POLS 415: CRIMINAL LAW SYLLABUS
Instructor: Thomas D. Arado††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Spring 2008
Email: NIUCrimLaw@aol.com††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Office Hours by Appointment
††††††††††† Course Description
††††††††††† This course examines criminal law in the United States, with a focus on the substantive elements of the law.
††††††††††† Text Required
††††††††††† Criminal Law (9th Edition) by Joel Samaha (2006).† READ IT.
††††††††††† Reading of the course materials is required to be able to do well on the exams.† Lectures and discussion are designed to explain and supplement the reading material, not to replace it.† In addition, some Illinois statutes and/or cases may be provided on Blackboard for review during class.† These materials may be subject to inclusion on tests.
††††††††††† Exams represent a total of 100% of your grade, not including penalty and bonus points (see below). If you are unable to take the exam at the scheduled time, you must contact me BEFORE the exam to arrange a make-up time.† Failure to contact me BEFORE the exam will result in a ZERO (0) on the exam unless you can provide a doctorís note (on the doctorís letterhead), police report, or other appropriate documentation explaining why you could not take the exam at the scheduled time.
††††††††††† Class attendance is required. There will be a roll sheet distributed at each class session and attendance will be recorded.† It is YOUR responsibility to ensure that your attendance is noted on the roll sheet.† On days which exams occur, attendance is recorded for the lecture following the exam.† (In other words, if you take the exam and just go home, you will not be given credit for class attendance for that week.)
††††††††††† You may miss up to three (3) classes without penalty.† Ten (10) points will be deducted from your semester point total for each class missed thereafter.† (i.e., after the fourth missed class ten (10) points deduced; after the fifth missed class twenty (20) points; etc.)
††††††††††† Perfect attendance will be rewarded with a five (5) point bonus added to your point total.
††††††††††† Up to five (5) bonus points may be added onto your point total at my discretion for those students who, in my estimation, have provided worthwhile class participation on a consistent basis during the semester.† I also reserve the right to deduct points from your overall score for conduct I determine to be disruptive to the class.† The number of points that may be deducted is at my discretion, but the total may not exceed 30 points.
††††††††††† COURSE GRADING
††††††††††† There will be three (3) tests given during this course.† Each exam will be worth one-third (1/3) of your course grade.† Each test will be 50 questions worth two points per question.† The format for the exam may include short answer, multiple choice, true/false, and/or matching.† Each test will be primarily taken from the most recent material covered including the textbook, any additional statutes/cases supplied, and class lecture/discussion. Extra credit questions may be offered on each exam.† Other extra credit may be offered during the semester at my discretion.†
Important Additional Information
††††††††††† Undergraduate Writing Awards
The Department of Political Science will recognize, on an annual basis, outstanding undergraduate papers written in conjunction with 300-400 level political science courses or directed studies. Authors do not have to be political science majors or have a particular class standing. Winners are expected to attend the Departmentís spring graduation ceremony where they will receive a certificate and $50.00. Papers, which can be submitted by students or faculty, must be supplied in triplicate to a department secretary by February 28. All copies should have two cover pages Ė one with the studentís name and one without the studentís name. Only papers written in the previous calendar year can be considered for the award. However, papers completed in the current spring semester are eligible for the following yearís competition even if the student has graduated.
††††††††††† Statement Concerning Students with Disabilities
Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, NIU is committed to making reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities. Those students with disabilities that may have some impact on their coursework and for which they may require accommodations should notify the Center for Access-Ability Resources (CAAR) on the fourth floor of the Health Services Building. CAAR will assist students in making appropriate accommodations with course instructors. It is important that CAAR and instructors be informed of any disability-related needs during the first two weeks of the semester.
††††††††††† Department of Political Science Web Site
Undergraduates are strongly encouraged to consult the Department of Political Science web site on a regular basis. This up-to-date, central source of information will assist students in contacting faculty and staff, reviewing course requirements and syllabi, exploring graduate study, researching career options, tracking department events, and accessing important details related to undergraduate programs and activities. To reach the site, go to http://polisci.niu.edu
Calendar of Class Assignments
1/14/08††††††††††† Introduction, roll call, review of text, course requirements, and court systems
1/21/08††††††††††† Martin Luther King, Jr.ís Birthday (Observed) Holiday, NO CLASS
1/28/08††††††††††† First Things First, The Nature and Limits of Criminal Law pp. 2-45††††††††††
2/04/08††††††††††† Constitutional Limits on Criminal Law pp. 46-77
2/11/08††††††††††† The General Principles of Criminal Liability: Actus Reus† pp. 78-103
2/18/08††††††††††† Criminal Liability: Mens Rea, Concurrence, Causation pp. 104-135
2/25/08††††††††††† Exam #1†
††††††††††† ††††††††††† (LECTURE FOLLOWS EXAM!!!)
Parties to Crime and Vicarious Liability pp. 206-231
3/03/08††††††††††† Inchoate Crimes: Attempt, Conspiracy and Solicitation pp. 232-271
3/10/08††††††††††† SPRING BREAK Ė NO CLASS
3/17/08††††††††††† Defenses to Criminal Liability: Justifications pp. 136-171
3/24/08††††††††††† Defenses to Criminal Liability: Excuses pp. 172-205
3/31/08††††††††††† Exam #2†
††††††††††† ††††††††††† (LECTURE FOLLOWS EXAM!!!)
Crimes Against Persons: Criminal Homicide pp. 272-327††††† †††††††††††
4/07/08††††††††††† Crimes Against Persons: Criminal Sexual Conduct & Others pp. 328-367
4/14/08††††††††††† Crimes Against Property† pp. 368-405
4/21/08††††††††††† Crimes Against Public Order and Morals pp. 406-435
4/28/08††††††††††† Crimes Against the State pp. 436-461
5/05/08††††††††††† Final Exam - 6:00 p.m. to 7:50 p.m.