Evolution of Criminal Law And The Criminal Justice System
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Evolution of Criminal Law And The Criminal Justice System
To be an effective criminal justice practitioner, one must understand the evolution of criminal law and the criminal justice system. One needs to know not only how a criminal statute is developed but also how it applies in the field. It is vital that an awareness exists of all aspects of criminal law—including how to conduct a proper arrest, how to use emerging technology in conducting investigations, how U.S. Supreme Court rulings are applied, and how case preparation is done. One must be cognizant of the available defenses as well as the criminal states of mind. Although there are many opportunities within the criminal justice field, the tie that binds them is criminal law, and a solid comprehension is a necessity for success. The final project for this course will allow you to see yourself in a range of criminal justice practitioner roles. Each position will require you to address different issues and concerns indicative of that area of criminal justice—some requiring research, others requiring you to apply methods of inquiry, all leading to the creation of a case analysis portfolio. The final project is supported by two milestones, which will be submitted at various points throughout the course to scaffold learning and ensure quality final submissions. These milestones will be submitted in Modules Two and Four. The final submission will occur in Module Seven. In this assignment, you will demonstrate your mastery of the following course outcomes: • Illustrate the major historical milestones of criminal law in the United States for their impact on the criminal Justice system and the role of the practitioner • Evaluate constitutional parameters set by courts for their influence on the performance of law‐enforcement agencies • Evaluate the impact of emerging technology on the development of an ethical criminal investigation • Apply the sociological and criminological scientific methods of inquiry to determine a defendant’s mental state and possible criminal defenses for case preparation Prompt For the final assessment, you will need to imagine yourself in a variety of criminal justice practitioner roles. You will be presented with a series of case scenarios and will be required to address each of them by utilizing case law research. You will then have to make decisions based on your findings, evidence, and any procedural knowledge you have obtained throughout the course. The final submission will require you to respond to each one of the following situations and compile them together for a case analysis portfolio. Specifically, the following critical elements must be addressed: I. Miranda A uniformed police officer is dispatched to a bank robbery. Upon arrival, John Smith is already under arrest by the detectives for committing the robbery and shooting the guard. He is placed in the back of the officer’s cruiser. During the drive back to the station, Smith yells out, “I am so sorry I shot him!” One month later, the officer is called to testify about Smith’s statement. Smith’s defense attorney argues that the officer failed to read him his Miranda rights. Consider if his statements are admissible given the fact he was not read his Miranda Rights prior to making them. A. Imagine yourself as the judge presiding over this case. Clearly and accurately evaluate the constitutional parameters that emerged from the Miranda decision. How has this case influenced the practice of law enforcement? B. Describe your ruling for the bank robbery case, citing the Miranda case. How did Miranda influence your decision‐making process? II. Jewelry Store Robbery A detective was conducting surveillance outside a jewelry store that had been robbed several times in the past month. It was 85°F outside, and he witnessed three men pacing in front of the store who appeared to be acting nervous. One of the men was wearing a heavy sweatshirt (later identified as Wilson), while the others were wearing t‐shirts. The detective exited his cruiser and approached the three men. The detective conducted a pat frisk of Wilson and found a hard object in the front pocket of the sweatshirt. He reached his hand into the pocket and located a handgun. He placed all three under arrest and later tied all of them to the repeat burglaries. In court, Wilson’s attorney argued that the detective conducted an illegal search when he located the handgun. Imagine yourself now as the judge. A. In order to avoid defense attorneys making this kind of claim in court, new technology could be utilized to aid in the development of cases and in prosecutions. What types of new technology could the detective have employed in his surveillance and arrest that might have helped avoid the defense attorney’s claim of illegal search? Evaluate the impact these types of technology have had on ethical investigations. B. Based on the U.S. Supreme Court case Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968), how would you rule in this case? Be sure to defend your ruling with evidentiary support. C. Did the ruling justices’ decision in Terry v. Ohio influence the effective performance of law‐enforcement agencies? Defend your position using evidence from the current case as well as the Supreme Court case. III. Rape Investigation You are now a detective assigned to conduct a rape investigation. A. Select an emerging technology available for investigating rape‐related crimes. How has this technology positively or negatively impacted criminal investigations? Support your argument(s) using specific examples. B. Taking into consideration U.S. Supreme Court rulings, what are any limitations or regulations you may encounter in utilizing this technology to conduct an ethical investigation? IV. Pre‐Sentence Investigation A 14‐year‐old juvenile was just convicted of murder, and sentencing is approaching. Imagine