Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Knightly welcomes the students of Columbus State Community College!

Knightly (pictured) takes a break from his legal research to welcome Professor Cathy Ritterbusch's students to The Legal Watchdog. Cathy's class, Criminal Law & Procedure in the paralegal program, will be splitting time between substantive criminal law and criminal procedure. After the jump are some recommended posts to get the ball rolling. The posts are organized by substantive law and procedural law, although in practice, the two areas often overlap and are difficult to separate.  In any case, enjoy!

Criminal Law

1.  Can you be found guilty of a crime for something your friends do?  Read The Legal Watchdog's most popular post, "Guilt by Association," and find out.

2.  Are there any defenses to crimes once the state prosecutes you?  Absolutely.  But don't expect judges to know the law.  Read "Why Judges Shouldn't Give Legal Advice" for more details.

3.  Speaking of defenses, if you're charged with a crime, but didn't do it, and you know who did, can you put on evidence of this other person's guilt?  As this post, "What's Your Motive," explains, it's not as easy as you might think.

Criminal Procedure

1.  The police are supposed to read you your Miranda rights before they question you, right?  Well, not exactly.  Only if you are in custody and being questioned do they have to read you your rights.  However, even that's not the case anymore.  In fact, Miranda has really become a joke.  Read my post "The New Miranda Warning" that I wrote for the Marquette University Law School Faculty Blog.  And if you're feeling really ambitious, you can check out my much longer article of the same name.

2.  We all know that everyone accused of a crime has the right to testify in their own defense.  Or do they?  Learn about a judge who says "no way," in this post titled "Government Shutdowns: A Modest Proposal."

3.  We've all heard the saying that hearsay is not admissible at trial.  But what exactly is hearsay?  Once again, don't look to the judges.  Read "Why Judges Should Read The Legal Watchdog" to learn how judges just can't seem to learn this very basic evidentiary rule.

4.  Most criminal cases resolve by plea bargain.  And plea bargains are supposed to be like contracts, where each side promises to do something for the other.  But prosecutors like to renege on their deals, and they have little shame about it.  Read "The Non-Recommendation Recommendation (and Other Government Bullshit)" to see just how little shame they have.

Have a great semester!  

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