Book Title
Business Law with UCC Applications 14th Edition

978-0077733735 Chapter 5 Lecture Notes

April 10, 2019
Chapter 05 - Criminal Law and Cybercrimes
Chapter 5
Criminal Law and Cybercrimes
I. Key Terms
Aggravated arson (p. 113) Homicide (p. 112)
Aggravated burglary (p. 113) Intimidation (p. 116)
Aggravated murder (p. 112) Involuntary manslaughter (p. 112)
Aggravated robbery (p. 114) Irresistible impulse test (p.125 )
American Law Institute (ALI test ) (p. 125) Knowledge (p. 106)
Arson (p. 113) Manslaughter (p. 112)
Assault (p. 113) Misdemeanor (p. 105)
Battered spouse syndrome (p. 127) M-Naughten Rule (p. 125)
Battery (p. 113) Negligence (p. 107)
Breaking and entering (p. 113) Obstruction of justice (p. 116)
Bribery (p. 115) Passing bad checks (p. 115)
Burglary (p. 113) Perjury (p. 116)
Crime (p. 101) Premediated murder (p. 112)
Criminal simulation (p.115) Purpose (p. 106)
Cyber-trespass (p. 118) Recklessness (p. 107)
Cyber-extortion (p. 119) Resisting Arrest (p. 116)
Defense of others (p. 126) Robbery (p. 114)
Defrauding creditors (p. 115) Second-degree murder (p. 112)
Dereliction of duty (p. 115) Self-defense (p. 126)
Double jeopardy (p. 102) Stand your ground (p. 126)
Embezzlement (p. 114) Tampering with evidence (p. 116)
Entrapment (p. 125) Theft (p. 114)
Felony (p. 104) Theft in office (p. 115)
First-degree murder (p. 112) Trespass (p. 113)
Forgery (p. 114) Victim’s rights (p. 102)
Fraud (p. 114) Voluntary manslaughter (p. 112)
II. Learning Objectives
1. Explain the purpose of criminal law.
2. Enumerate the various categories and classes of crimes.
3. Describe the nature of an act within the concept of criminal liability.
4. Identify the four mental states to be found in the criminal code.
5. Explain the nature of corporate criminal liability.
6. Explain the various theories of punishment within criminal law.
7. Enumerate and explain the elements of several key crimes.
8. Define and explain the nature of cybercrimes.
9. Explain the three standards for the insanity defense in criminal law.
10. Outline the requirements of entrapment as a defense in criminal law.
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Chapter 05 - Criminal Law and Cybercrimes
III. Major Concepts
5-1 Definition and Classes of Crimes
A crime is an offense against the public at large. As such, a crime threatens the peace,
safety, and well-being of the entire community. For this reason, crimes are punishable by
the official governing body of a nation or state. A felony is a crime punishable by death or
imprisonment in a federal or a state prison for a term exceeding one year. Some felonies
are also punishable by fines. A misdemeanor is a less serious crime that is generally
punishable by a prison sentence of not more than one year.
5-2 Elements of a Crime
The two elements necessary to create criminal liability are (a) an act and (b) the requisite
state of mind. Generally speaking, a crime cannot be committed unless the criminal act
named in the statute is performed with the requisite state of mind. Many state criminal
codes include four possible states of mind: (a) purpose, (b) knowledge, (c) recklessness,
and (d) negligence. Establishing motive may help investigators pinpoint the guilty party,
but proving an evil motive is not necessary for a criminal conviction. Conversely, estab-
lishing the existence of a good motive will rarely absolve a defendant of criminal
5-3 Specific Crimes
Crimes against people include but are not limited to first-degree murder, second-degree
murder, manslaughter, battery, and assault. A more recent addition to this list involves
hate speech. Crimes against property include but are not limited to burglary; breaking and
entering; trespass; aggravated arson; arson; aggravated robbery; robbery; theft, fraud, and
related offenses. Crimes involving business include embezzlement, forgery, criminal
simulation, passing bad checks, and defrauding creditors. RICO offenses also involve
business crime. Crimes against justice include bribery, theft in office, and dereliction of
duty. Others, such as intimidation, are committed against a public official or public
servant. Still others, such as obstruction of justice, resisting arrest, perjury, and tampering
with evidence are committed against the justice system itself.
