Hawaii Law School 1L Study Guide for Criminal Law

Hawaii Law School 1L Study Guide for Criminal Law

I. Introduction to Criminal Law
– Purpose and function of criminal law: deterrence, retribution, incapacitation, and rehabilitation.
– Sources of criminal law: U.S. Constitution, state constitutions, statutes, common law, and case law.

II. Principles of Criminal Liability
– Actus Reus: The physical element or conduct of a crime.
– Mens Rea: The mental element or state of mind (intent) of the offender at the time of the crime.
– Strict Liability Crimes: Offenses that do not require a mens rea.
– Causation: Establishing that the defendant’s conduct resulted in the harm.
– Concurrence: The principle that the actus reus and mens rea must coincide.

III. Criminal Capacity and Defenses
– Infancy: Under Hawaii law, children under the age of ten are presumed incapable of committing crimes.
– Insanity: The Hawaii Penal Code (HRS § 704-400) provides several standards for the insanity defense, including the M’Naghten Rule, the Irresistible Impulse Test, and the Model Penal Code’s substantial capacity test.
– Intoxication: Under HRS § 702-230, intoxication can be a defense if it negates the element of intent.
– Mistake of Fact: A defense that may negate mens rea if the mistake is reasonable.
– Self-Defense: Justified use of force in protection of oneself or others, with specific limitations under HRS § 703-304.

IV. Parties to Crime
– Principal: The primary actor in the commission of a crime.
– Accomplice: One who assists the principal with intent that the crime be committed.
– Accessory after the fact: One who assists the principal after the crime has been committed to evade arrest or punishment.

V. Inchoate Offenses
– Attempt: The intention to commit a crime, along with a substantial step towards its commission.
– Solicitation: The act of seeking someone else to commit a crime.
– Conspiracy: An agreement between two or more parties to commit a crime at some time in the future.

VI. Homicide
– Murder: Unlawful killing with malice aforethought.
– Manslaughter: Unlawful killing without malice, such as voluntary or involuntary manslaughter.
– Justifiable and Excusable Homicide: Killings that are sanctioned under the law, such as self-defense within the boundaries of HRS § 703-304.

VII. Offenses Against the Person
– Assault and Battery: Unlawful application of force to another person; Hawaii recognizes degrees of these offenses (e.g., HRS § 707-710).
– Sexual Offenses: Rape and sexual assault laws, including statutory definitions and consent issues.
– Kidnapping and False Imprisonment: The unlawful restraint and abduction of a person.

VIII. Offenses Against Property
– Theft: The unlawful taking of property with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of it, as defined in HRS § 708-830.
– Robbery: Theft with the use or threat of force.
– Burglary: Unlawful entry into a structure with the intent to commit a crime inside.
– Arson: The willful and malicious burning of property.

IX. Offenses Against Public Order and Morality
– Disorderly Conduct: Acts that disturb the peace or quiet of the public.
– Prostitution and Related Offenses: Laws concerning the exchange of sex for money and related activities.
– Drug Offenses: Possession, distribution, and manufacturing of controlled substances.

X. Case Law Analysis (IRAC Format Examples)
Marbury v. Madison (1803)
Issue: Whether Marbury had a right to his commission and, if so, whether the Supreme Court had the authority to enforce it.
Rule: The Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and it is the duty of the judicial branch to interpret it.
Analysis: Marbury had a right to his commission, but the Court could not enforce it because the Judiciary Act of 1789 conflicted with the Constitution.
Conclusion: The Court established the principle of judicial review but did not grant Marbury his commission.

Hawaii v. Arakaki (2009)
Issue: Whether Arakaki had the requisite mens rea for theft.
Rule: Under HRS § 708-830, a person commits theft if they intentionally take property with the purpose of depriving the owner of it.
Analysis: Evidence showed Arakaki did not intend to permanently deprive the owner of the property, as he believed it was abandoned.
Conclusion: Arakaki lacked the necessary mens rea for theft and was acquitted.

Note: The above cases are used for illustrative purposes. When preparing for exams, students should focus on case law specific to Hawaii and criminal law principles, ensuring a deep understanding of how local statutes may impact the outcomes of cases.

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