Criminal Law 568 § 1 University of Mississippi
Spring 1999 Law School
W 10:45-12:00 m; F 9:00-10:15 am
Professor M.H. Hoffheimer
Office: Room 553 Law Center
Class attendance, preparation, and participation are required. Students may not come to class late.
There will be a closed book final exam April 26, 1999, 1:00 pm. The final grade will be based on the grade earned on the final exam and any quizzes. In rare cases, a grade may be raised by up to one full grade for extraordinary contribution to class discussion.
Quizzes may be administered in class during the semester without advance notice. Quizzes will count for no more than one-third of the final grade.
Students are required to attend the Matthews lecture delivered by Judge Kravitch, United States Circuit Judge, Eleventh Circuit, on March 18 at 4:00 pm.
Course overview and objectives
This course introduces students to substantive criminal law: what behavior is and should be punished as crime. It treats traditional common-law requirements for criminal liability and surveys the elements of select offenses at common law, under the Model Penal Code, and under the Mississippi Code. Students will learn to analyze elements of crimes, identify pertinent defenses, and evaluate potential criminal liability.
The first assignment is posted. Future assignments will be announced in class.
I am at my office daily during work hours. Students are welcome to come by without an appointment but may also make an appointment if it is more convenient.
John Kaplan et al., Criminal Law: Cases & Materials (3d ed. 1996). Additional materials are attached and others will be distributed during the semester.
2. Necessity and the nature of crime
3. Basic requirements for criminal liability
mens rea and strict liability
acts and omissions
II. Homicide and crimes against persons
1. Analysis and classification of homicide offenses:
capital, aggravated, and first degree murder
2. Rape, assault, and robbery
V. Attempt and solicitation
VI. Group crime
VII. Defense, Justification, Excuse
Selected Mississippi Homicide Statutes
§ 97-3-19. Homicide; murder defined; capital murder.
(1) The killing of a human being without the authority of law by any means or in any manner shall be murder in the following cases:
(a) When done with deliberate design to effect the death of the person killed, or of any human being;
(b) When done in the commission of an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved heart, regardless of human life, although without any premeditated design to effect the death of any particular individual;
(c) When done without any design to effect death by any person engaged in the commission of any felony other than rape, kidnapping, burglary, arson, robbery, sexual battery, unnatural intercourse with any child under the age of twelve (12), or nonconsensual unnatural intercourse with mankind, or felonious abuse and/or battery of a child in violation of subsection (2) of section 97-5-39, or in any attempt to commit such felonies.
(2) The killing of a human being without the authority of law by any means or in any manner shall be capital murder in the following cases:
(a) Murder which is perpetrated by killing a peace officer or fireman while such officer or fireman is acting in his official capacity or by reason of an act performed in his official capacity, and with knowledge that the victim was a peace officer or fireman. For purposes of this paragraph, the term "peace officer" means any state or federal law enforcement officer including but not limited to a federal park ranger, the sheriff or police officer of a city or town, a game warden, a parole officer, a judge, prosecuting attorney or any other court official, an agent of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division of the State Tax Commission, an agent of the Bureau of Narcotics, personnel of the Mississippi Highway Patrol, and the employees of the Department of Corrections who are designated as peace officers by the Commissioner of Corrections pursuant to Section 47-5-54, and the superintendent and his deputies, guards, officers and other employees of the Mississippi State Penitentiary;
(b) Murder which is perpetrated by a person who is under sentence of life imprisonment;
(c) Murder which is perpetrated by use or detonation of a bomb or explosive device;
(d) Murder which is perpetrated by any person who has been offered or has received anything of value for committing the murder, and all parties to such a murder, are guilty as principals;
(e) When done with or without any design to effect death, by any person engaged in the commission of the crime of rape, burglary, kidnapping, arson, robbery, sexual battery, unnatural intercourse with any child under the age of twelve (12), or nonconsensual unnatural intercourse with mankind, or in any attempt to commit such felonies;
(f) When done with or without any design to effect death, by any person engaged in the commission of the crime of felonious abuse and/or battery of a child in violation of subsection (2) of section 97-5-39, or in any attempt to commit such felony;
(g) Murder which is perpetrated on educational property as defined in Section 97-37-17;
(h) Murder which is perpetrated by the killing of any elected official of a county, municipal, state or federal government with knowledge that the victim was such public official.
§ 97-3-25. Homicide--penalty for manslaughter.
Any person convicted of manslaughter shall be fined in sum not less than five hundred dollars, or imprisoned in the county jail not more than one year, or both, or in the penitentiary not less than two years, nor more than twenty years.
§ 97-3-27. Homicide-killing while committing felony.
The killing of a human being without malice, by the act, procurement, or culpable negligence of another, while such other is engaged in the perpetration of any felony, except those felonies enumerated in Section 97-3-19(2) (e) and (f), or while such other is attempting to commit any felony besides such as are above enumerated and excepted, shall be manslaughter.
§ 97-3-29. Homicide-killing while committing a misdemeanor.
The killing of a human being without malice, by the act, procurement, or culpable negligence of another, while such other is engaged in the perpetration of any crime or misdemeanor not amounting to felony, or in the attempt to commit any crime or misdemeanor, where such killing would be murder at common law, shall be manslaughter.
§ 97-3-35. Homicide--killing without malice in the heat of passion.
The killing of a human being, without malice, in the heat of passion, but in a cruel or unusual manner, or by the use of a dangerous weapon, without authority of law, and not in necessary self-defense, shall be manslaughter.
§ 97-3-37. Homicide--killing of an unborn quick child.
The willful killing of an unborn quick child, by an injury to the mother of such child, which would be murder if it resulted in the death of the mother, shall be manslaughter.
§ 97-3-47. Homicide--all other killings.
Every other killing of a human being, by the act, procurement, or culpable negligence of another, and without authority of law, not provided for in this title, shall be manslaughter.
§ 63-11-30. Operation of vehicle while under influence of intoxicating liquor, drugs or controlled substances impairing ability to operate vehicle or with blood alcohol concentrations above specified levels. . .penalties for violations resulting in death, disfigurement, etc. of another. . .
(1) It is unlawful for any person to drive or otherwise operate a vehicle within this state who (a) is under the influence of intoxicating liquor; (b) is under the influence of any other substance which has impaired such person's ability to operate a motor vehicle; (c) has ten one-hundredths percent (.10%) or more for persons who are above the legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages under state law, or two one-hundredths percent (.02%) or more for persons who are below the legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages under state law, in the person's blood based upon grams of alcohol per one hundred (100) milliliters of blood or grams of alcohol per two hundred ten (210) liters of breath as shown by a chemical analysis of such person's breath, blood or urine administered as authorized by this chapter; (d) is under the influence of any drug or controlled substance, the possession of which is unlawful under the Mississippi Controlled Substances Law; or (e) has an alcohol concentration of four one-hundredths percent (.04%) or more, based upon grams of alcohol per one hundred (100) milliliters of blood or grams of alcohol per two hundred ten (210) liters of breath as shown by a chemical analysis of such person's blood, breath or urine, administered as authorized by this chapter for persons operating a commercial motor vehicle.
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(5) Every person who operates any motor vehicle in violation of the provisions of subsection (1) of this section and who in a negligent manner causes the death of another or mutilates, disfigures, permanently disables or destroys the tongue, eye, lip, nose or any other limb, organ or member of another shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a felony and shall be committed to the custody of the State Department of Corrections for a period of time not to exceed twenty-five (25) years.