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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Criminal Justice Administration and Human Services Department
Course Prefix and Number: CJAD 301
Course Title: Criminal Law
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

Examines the basic concepts and elements of substantive criminal law, which defines such crimes as murder, rape, assault, larceny, burglary and robbery. Analysis of inchoate crimes involving attempt, solicitation, and conspiracy. Analysis of general principles of criminal liability, punishment, and the legal limitations of such liability based on self-defense, necessity, entrapment, diminished capacity and insanity. Prerequisite: ENGL 111; sophomore standing.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s):

Prerequisite: ENGL 111; sophomore standing.

Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered Fall.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Many suitable textbooks are available from various publishers and the following list is not comprehensive. Other textbooks may be judged by individual instructors to be more suitable in meeting course objectives. Many current textbooks have companion websites, and the instructor is encouraged to enhance the course experience for the student by utilizing available technology.

The instructor may also want to consider directing the student to websites containing Criminal Codes and Criminal Cases, such as or other legal sites maintained by governmental or not-for-profit entities.

Principles of Criminal Law
By Wallace and Roberson (Allyn & Bacon)
Criminal Law Today, an Introduction with Capstone Cases
By Schmalleger (Prentice Hall)
Criminal Law
By Gardner and Anderson (Wadsworth/Thomson Learning)
Course Learning Outcomes
  1. Articulate the history and evolution of substantive criminal law.
  2. Explain common legal terminology and methods used by professionals in the criminal justice system.
  3. Describe the elements of prominent crimes and defenses.
  4. Explain the meaning of statutes and Court decisions involving Criminal Law.
  5. Describe the constitutional and statutory limitations on criminal liability.
Major Topics/Skills to be Covered:
  • Sources of criminal law
  • Limitations on criminal liability
  • Requirements for criminal liability
  • Inchoate offenses
  • Defenses to criminal liability
  • Criminal homicide
  • Sex offenses
  • Theft crimes
  • Offenses against habitation
  • Offenses against morality and decency
  • Offenses against public order
  • Offenses against the administration of justice
  • Drug and alcohol offenses
  • Physical offenses against the person
  • Sentencing and punishment

Recommended maximum class size for this course: 25

Library Resources:

Online databases are available at the Columbia College Stafford Library.  You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Prepared by: Barry Langford Date: November 29, 2016
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course learning outcomes and cover the subjects listed in the Major Topics/Skills to be Covered section. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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