University of Miami School of Law CourseLink Course Description - Online System
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Spring 2020

Course Description
This survey course focuses on the general part of criminal law, including principles of criminal liability (such as the requirement of a wrongful act and a culpable mental state) and defenses that justify or excuse acts that are otherwise criminal. In addition, we will study specific crimes including homicide. Throughout the course, we will emphasize statutory construction, learning to recognize the elements required for particular crimes and comparing the Model Penal Code with other statutory schemes. We will also take a close look at some recent statutes including constitutional questions about the ways in which Florida drug possession laws differ from other states.

Course Schedule
Dates Day Time Room
01-13-2020 - 04-21-2020   WF  11:00 AM-12:20 PM F309

Course Frequency
This course is usually offered every semester

Course Information

Credits: 3
Pass/Fail Option: No
Grading: Graded
Method of Evaluation: Comprehensive final exam.
Graduation Requirements Fulfilled By Course:
Special Attributes:
Bar Course
1L Elective
Course Delivery:

Special Restrictions:
Law Track(s):
Criminal Law - Basic
Bar Subject(s):
Immigration, Asylum, and Citizenship Law Area of Focus (Area of Focus)   More information
Litigation & Dispute Resolution (Concentration)   More information
Course Book(s):
Textbook Required:
  • Textbook Name: Criminal Law: Cases and Materials
    Textbook Type: Hardcover
    Requirement: Required
    Author: Kaplan/Weisberg/Binder
    Publisher: Aspen
    Edition: 8th
    ISBN: 9781454868217
First Class Assignment(s):
  • Assignment: FOR THE FIRST CLASS on Wednesday 1/15, everyone should read pages 21-35 of the casebook (in the attached PDF file, pages 4-17). Also for our first class, students will divide the detailed study of theories of punishment and justice by choosing a topic to prepare in detail from pages 35-50 of the attached PDF file: Deterrence (casebook pages 35-44); Rehabilitation (casebook 44-50); Incapacitation (casebook 50-58); Retribution (casebook 58-63 and 66-70). This approach lightens individual reading loads while facilitating informed class discussion. FOR THE SECOND CLASS on Friday 1/17, read pages 51-71 of the attached PDF file (casebook pages 16-19, Course Supplement pages 2-18). The readings for both classes next week are in the file attached here; this document is also posted on TWEN under "Course Materials." If you have questions about this assignment, email me,

    Casebook: KAPLAN, WEISBERG & BINDER, CRIMINAL LAW, CASES AND MATERIALS (8th Edition, 2017). Supplemental course readings to be posted on TWEN include both the authors’ update to the casebook and additional cases and materials.

    TWEN/Blackboard/Course Webpage Link:

    Additional Information:
    Sign up for this course on TWEN.

    Substantive Criminal Law Spring 2020 -Readings for first two classes.pdf



Contact Information:
Phone: (305)284-5869
Office: G386