The third edition of Criminal Law: A Context and Practice Casebook expands its emphasis on current contexts of the criminal system and the focus on core skills and creates an even more interactive and engaging experience for the modern law student. This occurs on the elemental level of specific crimes, such as criminal homicide; on the systemic level, such as the death penalty; and on the law student skill level, such as issue spotting, deep rule understanding, and legal analysis. The book now includes multiple problems about the shooting on the film set Rust, expanded analysis of sexual assault and human trafficking, and recent topical cases addressing important criminal law issues.
The book's organizational scheme first presents the big picture of the criminal system, including the processes of the system (including the stages of a prosecution), the role and limits of government in prosecuting crimes (including various constitutional limits such as due process of law), and theories of punishment (including retribution and deterrence). The book then describes the core building blocks of crime—acts, causation, and mental states—and proceeds to examine specific crimes and defenses. Along the way, the book teases out the nuances, intersections, and obstacles within each element.
Overall, the book is intended to be useable by faculty and students alike, affordable, and a tool to engage student values and understandings about the prevailing criminal law rules and principles.
This book is part of the Context and Practice Series, edited by Michael Hunter Schwartz, Professor of Law and Dean of the McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific.