CCOG for CJA 212 archive revision 202201

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Effective Term:
Winter 2022 through Summer 2024

Course Number:
CJA 212
Course Title:
Criminal Law
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Introduces substantive criminal law including basic principles of criminal liability, constitutional aspects, defenses and accomplice liability. Covers elements of specific crimes. Analyzes court decisions interpreting statutes. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

This course is designed to provide a broad overview of statutory (legislatively created), common (derived from England) and case (judicially interpreted) criminal law. Also reviewed is the United States Constitution; primarily Articles I, II, III, and the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the Constitution).

Students will be provided with opportunities to evaluate the effectiveness of various laws and suggest statutory alternatives. We will discuss legislative intent as well as a variety of opinions written by judges. We will analyze the rationale (reasoning) behind many of the decisions made by various courts and jurisdictions, and consider any possible underlying agenda behind selected holdings. In looking at the elements of specific laws, we will examine the process through which prosecutors must go in order to prevail with a legal guilty verdict .

This course is a requirement for completing a degree in Criminal Justice at Portland Community College. Course work may include, but is not limited to, the use of texts, the current Criminal Code, journal articles, lecture, group discussions and activities, videos, guest speakers, field trips, community volunteer work, papers and student projects and presentations.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  • Explain the constitutional and organizational structure of the criminal justice system.
  • Identify the elements, defenses, and parties to crimes.
  • Analyze case law in order to determine how and why court decisions are made.

Aspirational Goals

Introductory study of criminal law concepts focusing on substantive law. Gain an understanding of the principles of criminal law, classification of crimes, principles of criminal liability, elements of crime, and criminal responsibility.

Course Activities and Design

  • The nature, origins and purposes of criminal law
  • The Constitutional limits on criminal law
  • The general principles of actus reus, mens rea and consequences in the context of culpability
  • Inchoate versus completed crimes
  • Crimes against persons
  • Crimes against property
  • Crimes against habitation

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Objective and/or subjective examinations, student projects or activities and/or written assignments.