Unit 9 Final Essay



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  • Kim Miller 908 399 8386
  • kmiller2@kaplan.edu

Unit 9 Final Essay

  • The US correctional system can serve two specific functions in relation to criminal offenders. First, it can serve as a tool for punishing the offender and making the offender pay for his/her crimes. Second, it can serve as a means to rehabilitating the offender and preparing him/her for successful reentry into society.
  • Write a 3-page paper that answers all 3 of the following questions:
  • How does our correctional system punish offenders?
  • How does our correctional system rehabilitate offenders?
  • Which method is more effective in reducing crime? Punishment or rehabilitation? Explain your choice.

Unit 9 Final Essay

  • You are required to use at least three (3) references for this paper. You are required to access the Kaplan Library for at least one of your references. Another reference can be your text from this class, and the third reference can come from an acceptable online academic resource.
  • Note: Wikipedia (and any of its related websites) is not an acceptable academic resource and may not be used for this paper.
  • Be sure to list your sources on your reference page.
  • Your paper must follow this format:
    • Page 1 – Cover page
    • Pages 2, 3 and 4 – Body of text
    • Page 5 – Reference page

Critical Thinking Skills in the CJ Field

  • Problem solving is one of the most essential skills in life. Regardless of who you are or what you do, you will face obstacles. In the CJ field, how you deal with such challenges will often be a determining factor in how successful you are at your career.

Critical Thinking Skills

  • Use logic to arrive at a conclusion. To solve virtually any problem, you can use a process of elimination—dividing the issue down until all you have left is the problem. There are four basic steps to this process:
    • 1. Define the problem
    • 2. Develop a plan
    • 3. Implement the plan
    • 4. Evaluate the results

Critical Thinking Skills in the CJ Field

  • Learning criminal justice is not just about reading a textbook and memorizing cases, it is using what you read and learn, and applying it to real criminal justice situations
  • Criminal justice majors leave this class grounded in the intricacies of the U.S. justice system network, the theories underlying criminal behavior, and the research methodologies used to develop and test such hypotheses
  • Employers in the criminal justice field consider these tools essential

Critical Thinking Skills

  • There are many approaches to problem solving including the crime we are about to solve. Perhaps one of the most key approaches to solving any problem is research. Whether reading the manual to find out why your car won't start, or poring over endless legal volumes on case history and precedent to find the best approach for that law suit, research can play a vital role in problem solving.
  • Seminar Slides
  • Solve the crime!
  • What do you think?
  • Multiple choice/true or false

JonBenet Ramsey: Solve the Crime.

  • Around 5:30 a.m. the morning after Christmas Day, 1996, Patsy Ramsey found a ransom note on the family's back staircase demanding $118,000 for her six-year-old daughter, JonBenet, and called 911. Later that day, John Ramsey discovered JonBenet's body in a spare room in the basement. She had been strangled with a garrote, and her mouth had been bound with duct tape. John Ramsey removed the duct tape and carried her body upstairs.

JonBenet Ramsey: Solve the Crime.

  • The investigation into the murder of JonBenet Ramsey focused on the three-page ransom note, which was apparently written on a note pad found in the house. Handwriting samples were taken from the Ramseys and John Ramsey was ruled out as the author of the note, but police could not eliminate Patsy Ramsey as the writer. District Attorney Alex Hunter tells the media that the parents are obviously the focus of the investigation

JonBenet Ramsey: Solve the Crime.

JonBenet Ramsey:Solve the Crime.

  • No Indictments Returned:After a year-long grand jury investigation, DA Alex Hunter announces that no charges will be filed and no one will be indicted for the murder of JonBenet Ramsey.

The Ransom Note

  • A key piece of evidence in solving this murder is the ransom note. The police as well as the Ramseys believe that whoever wrote the note is probably the killer. If the police can match the handwriting in the ransom note to a suspect's handwriting, the case is solved. The problem has been they have not found a match. Even without a positive match, the ransom note is still the key to solving this crime.
  • 10/05/17

The Ransom Note

  • Was it the intention of the writer to extort money from the Ramseys, or was the note written as a ploy after JonBenet was killed? Determining the veracity of the ransom note is important. If the note is legitimate, then we know we have a kidnapping that went bad. This would exclude the Ramseys as possible suspects. Why would they kidnap their own child and demand money from themselves? If the note is fraudulent, then we know this was a murder made to look like a kidnapping. Anyone could be a possible suspect.
  • 10/05/17

The Ransom Note

  • "Mr. Ramsey. . Listen carefully! We are a group of individuals that represent a small foreign faction. We xx respect your bussiness but not the country that it serves. At this time we have your daughter in our posession. She is safe and unharmed and if you want her to see 1997, you must follow our instructions to the letter.
  • 10/05/17

The Ransom Note

  • You will withdraw $118,000.00 from your account. $100,000 will be in $100 bills and the remaining $18,000 in $20 bills. Make sure that you bring an adequate size attache to the bank. When you get home you will put the money in a brown paper bag. I will call you between 8 and 10 am tomorrow to instruct you on delivery. The delivery will be exhausting so I advise you to be rested. If we monitor you getting the money early, we might call you early to arrange an earlier delivery of the money and hence a earlier delivery pickup of your daughter.
  • 10/05/17

