A Layperson's Guide to Criminal Law

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999 - Law - 201 pages
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Mack explains criminal law in an easy-to-read format, complete with numerous examples that clarify some of the more difficult concepts. It is designed for anyone interested in exploring the basics of criminal law for personal, academic, or professional reasons.

High-profile criminal trials have placed criminal law in the national spotlight. While these trials may contain straightforward factual circumstances, often the legal issues surrounding the criminal charges and defenses are complex and confusing. This book explains the basics of criminal law in an easy-to-understand format designed especially for the nonlawyer who has an interest in criminal law. The book approaches criminal law by discussing basic crimes and their elements to help readers understand the necessary requirements for charging and prosecuting crimes. To aid in understanding many of the concepts, the book includes numerous hypothetical situations that place some of the more difficult concepts in an everyday context, thereby making them more understandable. Criminal law defenses are also explored, in order to give readers an awareness of how and why some of the more popular defenses are presented in the criminal justice system. The book also provides an overview of the criminal trial process, from the arrest to the final verdict. Mack succeeds in demystifying criminal law by presenting it in an understandable format designed for the nonlegal scholar.


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A Brief History of Crime and Punishment in America
Basic Concepts of Criminal Law
Unlawful Killings
Sexual Assault and Related Offenses
Preparatory Criminal Conduct
Theft Offenses
Criminal Law Defenses
Miscellaneous Criminal Offenses
The Criminal Process

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Page 197 - Rather, the primary function of the grand jury is to make a determination whether there is probable cause to believe that a crime was committed and that the accused committed it.

About the author (1999)

RANETA LAWSON MACK is a law professor at Creighton University School of Law and a legal consultant who does commentary for the broadcast media on current legal issues.

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