5-4 Cybercrimes
Cybercrimes include cyber-trespass, which involves any conventional crime committed
with a computer. Cybercrimes that focus on the use of a computer include
cyber-extortion, cyber-stalking, cyber-harassment, cyber-assault, cyber-bullying,
cyber-spoofing, phishing, smishing, and vishing. Crimes that target computers include
cyber-terrorism, identity theft, cyber-vandalism, and cyber-germ warfare. Federal
cybercrimes include Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), the Electronic
Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), the Communications Assistance for Law
Enforcement Act (CALEA), the Economic Espionage Act (EEA), the National Stolen
Property Act (NSPA), the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act (ITADA).
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Chapter 05 - Criminal Law and Cybercrimes
5-5 Defenses to Criminal Liability
Because criminal liability relies on the two essential elements of act and requisite mental
state, a logical defense aims at eliminating one or both of those elements. Most defenses
attempt to do just that. The most common defenses are insanity, entrapment, justifiable
force, and mistake
IV. Outline
I. Definition and Classes of Crimes (5-1)
A. Definition of a Crime
1. A crime is an offense against the public at large.
2. Criminal laws are created by the federal and state government.
3. The primary objectives of criminal law are to protect the public, to preserve order and
stability within society, to punish those who commit criminal acts, and to discourage
future disruptive conduct.
4. The objectives of criminal law and tort law differ.
5. A single act can be both a tort and a crime.
6. The standard of proof in a criminal case is beyond a reasonable doubt whereas in a
civil case, the plaintiffs attorney must prove liability by a preponderance of the
7. The United States Constitution through the rule of double jeopardy protects people
from being tried twice for the same crime.
a. The rule does not protect a defendant from being tried for a criminal offense and
then being sued under tort law for the same wrongful act.
b. A single offense may trigger two prosecutions if the offense can be designated as
two different crimes tried in two different courts.
8. Legislatures have enacted statutes creating victim’s rights.
B. Criminal Law in the American System
1. Federal Criminal Law
a. The federal government has no express power in the Constitution that allows it to
enact criminal law statutes or establish a national police force.
b. Through adaptive processes at work within the legal system, the federal
government enacted criminal laws, set up the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a
national police force, and has a cabinet-level criminal law enforcement official,
the attorney general.
2. Criminal Law Adaptation
a. The way in which Congress has assumed powers in the criminal law area
illustrates how the law adapts.
b. Congress can create criminal law statutes only in those areas over which it has
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Chapter 05 - Criminal Law and Cybercrimes
c. Congress has extended its power to include police power through the Commerce
Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
C. Classes of Crimes
1. A felony is generally defined as a crime punishable by death or imprisonment in a
federal or a state prison for a term exceeding one year.
2. Some felonies are also punishable by fines.
3. A misdemeanor is a less serious crime generally punishable by a prison sentence of
not more than one year.
4. Some states have specific categories for the least serious offenses commonly called
petty offenses or minor misdemeanors.
II. Elements of a Crime (5-2)
A. A Criminal Act
1. Under American law, crime cannot be committed unless some overt act has occurred.
2. Courts strike down convictions based on laws that are ambiguous, vague, or overly
3. A failure to act may be considered criminal, but generally the failure to act must be
coupled with a legally imposed duty in order for criminal liability to attach.
4. Many states specifically exclude involuntary movement and behavior from the
general definition of a criminal act.
5. Involuntary behavior may not absolve a person from criminal liability if, for example,
a person was aware of a propensity for such behavior but took no steps to control it.
B. The Required State of Mind
1. A specified state of mind is usually required for a finding of criminal activity.
2. Many state criminal codes recognize purpose, recklessness, knowledge, and
negligence as states of mind supporting criminal activity.
3. Individuals act with purpose when they act with the intent to cause the result that does
in fact occur.
4. Individuals act with knowledge when they act with an awareness that a particular
result will probably occur.
