Principles of Criminal Law

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  • Edition: 6th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 12/30/2014
  • Publisher: Pearson

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For courses in criminal law


The Principles of Criminal Law in a Concise, Accessible, and Clear Narrative

A concise yet comprehensive overview of criminal law, the Sixth Edition of Principles of Criminal Law is an engaging narrative text ideal for a one-semester course. Rather than focusing on dense citations and lengthy discussions, this text has a clear, accessible tone that will help students grasp the material quickly. Covering a variety of topics, such as white-collar crime, victimless crime, and political crime, as well as major offenses like homicide and sexual assault, chapters focus on real-world applications and include short edited cases, focus boxes, and end-of-chapter practicums. This edition includes updated information on changing marijuana laws, “Stand-Your-Ground” laws, terrorism, and more.

Author Biography

Cliff Roberson LLM, Ph.D. is an Emeritus Professor of Criminal Justice at Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas and a retired Professor of Criminology at California State University, Fresno, California. He has authored or co-authored over 60 books and texts on legal subjects. His previous academic experiences include Associate Vice-President for Academic Affairs, Arkansas Tech University; Dean of Arts and Sciences, University of Houston, Victoria; Director of Programs, National College of District Attorneys; Professor of Criminology and Director of Justice Center, California State University, Fresno; and Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, St. Edwards University. Dr. Roberson’s non-academic experience includes U.S. Marine Corps service as an infantry officer, trial and defense counsel and military judge as a marine judge advocate; and Director of the Military Law Branch, U.S. Marine Corps. Other legal employment experiences include Trial Supervisor, Office of State Counsel for Offenders, Texas Board of Criminal Justice and judge pro-tem in the California courts. Cliff is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Military Appeals, U.S. Tax Court, Federal Courts in California and Texas, Supreme Court of Texas and Supreme Court of California. Educational background includes: Ph.D. in Human Behavior, U.S. International University; L.L.M., in Criminal Law, Criminology, and Psychiatry, George Washington University; J.D. American University; B.A. in Political Science, University of Missouri; and one year of postgraduate study at the University of Virginia School of Law.

Harvey Wallace, who died in 2007, was a professor and chair of the criminology department at California State University, Fresno, California. He also served as the academic coordinator for the U.S. Department of Justice, National Victim Assistance Academy in Washington, DC. Professor Wallace had a JD and was the former City Attorney for Fresno, California and County Counsel for Butte County, California. He also served as a deputy district attorney for San Diego County, California. He retired from the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. He has written and published numerous articles in academic and professional journals and eight textbooks in the social sciences and criminal justice field. He was noted for his work with victims and victim assistance programs.

Table of Contents


1. Sources of Criminal Law


Principles of Criminal Responsibility

Morals Versus Law

Classification of Crimes

Origins of Criminal Law

Case Law

Reform of Criminal Law

Police Powers of Government

2. Criminal Liability

Bill of Rights

Eighth Amendment

Due Process


Social Harm

Right to Privacy


Equal Protection

Double Jeopardy

3. Requirement of an Act

Act–Actus Reus

Legal Duty

Intent–Mens Rea

Joinder of Intent and Act



Vertical Growth of Criminal Codes

4. Inchoate or Anticipatory Crimes




Accomplices and Accessories

Comparing and Contrasting Inchoate Crimes

5. Defenses


Criminal Responsibility

Justification and Excuse

Procedural Defenses

6. Homicide


Felony Murder

Voluntary Manslaughter

Involuntary Manslaughter

Negligent Manslaughter

Special Problems in Homicide

Comparing and Contrasting Homicides

7. Sex Crimes


Sodomy and Oral Copulation

Other Sexual Acts and Offenses

Sexual Assault

8. Crimes against Persons


False Imprisonment

Trafficking in Humans


Assault and Battery

Aggravated Assault and Battery



9. Robbery, Extortion, and Bribery



Special Problems in Robbery and Extortion


10. Theft and Property Crimes


Larceny by Trick

False Pretenses


Consolidation of Theft Offenses

Receiving Stolen Property


Money Laundering


Identity Theft

Federal and State Racketeering Laws

11. Crimes against Habitation


Criminal Trespass


Special Problems in Crimes Against Habitation

12. Crimes against Public Morals



Incest, Bigamy, and Polygamy

Games of Chance

Public Corruption

13. Narcotics and Alcohol Crimes

Narcotic Offenses

Alcohol Offenses


14. Crimes of Abuse

Child Abuse

Elder Abuse

15. Punishments

Partner Abuse

Introduction to Sentencing

Types of Sentences

Incarceration and its Alternatives

Capital Punishment

Case Index

Subject Index

Rewards Program

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