a note is provided. More than
four (4) unexcused absences will negatively affect your grade for the course. You are responsible
for obtaining missed notes from a fellow classmate, as well as staying informed about upcoming
assignments through Blackboard. I will gladly answer any questions via email or during office
hours.
Policy on Academic Honesty: The text of Temples policy on academic honesty follows. In the
event a student violates this policy I reserve the right to assign a grade of zero (F) for the exam or
assignment and/or to take other steps in accord with University policy:

Temple University believes strongly in academic honesty and integrity. Plagiarism and
academic cheating are, therefore, prohibited. Essential to intellectual growth is the
development of independent thought and a respect for the thoughts of others. The
prohibition against plagiarism and cheating is intended to foster this independence and
respect. Plagiarism is the unacknowledged use of another persons labor, another
persons ideas, another persons words, or another persons assistance. Normally, all
work done for courses papers, examinations, homework exercises, laboratory reports,
oral presentations is expected to be the individual effort of the student presenting the
work. Any assistance must be reported to the instructor. If the work has entailed
consulting other resources journals, books, or other media these resources must be
cited in a manner appropriate to the course. It is the instructors responsibility to
indicate the appropriate manner of citation. Everything used from other sources
suggestions for organization of ideas, ideas themselves, or actual language must be
cited. Failure to cite borrowed material constitutes plagiarism. Undocumented use of
materials from the World Wide Web is plagiarism. Academic cheating is, generally, the
thwarting or breaking of the general rules of academic work of the specific rules of the
individual courses. It includes falsifying data; submitting, without the instructors
approval, work in one course which was done for another; helping others to plagiarize
or cheat from ones own or anothers work; or actually doing the work of another person.
My rules: You will find that I am very easy to get along with and my rules are quite basic:
*Cell phones, pagers, Ipods off
*Food no, beverages yes
*Assignments are due at the beginning of class
*You are expected to be on time and stay for the whole class. If you must leave early, please sit
near the door
*Respect your fellow classmates: In this class, I encourage discussion and robust debate. I want
you to feel free to express your opinions and challenge your classmates. However, I do expect
this to be done respectfully (without insult, ridicule or profanity).
Course Grade consists of the following components, weighted as follows:
2 Exams (100 points each)
3 Written Assignments (25 points each)
2 Group Presentations (15 points each)
Class Participation/Attendance

200 points
75 points
30 points
25 points
Total = 330 points

Letter Grades will be assigned as follows:


93-100% = A 80-82% = B- 67-69% = D+
90-92% = A- 77-79% = C+ 63-66% = D
87-89% = B+ 73-76% = C 60-62% = D83-86% = B 70-72% = C- 59% and below = F
All percentages will be rounded to the nearest whole number.
Incompletes: Incompletes (I) are only for students who have completed almost the entire
semester, but due to some emergency are unable to complete the course in the final few weeks. I

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may require documentation of your excuse. If I decide to grant an incomplete, you will be required
to enter into a written agreement with me, specifying how and when the course will be completed.
Extra Credit: No extra credit work will be given to any individual student for any reason.
Tentative Schedule of Class Topics and Assignments
Week of:
January 12

Chapt. 1
Criminal Law and Punishment

pp. 6-29;
pp. 33-36 (Briefing a case)

Chapt. 2
Constitutional Limits on

pp. 40 70
Brief State v. Metzger on

p. 441
Criminal Law
January 19

No Class on Mon, Jan 19th MLK day.


Chapt. 2 (cont)
Constitutional Limits on
Criminal Law

and Ewing v. California on p 68

***Written Assignment to be posted, due Jan. 26th***


January 26

February 2

Chapt. 3
Actus Reus

Chapt. 4
Mens Rea, Concurrence
Causation

pp. 81-101; brief State v. Brown on


p.87; Commonwealth v. Pestinakas
p. 93 and Miller v. State (Supp.Rdg)

pp. 105-131; brief Stark v. Stark


on p. 113; Commonwealth v.
McCloskey (Supp.Rdg)

***Written Assignment to be posted, due Feb. 9th***


February 9

Chapt. 5
Defenses to Criminal Liability:
Justification

pp. 135-168 brief People v. Goetz


on p. 139; State v. Thomas p. 145;
and the Trayvon Martin case
(Supp.Rdg)

February 16

Chapt. 6
Defenses to Criminal Liability:
Excuses

pp. 175-204; brief People v. Drew


on p.185; State v. Phipps p. 202;
Midterm Review

February 23

Chapt. 6 cont
***Midterm: Fri, Feb. 27th***
***Spring Break: March 2-8th***

March 9

Chapt. 7
Parties to Crime and
Vicarious Liability

pp. 207-230; brief State v. Ulvinen


on p. 211

Note: You are only required to read the cases in each chapter that are on the
syllabus. Feel free to skip any case, in a given chapter, that is not on your syllabus

March 16

Chapt. 7 (cont)

Brief State v. Chi (Supp. Rdg)

March 23

Chapt. 8
Inchoate Crimes

pp. 235-267; brief People v. Kimball


on p. 239 and State v. Young on p.
246

March 30

Chapt 8. (cont)

Brief State v. Damms on p. 250

***Written Assignment to be posted, due April 6th***


April 6

Chapt. 9
Crimes Against Persons l:
Murder

pp. 282-324; brief Byford v. State


on p. 294

April 13

Chapt. 9 (cont)

Brief Commonwealth v. Schnopps


on p. 316

April 20

Chapt. 13
Crimes Against the State

To be announced
Final exam review

April 27

TBA
***FINAL EXAM***
Mon, May 4th 1:00 3:00 pm