5. People act recklessly when they disregard known risks of negative consequences.
6. People act with negligence when they fail to see the possible negative consequences
of their actions.
C. The Matter of Motive
1. Motive is the wrongdoers reason for committing a crime.
2. Motive is not necessary for a criminal conviction.
D. The Matter of Corporate Liability
1. Corporate liability requires that the prosecutor prove that the defendant possessed a
particular mental state which can create a problem when corporations are involved.
2. The law has established that corporations are “legal people.”
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Chapter 05 - Criminal Law and Cybercrimes
3. An early theory on corporate criminal liability emerged from within the doctrine of
strict liability.
4. Courts began to hold corporations liable for criminal acts of employees under the
theory of respondeat superior.
5. The doctrine of respondeat superior has been extended to the point that even if a
worker is prohibited from violating the law, the corporation might still be declared
liable for the workers crime.
6. Under the Model Penal Code, a corporation might be held criminally liable if the
corporate officers or directors authorize, approve, or recklessly tolerate the criminal
action of employees acting on the job when the crimes occur.
E. The Matter of Punishment
1. One approach to sentencing involves protecting the public at large.
a. Consequences of crime send a message to potential offenders as well as the
b. Techniques include deterrence, education, and retribution.
2. Another approach to punishment involves sentencing tailored to fit the individual
offense or the individual offender.
a. Consequences created to fit a particular offense or to punish a specific offender
are designed to prevent further criminal activity by an individual offender.
b. Techniques include prevention, restraint, and rehabilitation.
3. The death penalty in criminal cases is subject to controls designed to limit its
imposition to cases in which the criminal defendant truly deserves death including
safeguards in the form of aggravating and mitigating circumstances.
4. The appellate court that reviews application of the death penalty is required to
evaluate the conduct of the sentencing judge for partiality, impropriety, or outside
5. Normally, the governor of a state has the power to commune a death sentence.
III. Specific Crimes (5-3)
A. Crimes Against People
1. Any killing of one human by another may be labeled as a homicide.
a. Criminal homicide is either murder or manslaughter.
b. When unlawful killing is done with premeditations and deliberate intent, it is
labeled first-degree murder, aggravated murder, or premeditated murder.
c. Most states define first degree murder to include killing with premeditation and
killing while committing a major crime such as rape, robbery, or kidnapping; and
several other jurisdictions add other circumstances.
d. If conditions for first degree murder do not apply, the crime is known as
second-degree murder or murder.
e. In many jurisdictions the death penalty may be imposed for first-degree murder,
but not for second-degree murder.
f. Manslaughter is an unlawful killing of a person without the intent to kill and may
be classified as voluntary manslaughter when a person has lost the ability to
reason or involuntary manslaughter when the killing results from negligence.
2. Battery and assault are other crimes against people.
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Chapter 05 - Criminal Law and Cybercrimes
a. Historically, the term “battery” described a crime causing physical harm to the
victim, and “assault” included the threat of harm.
b. Historical distinctions are no longer applicable in many jurisdictions.
c. Some states have altered or added offenses in this category, and checking criminal
code in applicable jurisdictions is advisable.
3. Hate Speech
a. Statutes have attempted to criminalize hate speech involving the use of certain
symbols, writings, and speech intended to provoke outrage or fear on the basis of
race, religion, color, or gender.
b. Such statutes are constitutional only if they are not content specific.
B. Crimes Against Property
1. The crime of burglary has evolved since the Middle Ages definition of an unlawful
entry into a dwelling place at night.
a. Modern legislatures define burglary as including using force, deceit, or cunning to
trespass into an occupied structure with the intent to commit a crime.
b. A more serious form of burglary is aggravated burglary involving, for example,
the use of a deadly weapon.
c. A related offense to burglary is breaking and entering which involves illegally
gaining entry to unoccupied structures or trespassing on land with the intent to
commit theft or a felony.
d. Another related offense to burglary is trespass which involves knowingly entering
land without permission.