yourself as a probation officer assigned to conduct the presentence investigation. Research Miller v. Alabama and use it to guide you on how you would approach this case. A. Based on Miller v. Alabama, what are the constitutional constraints placed upon the judge to come to an ethical and proper sentence in the current case? B. How did the Miller v. Alabama case transform sentencing laws and impact the role of the criminal justice practitioner? Support your response with examples. V. Hinckley On March 30, 1981, John Hinckley attempted to kill President Reagan. There were several witnesses to the shooting, and the evidence was overwhelming. Research this case and imagine yourself as Hinckley’s defense attorney. A. Apply the Model Penal Code test to this case to determine Hinckley’s mental state defense and what the jury’s verdict would have to be. Be sure to defend your response. B. After the Hinckley verdict was reached, many states opted for a new test to be utilized. The Insanity Defense Reform Act of 1984 shifted the burden of proof from prosecution to defense. Apply the present statutory test to the case. How do you believe the jury would vote if Hinckley were tried today? Why? C. What historical milestone case involving the Second Amendment emerged from the events of this situation? How has this case impacted the criminal justice practitioner? VI. Defense Attorney You are a defense attorney. You have a client who is charged with raping and killing four boys. After killing them, he dismembered them and ate them. Your client thinks he did nothing wrong. A. Based on the client’s mental state, what would you argue for a defense for the client? Ensure that you apply and explain any relevant sociological and criminological scientific methods of inquiry you would use in devising your argument. VII. Jim Aiken Jim Aiken comes home early from work and finds his wife in bed with the mailman. He immediately shoots and kills the mailman. Aiken then goes downstairs, makes himself a sandwich, and watches TV while his wife is frozen in fear in bed. After two hours, Aiken goes back upstairs and shoots and kills his wife. You have been tasked with preparing the case for his defense attorney. A. Applying the appropriate sociological and criminological scientific methods of inquiry, what crime did Aiken commit regarding the mailman, and what possible defense could be used? B. What crime did Aiken commit regarding his wife, and what possible defense could be used? Support your response by explaining how you applied the scientific methods of inquiry. VIII. Narcotics Detective Imagine yourself as a narcotics detective. You are told by an informant that a man by the name of Joe Parker is growing marijuana in his basement. He goes on to tell you that the basement has windows, but they appear to be blacked out, preventing anyone from seeing inside. As a knowledgeable narcotics detective, you know that extreme heat is used to keep the marijuana plants healthy. You decide to use a thermal imaging device to see if there is excessive heat coming from the basement. You park in front of his house and turn on the device. It registers extreme levels of heat emanating from the basement. Based on that information, you obtain a search warrant and locate the marijuana. In preparing your paperwork, it is brought to your attention that these events are identical to an actual U.S. Supreme Court case. Research Kyllo v. United States, 533 U.S. 27 (2001), to guide how you would approach this case. A. What elements from Kyllo v. United States will impact your ability to develop an ethical investigation? Be sure to explain your response. B. Examine how the use of thermal imaging technology has impacted detectives, both positively and negatively, in performing ethical investigations in drug‐related cases? C. If you were the judge in the Kyllo case, what would be the constitutional parameters that would influence how you would rule? Why would these influence your ruling? IX. Homicide Detective A detective investigating a recent homicide has obtained a mobile scanner device called a Manta Ray, which allows him to sit in his vehicle and “capture” conversations and data from mobile phones by mimicking a cellular tower. After two days of surveillance on an apartment complex that he believes houses the man who committed the murder, the device grabs pieces of a text conversation between the suspect and his girlfriend. The detective believes the conversation was a vague confession to the crime and decides it is enough to obtain a court order. A. Was the use of the Manta Ray in this investigation done ethically, and how will this potentially impact the development of this case? Consider supporting your response with relevant case law and precedent. Milestone One: Jim Aiken Milestones In Module Two, you will submit a short paper that invites you to wear the hat of a criminal justice practitioner and offer analysis of a criminal situation based on case law research. This milestone will be graded with the Milestone One Rubric. Milestone Two: Miranda and Hinckley In Module Four, you will submit short paper that evaluates the constitutional parameters of two other cases and the ways you can influence the decision‐ making process of the court. This milestone will be graded with the Milestone Two Rubric. Final Project Submission: Case Analysis Portfolio In Module Seven, you will submit your completed analysis of all nine case study scenarios. Your work should reflect the incorporation of feedback gained throughout the course on your milestone submissions. This submission will be graded with the Final Project Rubric. Final Project Rubric Guidelines for Submission: Your submission should be 9-12 pages in length. The document should use double spacing, 12‐point Times New Roman font, and one‐inch margins. Citations should be listed in APA format. Be sure to label each section appropriately (Miranda, Jewelry Store Robbery, etc.) when compiling.
