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Criminal Law

An Introduction to Key Concepts and Cases

Henry F. Fradella

Publication Date - 24 June 2022

ISBN: 9780190682477

528 pages
8 x 10 inches

In Stock


Criminal Law offers a unique hybrid approach to learning criminal law. Most textbooks oversimply the law by presenting the "black letter law" for major and defenses, but they rarely present any corresponding exploration of the gray areas that exist beyond the basic rules of law. Conversely, casebooks present numerous edited judicial opinions, often with context. Criminal Law takes the best from each of these approaches by merging textual pedagogy and case analyses into a coherent framework that includes legal history, social context, and public policy.

Taking a historical approach, legal expert Henry F. Fradella presents the law as it evolved from English common law and compares it with the modern statutory approach to crimes set forth in the American Law Institute's highly influential Model Penal Code. After providing such comparative pedagogy for each crime or defense, Criminal Law presents 1-2 edited cases that allow the reader to contrast how the "black letter law" plays out in the real world. After each case, a series of questions challenge students to engage in critical thinking about the case and its implications as precedent. Finally, chapters contain a number of additional pedagogical features that focus on public policy concerns and statutory interpretation skills using penal laws from a variety of U.S. states.


  • Grounds the study of crimes and defences in historical, philosophical, and social contexts
  • Presents "black letter law" in textual pedagogy in ways that make the rules of law accessible
  • Challenges students to apply and interpret statutes and judicial opinions in ways that not only illustrate the "gray" areas of the rules of law, but also the public policy implications of criminal law

About the Author(s)

Henry F. Fradella is Professor in and Associate Director of the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University, where he also holds affiliate appointments as Professor of Law and as a core faculty member in the interdisciplinary Ph.D. program on law and behavioral science. Dr. Fradella researches substantive and procedural criminal law, the dynamics of legal decision-making, and the consequences of changes in legal processes.


"This book offers basic consideration of the substantive topics in criminal law and should engage students and scholars interested in the criminal law from varying theoretical, substantive, and policy-oriented viewpoints. It will be useful for students from various majors and disciplines who seek to learn more about pursuing careers and professions in criminal law-related fields."--Stacy Burns, Professor of Sociology, Loyola Marymount University

"Criminal Law takes a fresh look at a complex topic. It covers topics uncommon topics and current and historical case context, while connecting the punishment aspect to criminal law."--Troy Cochran, Director of Criminal Justice, Northern Oklahoma College

"An excellent comprehensive coverage of criminal law elements and the requisite concurrence of intent with the criminal act. Henry Fradella provides appropriate historical context to help students understand the evolution of criminal law and attach meaning to its current application."--Brian W. Donavant, Professor of Criminal Justice, The University of Tennessee at Martin

Table of Contents


    Chapter One: Introduction to Criminal Law and Punishment
    Chapter Two: Constitutional Restraints on Criminalization
    Chapter Three: Evidence, Acts, and Omissions
    Chapter Four: Intent and Causation
    Chapter Five: Solicitation, Faciliation, and Attempt
    Chapter Six: Aiding and Abetting, Obstructing Justice, and Conspiracy
    Chapter Seven: Homicide
    Chapter Eight: Rape
    Chapter Nine: Other Sex Crimes
    Chapter Ten: Other Crimes Against the Person
    Chapter Eleven: Theft, Robbery, and Crimes Against Property
    Chapter Twelve: Public Order Offenses and Crimes Against the State
    Chapter Thirteen: Defense That Negate or Mitigate Mens Rea and Procedural Defenses
    Chapter Fourteen: Defense of Excuse
    Chapter Fifteen: Defenses of Justification


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