2. The crime of arson had been expanded by legislatures to include aggravated arson.
a. Aggravated arson includes using fire or explosives to create a substantial risk of
physical harm to an individual or to an occupied building and may include hiring
another person to do so.
b. A lesser offense is ordinary arson involving using fire or explosives to cause harm
or a substantial risk of harm to the property of another or to the offenders own
property and includes hiring another to do so.
3. Aggravated robbery and robbery are other forms of crimes against property.
a. Aggravated robbery involves attempting to commit or actually committing a theft
using a deadly weapon or dangerous ordnance, or doing the same by inflicting
physical harm on the victim.
b. In ordinary robbery, the offender does not use or show a weapon.
c. Ordinary robbery may also involve attempting to commit or committing a theft by
inflicting or attempting to inflict physical harm on a third party.
4. Many jurisdictions place theft, fraud, and related offenses together under a single
a. These offenses have in common the attempt to separate the rightful owner of
property from that property or to profit from that separation once it has taken
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Chapter 05 - Criminal Law and Cybercrimes
b. Theft is often defined as knowingly raking or obtaining control over the property
of another without that individual’s consent using deceit, threats, or coercion.
c. Fraud involves a deliberately engineered deception that the offender uses to obtain
property or services belonging to another.
C. Crimes Involving Business
1. Embezzlement is defined as wrongfully taking property or funds that have been
entrusted to the care of the offender.
2. Forgery involves the making or changing of a writing (without proper authorization)
with the intent to defraud.
3. Criminal simulation involves altering or falsifying, for example, art objects, antiques,
photographs with the intent to defraud.
4. Passing bad checks includes issuing or transferring a check or other negotiable
instrument with the intent to defraud knowing it will be dishonored.
5. The crime of defrauding creditors involves removing, hiding, or destroying, for
example, any person’s property with the intent to defraud creditors; or hiding or
refusing to disclose information about the existence or location of a person’s property
to a fiduciary appointed to administer that person’s affairs or estate.
6. To prevent a criminal invasion of legitimate businesses, Congress passed the
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
a. Conducting a legitimate business with the funds acquired from a pattern of
racketeering activities can give rise to criminal liability under the act.
b. Violation can give rise to criminal charges and also civil liability.
D. Crimes Against Justice
1. Crimes against justice involve offenses committed by or with the cooperation of a
public servant or a public official.
2. In most states, bribery involves offering, promising, or actually giving something of
value to a public official with the goal of influencing that official in the discharge of
his or her public duties.
3. It is also bribery when the public official solicits or accepts a thing of value in
exchange for that public official’s influence in whatever capacity.
4. Many states have further expanded the crime of bribery to include witnesses who are
offered or given something of value in exchange for their testimony.
5. Most jurisdictions define theft in office to include any theft offense in the criminal
code that is committed by a public official or a party official involving the use of that
official’s governmental or party power to obtain unlawful control over governmental
or party property or services.
6. In relation to law enforcement officers, dereliction of duty is any activity that
involves the officers failure to carry out his or her lawful duties.
7. Public servants are charged with carrying out those duties that are specifically related
to the proper operation of their governmental office, and many dereliction of duty
statutes also expressly state that public servants have an affirmative duty to keep their
department or agency within the budget set for it by the state legislature.
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Chapter 05 - Criminal Law and Cybercrimes
8. The crime of intimidation involves threats of harm to the person or property of a
public servant, party official, or witness with the intention of coercing that individual
into some violation of his or her public duty.
9. Most jurisdictions define obstruction of justice as any activity designed to prevent the
discovery, apprehension, arrest, prosecution, conviction, or punishment of a criminal
10. Resisting arrest is defined as interfering in the lawful arrest of a criminal defendant.
11. Under the laws of most states, perjury is defined as making a false statement under
12. Tampering with evidence means altering, destroying, or removing any piece of
evidence with the intent to somehow lessen the probative value of that evidence and
includes presenting false evidence to a public official in order to somehow destroy the
effectiveness of an official investigation.
E. The Posse Comitatus and Insurrection Acts
1. Increased use of paramilitary police by states brings up the point that the law prevents
the federal government from using the U.S. military to uphold the law of an
individual state.