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Over the years, Miranda Warnings have faced a number of challenges in regards to its constitutionality and legality. There have been questions as to whether failure to give Miranda warnings constitute breaking the law or whether they are just measures that aid in delivering justice (Alkhalifa, 2010). With time, investigators have found ways of getting around this requirement. In the Missouri case in 2004 (Missouri vs Selbert), the court put an end to yet another alteration of Miranda practice. Missouri State Police would withhold the warnings deliberately then get a confession from a suspect. They would then go on to inform them of the Miranda Warning, get waivers then get the confessions a second time. This serves as an example on how Miranda has had an effect on the practice of law enforcement. The police now have to proof you understood your actions before a confession can be admissible in court. The prosecution has to proof the suspect knowingly and intelligently waived their rights.
As a presiding judge, I would rule that the confession be admissible in court. The first assumption would be that the detectives read him his Miranda Warning when they arrested him. Even then, when at the back of the officer’s cruiser he already knew he was under arrest. No one was questioning him so the court can only assume he gave up the information under his own volition thereby, waiving his rights (Porto, 2011). In the 1980, case Rhodes vs. Innis of 446 US 291, the court ruled that a spontaneous statement by a suspect in custody even before the Miranda Warnings is read to them is admissible as evidence. The only exception is when the statement is in response to police questioning or other police actions likely to have provoked a response. In this case, the police did not provoke any response and the suspect on his own free will made the statement. Therefore, the statement is admissible as evidence.
The suspect is not guilty due to his mental state at the time he committed the crime. In their testimonies, both the defense and prosecution expert witnesses testified to the fact that John Hinckley Jr. suffered from schizoid personality disorder, narcissism, schizophrenia, dysthymia, major depressive disorder among other mental conditions (Porto, 2011). This shows that both even the prosecution knew that the suspect was not in his right mind when he committed the crime. Therefore, the suspect is not guilty under the insanity reasons.
Under the present 1984 Insanity Defense Reform Act, John Hinckley would be guilty by the jury. This is because in the Hinckley Case, expert witnesses played a major role in proving the suspect was legally insane (Alkhalifa, 2010). In the current law, it would minimize their testimony as to whether the suspect was legally sane.
In the current law, the burden of proof lies with the defense attorney. It would be tough proving the suspect was legally insane given all the preparation and resources he put to accomplish his goal. Additionally, Hinckley’s statement after committing the crime should he had no remorse or regrets for his crimes. This would have worked against him, as it would portray a person who knew what he was doing.
The John Hinckley case played a large role in the writing of the Brady Bill. Though a number of states already had gun control measures, the Brady Bill came up with a number of stricter regulations for gun control.
In conclusion, under this act, gun ownership regulations became tougher and it became harder for people considered a danger in one way or another to own a gun. The former director for Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives Bureau John Magaw hailed it as a historic and very strong legislation. In Printz vs. US case, Printz unsuccessfully challenged the constitutionality of its interim laws but failed.
Porto, B. L. (2011). May it Please the Court: Judicial Processes and Politics in America. New York, NY: Pearson College Division.
Alkhalifa, E. M. (2010). E-strategies for Resource Management Systems: Planning and Implementation. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
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The crime that Alken made is known as the crime of passion. Some of the elements of this crime include the person who acted immediately and did not have an opportunity to think. An ordinary person would have experienced the same emotions given the same situation as well as facts. It also involves some provocation since the mailman was found in bed with Jim’s wife. The crime of passion has been subjected to the defense of provocation, (Dressler, et al., 2016). This converts what would have been said to be manslaughter and murder. Uxoricide refers to murdering one’s partner. The killing of the partner is known as matricide. Defense of honor can be used, (Robinson, et al., 2018).
People sometimes make decisions based on their emotions and reasoning. When a person acts out of emotions, they ignore the voice that is in them that say that the decision that they are about to make is wrong. People commit the crime of passion for various reasons, such as jealousy. The kind of crime that was committed to the wife is known as the crime of premeditated murder. Alken went and prepared a sandwich and watched television before he killed his wife.
The defendant can argue that the wrongdoing was done under the immediate impact of sudden passion arising from an adequate cause. In addition, the crime of passion is known as a second-degree crime. This conveys a prison sentence of between 2 to 20 years, (Zahar & Sluiter, 2018). An individual who has committed murder is sentenced for ninety-nine years and above. Proving a crime of passion is not telling the police your side of the story and hoping that they will agree with you. Police and prosecutors give the suspect the benefit of the doubt
Dressler, J., Strong, F. R., & Moritz, M. E. (2016). Understanding criminal law.
Robinson, P. H., Moskovitz, M., & Grall, J. (2018). Criminal law defenses (Vol. 2). St. Paul, MN: West.
Zahar, A., & Sluiter, G. (2018). International criminal law: a critical introduction. Oxford University Press.