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Selected CALI Lessons: Criminal Law
The following CALI lessons cover issues addressed in Criminal Law classes.
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This exercise provides an introduction to the act requirement. In particular, it addresses the definition of "act," voluntariness, liability for omissions (failures to act), and possession offenses.
The Mens Rea of Knowledge
This lesson examines the mental state of knowledge as set forth in the Model Penal Code. It places knowledge in a continuum of mental states and seeks to familiarize students with the rationale for requiring knowledge and for punishing knowledge crimes differently from other offenses. The lesson also presents material to demonstrate how knowledge, a highly subjective mental state, can be proven through inferences of various kinds, and how proof of knowledge of a result might differ from proof of knowledge of conduct.
Presumption of Innocence
This exercise provides a general introduction to constitutional limitations on the assignment of burdens of proof and the creation of evidentiary presumptions.
Defense of Others
The justification defense of defense of others derives from two or three analogous old common law defenses: defense of self, prevention of crime, and perhaps protection of property. This lesson seeks to inform the student on the relationship of the defense of others to those other defenses.