2. The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 in tandem with the Insurrection Act of 1807 forbid
the use of the U.S. military to uphold the laws of any individual state although these
laws do not over the National Guard or the Coast Guard.
3. In 2012, the National Defense Authorization Act included a provision permitting the
military to detain individuals for in undefined period of time even though charges
have not been filed.
4. Some argue that the National Defense Authorization Act effectively repeals the Posse
Comitatus Act while others contend that the Posse Comitatus Act has been repealed in
a de facto manner on the basis that the police have turned into a military force without
any need for legislative action.
IV. Cybercrimes (5-4)
A. Cyber-trespass
1. Cyber-trespass is the process of gaining access to a computer with the intent to
commit a crime.
2. This strategy incorporates the rest of the criminal code into this one crime, making it
an offense to use a computer to commit any other crime in the code.
B. Crimes Committed With a Computer
1. Cyber-stalking involves targeting individuals for exploitation using their computer
2. Cyber-harassment involves using computer connections to blanket the target with
offensive comments aimed at disrupting the victim’s peace of mind.
3. Cyber-assault may mean using social media to inflict threats or it may mean a direct
attack on a computer system.
4. Cyber-bullying involves intentional, aggressive, upsetting activities aimed at
destroying the mental well-being of a peer.
5. Cyber-piracy is one of the most lucrative e-crime.
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Chapter 05 - Criminal Law and Cybercrimes
a. Cyber-piracy, electronic piracy, or e-piracy occurs when website operators take
intellectual property and carry them on their websites or sell them on the Internet
without paying royalties.
b. Cyber-extortion, electronic extortion, or e-extortion can occur when a hacker
gains access to computer records, uncovers conduct that might damage the
reputation of the target, and then threatens exposure unless payment is made.
6. Cyber-spoofing involves adopting the identity of another computer user or creating a
false identity on a computer web site to commit fraud.
7. Phishing involves sending out phony e-mails that solicit buyers in order to obtain
information such as account numbers while spear phishing occurs when the e-mail
has been customized so that the recipient believes the e-mail comes from someone
who is known.
8. Smishing links SMS (short message service) texting with phishing, and vishing
connects phishing to voice messaging in connection with a scheme to falsely warn
victims of account problems in order to obtain account information.
C. Crimes that Target Computers
1. Cyberterrorism involves using a computer to disrupt or destroy one of the critical
elements of the nation’s cyber-infrastructure.
2. Identity Theft occurs when a perpetrator steals credit card information, financial data,
access codes, passwords, or debit card information and then passes himself or herself
off as the victim.
3. Cybervandalism occurs when vandals attack a computer system so that a web site is
destroyed or paralyzed.
4. Cybergerm Warfare occurs when criminals use viruses to attack a computer system.
D. Federal Cybercrimes
1. The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act is the first act in which Congress specifically
addressed computer crime and outlaws a number of crimes involving the wrongful
use of or damage to computers.
2. The Electronic Communications Privacy Act amended the original wiretap act to
cover communication by computer and prohibits the intentional interception of
electronic communication.
3. The Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act amended the Electronic
Communications Privacy Act by requiring communication companies to update their
electronic equipment in order to make certain that law enforcement officers could
carry out surveillance duties properly.
4. The Electronic Espionage Act is designed to protect trade secrets and outlaws the
downloading of trade secrets.
5. Under the National Stolen Property Act (NSPA), it is a federal crime to use interstate
or foreign commerce to transport personal property, currency, or securities that an
individual is aware were stolen, were secured by fraud, or were taken by some other
illegal method including an unauthorized electronic transfer.
6. The Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act as amended outlaws the
unauthorized transfer, possession, or use of a means of identifying another person to
violate federal law.
7. The CAN SPAM Act is designed to deal with the problem of pop-up advertisements
and unsolicited commercial e-mail.
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Chapter 05 - Criminal Law and Cybercrimes
8. While it has not passed and consideration has been postponed, The Stop Online
Piracy Act (SOPA)was designed to attack foreign cyber-pirates by, for example,
penalizing American websites carrying pirated works and servicing cyber-pirates with
payment processors and advertisements.
