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About the Book

A First-Year Course In Criminal Law: Trials, Appeals, Theories

Front Cover - A First-Year Course In Criminal Law: Trials, Appeals, Theories

Second Edition

Daniel B. Yeager
Professor of Law
California Western School of Law

2017. 492 pages. ISBN: 978-1-4548-9371-4.

About the Book

A First-Year Course In Criminal Law: Trials, Appeals, Theories, Second Edition has a unique organization and pedagogy. The approach focuses students on preparing to discuss a single case per lecture. The author’s philosophy is “Teach one case a day and do it well.”
 
The organization strives for unification rather than departmentalization, in order to help students understand the big picture as well as the details.  As the author says, “Rather than treat crimes and defenses as ‘tubs on their own bottoms’ (as Duncan Kennedy might put it), I present the defenses within the crimes. In other words, I structure the book to bring out that crime occurs only in the absence of fully or partially successful exculpatory pleas. Indeed, the entire book is built upon the law of homicide, which brings out the various exculpatory pleas as part of, rather than apart from, what counts as a homicide. Although homicide is the crime that organizes the book, the elements and scope of other crimes are presented within the context of the law of homicide.  For example, comprehension of assault, burglary, kidnapping, mayhem, robbery, and rape is crucial to the cases I use to present the law of felony murder. Those crimes are analyzed in the cases, questions, and notes sufficiently to provide the students with competency in the grammar of those crimes."
 
A Teacher’s Manual with additional materials for lecture and for testing students is available.

A First-Year Course In Criminal Law: Trials, Appeals, Theories, Second Edition has been updated to include:
  • More patient explication of chapter introductions and sub-sections
  • Reorganization of questions and notes to improve flow and avoid unintended redundancies
  • Improved internal cross-references
  • Increased emphasis on the function of mental illness in the role of fear in homicide cases
  • Enhanced searchable citations

Preface / Sample Chapters