Criminal Procedure: Death Penalty Case

Jesse James, a 20-year old, was arrested for killing a police officer. As a newly elected prosecutor, you are responsible for prosecuting Mr. James. You announce your decision not to seek the death penalty in this case, but under your state’s law, the offense charged is considered special circumstances, which would qualify as a death penalty case. Your decision does not sit well with the law enforcement community.

– List the various courts and hearings that will typically occur and how the case is affected by each event.

– Provide an overview of the various courts in the state system where Mr. James will appear and why he is appearing there, from arraignment to trial and the various levels of appeal. Be sure to provide specific information as it relates to any constitutional issues that may be raised at each stage in the process.

– What are the potential hearings that might be involved in this case? Be sure to describe them from the beginning to the end of the process.

– What are the relevant civil liberties issues pertaining to the 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, and 14th Amendments present in this case?

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