E. The Global Cyber-crisis
1. The U.S. government, U.S. corporations, and the U.S. military have become
increasingly aware of both the power and the vulnerability of the Internet.
2. One step to deal with dangers might be to split up data and send it along a series of
different routes so that, if one data stream is compromised, the others continue on
their way unimpeded; but this does not always work.
3. The federal government has responded to threats in a number of ways such as by
established a new cyber-command center, officially referred to as Cyber Command or
Cybercom, which is charged with the job of protecting the military’s computer
command system.
4. On the home front, the federal government ahs taken steps to combat domestic
cybercrime by establishing the Internet Crime Complaint Center which handles
complaints involving cybercrimes such as hacking, trade secret infringement, identity
theft, cyber-extortion and Internet fraud.
5. The battle against cyber abuse can also be fought in the home.
V. Defenses to Criminal Liability (5-5)
A. The Insanity Defense
1. Competency to Stand Trial
a. Generally, defendants are considered competent to stand trial if they understand
the nature and the purpose of the charges against them, and if they are capable of
aiding their attorneys in their defense.
b. If defendants are found to be incompetent, they are usually given treatment to
improve their competency so that they can assist in their case.
2. Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity (NGRI)
a. Under the M’Naughten Rule, a defendant can be found NGRI if the defendant
was suffering from a mental disease that was so serious that the defendant did not
know the nature of the act or did not know that the act was wrong at the time the
criminal act was committed.
b. Under the irresistible impulse test, a defendant can be found NGRI if the
defendant was stricken with a mental disease which prevented the defendant from
knowing right from wrong or compelled the defendant to commit the crime.
c. Under the American Law Institute test, a person is not responsible if “as a result
of mental disease or defect he lacks substantial capacity either to appreciate the
criminality of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of law.”
d. People found not guilty by reason of insanity are committed to institutions and
must undergo periodic psychiatric examinations.
B. Entrapment
1. If a law enforcement officer induces a law-abiding citizen to commit a crime,
entrapment may be used as a defense.
2. The person using the defense must show that the crime would not have been
committed had it not been for the inducement of the officer.
C. Justifiable Force
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Chapter 05 - Criminal Law and Cybercrimes
1. Self-Defense
a. In order to rely on the defense of self-defense, the defendant must first have a
bona fide belief that his or her life was in danger or that severe bodily harm was a
b. Words by themselves, in most states, are insufficient to prove the requisite belief.
c. When self-defense is used in a criminal case, the defendant must show that he or
she did not start the altercation
d. The person claiming self-defense must not have used more force than necessary.
e. In some states, the person claiming self-defense must retreat if possible.
f. A person does not have a duty to retreat if the attack occurs in his or her own
home, and, in many states, this exception has been extended to a person’s vehicle.
2. Defense of Others
a. If a person uses force to rescue another person who is the victim of an apparent
attack, most states allow a defense known as the defense of others.
b. The rescuer must have had good reason to believe that the victim was in danger of
severe bodily injury or death.
3. Stand-Your-Ground Laws
a. Some states have statutory provisions and some have common law traditions
allowing for the stand-your-ground defense.
b. A stand-your-ground statute extends self-defense by eliminating any requirement
to retreat, even outside one’s home or vehicle.
4. Battered Spouse Syndrome
a. Protective orders bar an abusing spouse from maintaining any contact with the
victim, but sometimes the orders do not work.
b. The set of circumstances that leads a woman to believe that using force against a
spouse is called battered spouse syndrome.
c. Battered spouse syndrome is considered a form of self-defense in some courts.
D. Mistake
1. Mistake is a defense to charges of criminal liability as long as the mistake destroys
one of the elements necessary to the crime at issue.
