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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 claim at 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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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?

Prosecutors have entirely too much discretion in the criminal justice system and actually have more autonomy that judges and police regarding whether a defendant will be charged, sentenced, and convicted. Prosecutors are able to engage in tactics that deprive justice for many defendants including lying about evidence that is possessed to get defendants to plead to lesser sentences if avoiding trial, using police officers in techniques commonly known as testilying, and also withholding information about witnesses that could help defendants at trial. All of these are well documented with many prosecution offices across the country and are a result of the amount of latitude and discretion that prosecutors have, which enables them to act capricious, arbitrary, and discriminatory. It is a farce against justice the amount of power and discretion afforded to prosecutors.

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 claim at this time?

The Supreme Court only deals with SOCIAL ISSUES, therefore, if a case doesn't have implications for the larger society as a whole, and if the case can be handled by legislators, the Supreme Court will not hear the case. Cases that are pertinent to societies functioning are heard by the Court such as healthcare, affirmative action, racial discrimination, and other cases of voting rights. These cases hold an interest ...

Solution Summary

The expert determines if they believe that prosecutors have too much discretion. The seven basic principles of criminal law are explained. The defense of the perpetrators are provided.

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