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Law Exercises

Exercise #1: Rudolf Rayndear, 21 years old, (known to his friends as "Red") went with two younger friends, Jessica Donder, 14, and Cindy Lou Blitzen, 16, to the banks of the Farmington River. Rudolf and his friends went swimming in an area designated as off-limits. After an hour of swimming the group came out of the water and gathered on the river bank to drink some beer, which Rudolf had purchased. Red then has sexual intercourse with both of the girls. Without explanation Rudolf then pushed his companions off a rock into the swift waters of the river, where they drowned.
(a) As state's attorney, what charges would you bring against Rudolf?
(b) As Rudolf's counsel what defenses would you seek to raise?

Exercise #2: Lorie and Dennis Who, of Whoville, CT., are members of the Faith Tabernacle Congregation, a Philadelphia-based religious sect that advocates "faith healing." Their daughter, little Cindy Lou, 8, was suffering from what a local physician diagnosed as "treatable diabetes." On December 24 at 11:59pm, Cindy Lou died at the family home. Pathologists claimed that her heart gave out when her blood sugar level soared to 18 times higher than normal. In interviews with the local police the parents reported that they had not treated Cindy Lou with any medicines, but, instead, they had prayed for Cindy Lou and had asked their local pastor "to anoint" their sick daughter. "God is the giver and taker of life," Lorie Who said to the police.
Dennis Who, 41, and Lorie Who, 44, have eight surviving children and Lorie Nixon is pregnant.
(1) You are the Whoville State's Attorney. (a) Would you charge the Whos with any offense, and on what grounds? (b) Would you charge the Whos with any category of unlawful homicide, and on what grounds?
Murder
(2) You are the Whoville Public Defender. (a) What defenses would you raise for the Whos?
(3) You are the Whoville District Judge. In a trial without a jury, of what, if anything, would you find the Whos guilty?

Exercise #3: Mayor Whee Cheetum Andhow was flying back to Gullible, CT from a speaking engagement. During the flight, he needed to use the bathroom but because he hated to use those tiny airplane bathrooms, he decided to wait until his flight landed at Gullible International Airport. By the time the flight landed, he was really in a hurry to get to the bathroom.

Whee raced off the plane and ran through the airport, desperately seeking a men's room. He finally found one, but much to his dismay, there was a barricade in front of the door and a sign that displayed the words "Keep Out - Cleaning in Progress." Mayor Andhow hurdled the barricade and ran into the bathroom. A small woman named Sharon was mopping the floor, which was clearly wet and slippery. When the woman saw the Mayor she demanded that he leave. Whee yelled, "I've got to go! Get out of my way now!" The woman tried to block his entry, so he shoved her out of the way. She slipped and fell, hitting her head on the sink on the way down. Whee went to the urinal and accomplished his mission.

When the Mayor turned around, he noticed that the woman had not moved, and that she was bleeding from the forehead. She was still alive. Rather than call for medical assistance, the mayor simply walked out of the bathroom and got into the limousine waiting for him. Unfortunately for Mayor Andhow, a constituent had seen him leave the restroom, entered and found the woman. The medics did all they could for Sharon, but she was dead on arrival at the hospital. Doctors said Sharon might have lived if she had received immediate medical attention.

It seems that the ambulance driver was new and got lost on the way to the hospital. What should have been a 20-minute trip actually took 2 hours. The State's Attorney charges Whee with murder. When the case goes to trial, the prosecutor plans to ask the judge to instruct the jury on the lesser-included offense of Manslaughter I.
You are Mayor Andhow's attorney. He tells you that he has problems with his prostate gland and that one of the medical symptoms of his condition is that he has to use the bathroom often and suddenly. If he had waited another second, he would have had an embarrassing accident or possibly even suffered a ruptured bladder. You speak to his doctors who confirm this information and are available to testify at his trial. Whee also tells you that he did not intend to kill or even hurt the woman. He simply pushed her to get her out of the way so he could get to the urinal. How do you defend the Mayor? Suggest defenses. Argue your position. What are the probabilities of success, in your professional opinion?
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Solution Preview

Exercise #1: Rudolf Rayndear, 21 years old, (known to his friends as "Red") went with two younger friends, Jessica Donder, 14, and Cindy Lou Blitzen, 16, to the banks of the Farmington River. Rudolf and his friends went swimming in an area designated as off-limits. After an hour of swimming the group came out of the water and gathered on the river bank to drink some beer, which Rudolf had purchased. Red then has sexual intercourse with both of the girls. Without explanation Rudolf then pushed his companions off a rock into the swift waters of the river, where they drowned.
(a) As state's attorney, what charges would you bring against Rudolf?

Rudolf will be charged with homicide and it will be felony homicide. The fact that Rudolf was 21 years of age when he had sex with the victims will necessitate that the offender be charged under the felony murder doctrine wherein he committed a felony (statutory rape) and subsequently killed the victims during the commission or after the commission of the felony. Even if he did not intend to kill the victims, which is subject to interpretation, the fact that he did kill both victims after having sex with underage teenage victims would suffice the charge of felony murder. This is the charge I would pursue as a state attorney because he pushed the companions off of the cliff due to no reasonable explanation, the most plausible explanation that could be deduced is that he did not want his statutory rape to be potentially exposed by the victims.

(b) As Rudolf's counsel what defenses would you seek to raise?

The only defense that could work in a case that involves felony murder would be the attempt to defend the charges by alleging that the offender did not intend to kill his or her victims. Therefore, pleading for mercy on the court to seek manslaughter charges would be the defense that I attempted to ...

Solution Summary

The charges against Rudolf and his defenses are determined

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