2. Mistake must be based on a reasonable belief.
3. Arguing lack of knowledge that particular conduct was proscribed by law is not a
4. Mistake must destroy the criminal nature of the act in the mind of the accused.
V. Background Information
A. Cross-Cultural Notes
1. Under some conditions, Australia allows a good behavior bond. It is discussed at the
following site from the Legal Services Commission of South Australia:
2. An interesting article titled “How Saudi Arabia’s Harsh Legal Punishments Compare
to the Islamic State’s,” is available from The Washington Post at
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Chapter 05 - Criminal Law and Cybercrimes
3. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act prohibits bribery of foreign government officials
to assist in obtaining or retaining business. There are some exceptions, but these are
confusing. The United States Department of Justice discusses the act at
4. Roman slaves accused of forgery received the death penalty.
5. Bribery is part of nearly every culture and there is a word for it in most languages.
The following is a list of some of the words for bribery in other countries: Egypt—
baksheesh, France—pot au vin, Honduras—pajada, Indonesia—uong sogok, Iran—
roshveh, Mexico—mordida, Nigeria—dash, Peru—coima.
6. A British judge was about to sentence a man found guilty of forgery. When the man
asked to say a few words, the judge gave permission and the prisoner said, “It is
absurd that I am guilty of forgery, my lord. I cannot even sign my own name.” The
judge replied, “That may well be, but you are not charged with signing your own
B. Historical Notes
1. There have been a number of controversial cases in the United States involving the
insanity defense. One of the first examples to spur national debate was in the trial of
John W. Hinckley, Jr., who had tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in 1981.
2. An investigation conducted by the FBI in 1978–1980 spurred public debate on the
question of entrapment. The result of the investigation was the conviction of seven
members of Congress and five other public officials for conspiracy, bribery, and other
charges. FBI agents impersonating an Arab sheikh and other high-ranking officers
had offered bribes in return for special favors. Their encounters were recorded on
videotape. In 1982, a Senate panel criticized the FBI’s handling of the investigation
but found that no civil rights had been violated. The United States Senate website
discusses the operation and the expulsion of a senator at
C. State Variations
1. Differing state standards in regard to the insanity defense are available at the
FindLaw website at
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Chapter 05 - Criminal Law and Cybercrimes
2. The National Conference of State Legislatures provides by state penalties for
violations of state ethics and public corruption laws at
3. The National Conference of State Legislatures provides information by state on
cyberstalking and cyberharassment laws at
D. Quotations
1. Laws too gentle are seldom obeyed; too severe, seldom executed.
— Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790)
2. It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from
lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important.
—Martin Luther King Jr. (1929–1968)
3. Mistakes are the inevitable lot of mankind.
— Sir George Jessel (1824 - 1883), English judge
VI. Terms
1. The term outlaw dates back to Anglo-Saxon times when it was used to refer to criminals
who were stripped of their privileges of citizenship and deprived of all protection by the
law. An outlaw’s property was given to the king and no matter what injury the outlaw
might suffer, he or she had no legal redress. Mobs often made a sport of catching and
killing outlaws, so an outlaw usually fled from civilization, often into desolate forests to
join other outlaws. Some bands of outlaws became professional robbers to survive.
Because of the violence and crime credited to outlaws, the term has come to stand for any
criminal not yet detained by authorities.
2. The word capital derives from Latin, meaning head. Capital crimes in British law were
usually crimes for which the criminal had his or her head chopped off. The first recorded
use of the word capital appeared in a 1493 document: “To have capytal sentence & be
beheaded.” The term capital punishment was used about a century later in a declaration
that commoners sentenced to death would be hanged, and nobles sentenced to death
would have their heads chopped off.
3. Homicide, suicide, and infanticide all employ the suffix -cide, from the Latin verb
caedere, meaning “to cut, strike, or kill.”
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distribution without the prior written consent of McGraw-Hill Education.
Chapter 05 - Criminal Law and Cybercrimes
4. Most large buildings during the Middle Ages were fortified with moats and iron bars to
protect inhabitants from thieves. The word burglar comes from the Latin burgus, meaning
fortified place, and latro, meaning thief.
5. Help students learn the meaning of the word premeditate by dividing it into its prefix and
root: Pre- means “to precede” and “meditate” is another word for “thinking.”
VII. Related Cases
1. Fain had fallen asleep in the public room of a hotel. When a porter tried to wake him and
send him to his room, Fain refused. The porter continued to try to awaken Fain, who then
stood up and drew a gun, and fired it three times at the porter, injuring him. In Fain v.
