For the students using this casebook: My hope was that this casebook provides you with an introduction to important bedrock principles of criminal law, while showing how those principles are playing out in contemporary criminal justice systems currently. This casebook was also created in the context of teaching in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I have tried hard to incorporate aspects of Minnesota law in these materials. I have tried hard to incorporate the use of multiple forms of media and not just case law, or the references to the Model Penal Code. Finally, I have tried to create materials that attempt to grapple with difficult issues that are interwoven into the criminal justice system such as race, gender, sexual orientation, and immigration. This is a work in progress so please forgive any mistakes and feel free to reach out for suggested edits.
One more note- Criminal law is vast and no semester course can possibly cover all the concepts and issues that are worthy of coverage. I have not focused this casebook as a form of "bar prep"- though i have also worked hard to make sure that some fundamental concepts are not ignored. The choices I have made in what to cover and what to cut are a reflection of my work as a removal defense attorney who has dealt with criminal issues in the context of removal defense.
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To other faculty:
A couple of notes about how I have laid out this casebook and the pedagogical model it is based on. My criminal law class is a "flipped classroom." Generally, the idea is that class time is not used for lecturing or even instructor led discussion. Instead, I am having students work on various "problems" in class in groups. Class time will be spent on working through the problems and discussing them directly in class rather than a lecture format. What this means is that I have largely eschewed questions within the materials for students. (I have instead made those materials available for instructors). I also provide a recorded lecture each week on the material covered in class.
Another aspect of the casebook is that I am frontloading many of the fundamental concepts of criminal law, and then using the later classes for more specific types of crime. The idea is to try and weave back in those concepts into specific examples of say, migration crimes, or hate crimes as part of the problem sets.
This casebook is yours to clone, revise, and make your own. I am very much indebted to Ball and Oberman and Tanaka for their base. The entire process of revising and adding to their materials as taught me so much already.
This book, and all H2O books, are Creative Commons licensed for sharing and re-use. Material included from the American Legal Institute is reproduced with permission and is exempted from the open license.