Criminal Justice: Prosecutors, Supreme Court, Exclusionary Rule, Seven Basic Principles of Criminal Law

1. Do you feel that prosecutors have too much discretion? What danger is there, if any, that the prosecutors may be capricious, arbitrary, or discriminatory if given too much discretionary power?

2. Very few cases are actually argued before the US Supreme Court. Most petitions for review are denied. What does it mean when the US Supreme Court decides not to hear a case from an inferior court? Does this mean that the Supreme Court agrees with the judgement or the inferior court or does the Supreme Court merely expressed a preference not to hear a particular claimat this time?

3. What are the strongest arguments in favour of abandoning the exclusionary rule? Do you support this rule or do you feel that it unfairly restricts legitimate police action, letting otherwise guilty criminals go free? If you were asked to write a set of rules for police use of deadly force, would the final product resemble the Supreme Court’s ruling in Tennessee v. Garner, if differ how would it differ?

4. John is a 21 year old senior attending the Clark Atlanta University. He met Rebecca at the Hot Licks Club on lower mainstreet. After about 2 hours of drinking and dirty dancing, Rebecca invited John to her house to spend the night. While the two were having sex, Rebecca’s mother walked into her bedroom after hearing noises. She witnessed John and Rebecca having sex and screamed, “You animal, my daughter is only 15 years old. I am calling the police and filing charges against you.” Rebecca is in fact 15 years old, but used Lisa’s ID (her cousin that is 21 years old) to enter the club.

Using the Seven Basic Principles of Criminal Law (1.Legality,2. Conduct, 3.Harm,4. Causation, 5. Mens Rea,6. the Concurrence Requirement, and 7.Punishment Requirement),explain how each principle would be used in the scenarios and what the likely outcome would be for each. What defences would the perpetrators use if any?

5. Greg and Wayne are members of rivaling gangs. Greg has held a grudge against Wayne for two weeks because he felt that Wayne “dissed” him. Greg saw Wayne at the AMC Cinemas without his “boys”. He went back to his car, got his gun, placed it in the small of his back and started walking towards Wayne. When Wayne saw Greg approaching him he yelled “You punk! I wish you would step to me!” Greg pulled the gun from his back and shot Wayne in the stomach. The ambulance took approximately 45 minutes to arrive. Wayne died when they arrived at the Schneider Regional Hospital.

Using the Seven Basic Principles of Criminal Law (1.Legality,2. Conduct, 3.Harm,4. Causation, 5.Mens Rea,6. the Concurrence Requirement, and 7.Punishment Requirement),explain how each principle would be used in the scenarios and what the likely outcome would be for each. What defences would the perpetrators use if any?

 

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