Commonwealth, 78 KY 183 (Ky. 1879), an appellate court remanded the case when
presented with evidence that the defendant was a sleepwalker and capable of appearing to
be awake when he was actually asleep and unaware of his actions.
VIII. Teaching Tips and Additional Resources
1. For information regarding the U.S. Department of Justice go to http://www.justice.gov/.
The site has a number or resources including a fact sheet on hate crimes at
http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2007/November/07_crt_921.html. The Office for Victims
of Violent Crime is a component of Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of
Justice and provides information regarding victims’ rights at
2. The American Bar Association has a section devoted to criminal justice. Information on
the section can be found at http://www.americanbar.org/groups/criminal_justice.html.
3. Information on indigent defense is available through searching the Web site of the
American Bar Association at http://www.americanbar.org/aba.html.
4. The Federal Bureau of Prisons has a web site at http://www.bop.gov/. Searches can be
done for inmates and facilities. At http://www.bop.gov/locations/list.jsp information
regarding specific institutions can be obtained. Another interesting page involving
services provided to female inmates is at
5. The U.S. Sentencing Commission has a web site at http://www.ussc.gov/.
6. The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers has an Internet site at
http://www.nacdl.org/public.nsf/freeform/publicwelcome?OpenDocument. The site has
interesting and timely information regarding current issues of interest in the criminal law
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distribution without the prior written consent of McGraw-Hill Education.
Chapter 05 - Criminal Law and Cybercrimes
7. Corrections Corporation of America is a privately run prison system. It has a web site at
http://www.cca.com/. An interesting issue for discussion is whether a privately run
prison system is better and more economical than a system operated by government
8. Additional information regarding the Commerce Clause can be found on the Web site
Legal Information Institute of the Cornell University Law School at
9. The National Institute of Justice provides information on electronic crime scene
investigation procedures for first responders at
10. Information regarding electronic crimes task forces of the U.S. Secret Service can be
found at http://www.secretservice.gov/ectf.shtml.
11. The National Center for Victims of Crime has extensive information regarding electronic
stalking at https://www.victimsofcrime.org/our-programs/stalking-resource-center.
12. Ask students for examples of when they have been confronted with electronic phishing.
The Federal Trade Commission has an article on “How Not to Get Hooked by a
‘Phishing” Scam” at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt127.shtm. The
agency also has information on identity theft, along with a video, at
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/. The U.S. Department of Justice provides
information on identity theft at
http://www.justice.gov/criminal/fraud/websites/idtheft.html. An identity theft quiz is
available at http://www.justice.gov/criminal/fraud/websites/idquiz.html.
13. Extensive information regarding efforts to prevent cyber crime is available from the
Federal Bureau of Investigation at http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/cyber.
14. For a better understanding of legal terminology, refer students to Legal Terminology, 4th
edition by Gordon W. Brown (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2004).
15. Assign a research paper on crimes involving families. Each student should choose a
specific topic, such as battering, child abuse, kidnapping, spouse rape, or elder abuse.
Students should investigate the psychological profile of typical abusers and theories
about what motivates such crimes and how they can be prevented. Have students also
examine the legal recourse that family members have in situations of abuse.
16. Help students understand the concept of self-defense by holding a mock trial. Think of a
scenario or ask a group of students to create one whereby self-defense could be argued in
a court of law. Write the scenario on a sheet of paper and hand out copies to the entire
class. Ask for volunteers to play the various roles, including witnesses, judge, bailiff,
prosecutor, defense attorney, defendant, and jury. When the trial is finished, ask students
to write a report summarizing the events of the trial.
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distribution without the prior written consent of McGraw-Hill Education.
Chapter 05 - Criminal Law and Cybercrimes
17. The Death Penalty Information Center has a significant amount of information available
regarding the death penalty along with information by state at
18. Review British Petroleum’s comments regarding environmental efforts at
http://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/sustainability/environment.html. Do students
believe British Petroleum is environmentally friendly?
Copyright © 2017 McGraw-Hill Education. All rights reserved. No reproduction or
distribution without the prior written consent of McGraw-Hill Education.