Criminal Justice | Learning Resources | Section 3.2

Criminal Justice: An Overview of the System by Adam J. McKee

Section 3.2: Substantive Criminal Law

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Learning Resources

Learning Objectives
3.2(a) Discuss the idea of the rule of law and explain its importance in the American legal system.
3.2(b) Explain the constitutional prohibitions against Bills of Attainder and Ex Post Facto laws.
3.2(c) Explain the limits that the First Amendment places on criminal law, citing doctrinal examples.
3.2(d) Explain the limits that the Second Amendment places on criminal law, citing doctrinal examples.
3.2(e) Describe the limits that the Eighth Amendment places on the criminal law, citing doctrinal examples.
3.2(f) Describe the development of the right to privacy in constitutional law.

Slide Presentations

For the Classroom:  INTRO-Section-3-2-presentation

For Printing: INTRO-Section-3-2-print

Present from the web:

Key Terms

  • Bill of Attainder
  • Clear and Present Danger Test
  • Compelling State Interest
  • Concealed Carry Law
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Cruel and Unusual Punishment
  • Eighth Amendment
  • Ex Post Facto Law
  • Fair Notice
  • Fighting Words
  • First Amendment
  • Freedom of Assembly
  • Freedom of Expression
  • Freedom of Religion
  • Lawrence v. Texas (2003)
  • Right to Privacy
  • Roe v. Wade (1973)
  • Schenck v. United States (1919)
  • Second Amendment
  • Void for Vagueness

Download a Printable Vocabulary Study Guide [PDF]: Intro_Section_3.2

In your more advanced courses and in your future career, your understanding of many technical and legal terms will be taken for granted.  It is vital that you take the time to really understand the terms presented at the end of each section of this course.  We’ve gone to great lengths to provide you with assistance in mastering this vocabulary.  Don’t forget that there is an extensive glossary that defines all of the bold terms that you will encounter in your reading.  In addition, the vocabulary for each section has been made available on a very useful website called  This site has a wide selection of flashcards for you to study, memorize, test yourself on, and more.  Cram also has a large app store so you can find other mobile flashcards for your Android, iPhone or Windows device, allowing you to take your flashcards on the go. There are even games that add some fun to learning important terms.

Study Flashcards for this vocabulary on

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Last Updated:  04/21/2021

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