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    Johnny the murderer

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    Because of several anonymous phone calls to HQ, the police suspect that Johnny B. Goode, a local ruffian with a long record, is responsible for the death of a 12-year-old boy. Johnny, 21, lives at home with his parents. Three officers and a detective go to Johnny's house and, after being admitted by the father, falsely inform the father that they have "conclusive" evidence (fingerprints, blood, hairs, etc.) that Johnny is guilty of the murder. Upon hearing this, the father yells to Johnny to come down from his room. No sooner do Johnny's feet hit the floor, than his father begins to beat the starch out of him, yelling "You dirty little bastard, you killed that boy. You SOB! I should have killed you when you were a kid!" As he was being beaten, Johnny screamed "No dad, stop. It was an accident, I swear!" After some 5-10 minutes of this, the officers pulled the father off Johnny and took him to HQ.

    At the police station, the Detective read Johnny his rights. Johnny then states that "OK, I guess I'm in trouble. I hope I get a good lawyer." The officers' then told Johnny that they had the murder weapon, his fingerprints on it, his hairs on the boy's clothing and that DNA tests had confirmed that he was the killer. All of this was false. They had no such evidence. The entire "investigation" so far was a "fishing expedition." They further told Johnny that his statements while being beaten by his father "were the final nails in his coffin." After about 15 minutes of silence, Johnny confessed fully and signed a typed confession. The confession lead the police to the murder weapon, the victim's clothing containing Johnny's DNA and a videotape showing the entire killing.

    You are Johnny's lawyer, what do you do? What are your arguments?

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    Solution Preview

    Unfortunately for Johnny the best that a lawyer can do is attempt to either plead guilty by reason of insanity or attempt to get a reduced murder charge. If the trial is held in a death penalty state, the lawyer will quintessentially be attempting to ...

    Solution Summary

    Johnny the murderer is examined. The arguments used by Johnny's lawyer is determined.