The Ransom Note

  • Any deviation of my instructions will result in the immediate execution of your daughter. You will also be denied her remains for proper burial. The two gentlemen watching over your daughter do not particularly like you so I advise you not to provoke them. Speaking to anyone about your situation, such as Police, F.B.I., etc., will result in your daughter being beheaded. If we catch you talking to a stray dog, she dies. If you alert bank authorities, she dies. If the money is in any way marked or tampered with, she dies. You will be scanned for electronic devices and if any are found, she dies. You can try to deceive us but be warned that we are familiar with Law enforcement countermeasures and tactics. You stand a 99% chance of killing your daughter if you try to out smart us. Follow our instructions and you stand a 100% chance of getting her back. You and your family are under constant scrutiny as well as the authorities. Don't try to grow a brain John. You are not the only fat cat around so don't think that killing will be difficult. Don't underestimate us John. Use that good southern common sense of yours. It is up to you now John! Victory! S.B.T.C"
  • 10/05/17

The Ransom Note

  • One of the first things we notice is that this is a very long ransom note. Most ransom notes are short and to the point. "We have your kid and she is safe. It will cost you $500,000 to get her back. Do not call the police. We will be contacting you." This ransom note was written on three pieces of paper. This is our first clue this note may be bogus.
  • As we read the ransom note, we find it doesn't make much sense. Line #2, "We are a group of individuals." What exactly does the writer mean by "group of individuals"? Every group is comprised of individuals. That's what makes it a group. Is the writer telling us despite being a group, they maintain their individuality? Most of the year they live separate lives, but everyone once in a while they come together as a group?
  • 1. "Mr. Ramsey. 2. Listen carefully! We are a group of individuals that represent 3. a small foreign faction. We xx respect your bussiness[sic] 4. but not the country that it serves.
  • 10/05/17

The Ransom Note

  • The writer also states in lines #2 and #3 that they "represent a small foreign faction." The use of the word "foreign" doesn't make sense. Even if to us they are foreigners, they wouldn't call themselves foreigners. They are not foreigners to themselves. They would tell us, "We are the Islamic Jihad." Remember you can learn a lot if you ask yourself how you would state something. Then compare your statement with the suspect's statement. If you went to Iran and kidnapped someone, it is doubtful you would leave a note stating you are a foreigner.
  • 10/05/17

The Ransom Note

  • The writer misspells two common words in lines #4 and #5, "business" and "possessions." However, the writer correctly spells the words "deviation" and "attache" even including the accent on the word "attache." This leads us to believe the writer purposefully misspelled these two words to try to make it look like an uneducated person or a foreigner wrote this note. The two misspellings occur in the first paragraph. After that, the writer uses correct grammar except for using the article "a" when he should have written "an." This is further indication the misspellings were done on purpose. The writer showed his true writing skills and forgot to misspell words throughout the note.
  • 10/05/17

The Ransom Note

  • 1. "Mr. Ramsey. 2. Listen carefully! We are a group of individuals that represent 3. a small foreign faction. We xx respect your bussiness[sic] 4. but not the country that it serves. At this time we have 5. your daughter in our posession[sic]. She is safe and unharmed and 6. if you want her to see 1997, you must follow our instructions to 7. the letter. In lines #4 and #5, the writer tells us "we have your daughter in our possession." Remember that the shortest way to say something is the best way to state it. A true kidnapper would have said, "We have your daughter." The words "in our possession" are understood and unnecessary. This wordiness shows us that someone was trying to make this look like a kidnapping.
  • 10/05/17

The Ransom Note

  • The writer states in line #8, "You will withdraw $118,000.00 from your account." The kidnapper may know the Ramseys are wealthy, but how does the writer know they have $118,000 in their account. Most kidnappers would simply state "get the money." They don't care where you get it from just get it.
  • 8. You will withdraw $118,000.00 from your account. $100,000 will be 9. in $100 bills and the remaining $18,000 in $20 bills. Make sure 10. that you bring an adequate size attache to the bank. The amount of $118,000 is a relatively small amount of money. Kidnappers are greedy. A true kidnapper would demand much more money.
  • The phrase "your account" is very interesting. A kidnapper would not tell you from where to obtain the money. If a kidnapper did write where to get the money from, he would probably say "the bank" and not "your account." Secondly, if Patsy Ramsey was the author of this note, then we can see how in targeting the note towards her husband, she would use the phrase "your account" vs. "my account."
  • In line #10, the writer tells the Ramseys to "bring an adequate size attache to the bank." Most kidnappers are not going to remind you to bring an adequate size case to hold the money. Likewise in line #13, it is doubtful that a kidnapper will tell you "to be rested" because the delivery process will be exhausting.
  • 10/05/17

The Ransom Note

  • In lines #13 and #14, the writer states, "If we monitor you getting the money early." The word "monitor" implies a continual surveillance. This is further emphasized in line #30 when the writer states, "You and your family are under constant scrutiny." The kidnapper would have us believe they are continually watching the Ramsey family which is highly unlikely.
  • In line #16, the writer crossed out the word "delivery." The writer started to say that upon receiving the money he would "deliver" JonBenet to her parents. He then realized that a kidnapper would not deliver the hostage but would tell the family where she could be found. Therefore, he changed it to "pick-up." It is doubtful that a kidnapper would make this mistake. This is a strong indication the writer was not a kidnapper.
  • In line #19, we have an unnecessary word, "over."
  • 17. Any deviation of my instructions will result in the immediate 18. execution of your daughter. You will also be denied her remains 19. for proper burial. The two gentlemen watching over your daughter
  • 10/05/17

The Ransom Note

  • Line #19 continues on stating "The two men watching over your daughter do not particularly like you." When we look at a copy of the ransom note, we find the writer originally wrote "do particularly like you." The word "not" was then written above the space between the words "do" and "particularly." A line was then drawn indicating the word "not" should be inserted between these two words. A true kidnapper would not make the mistake of saying these gentlemen do like you.
  • 17. Any deviation of my instructions will result in the immediate 18. execution of your daughter. You will also be denied her remains 19. for proper burial. The two gentlemen watching over your daughter 20. do not particularly like you so I advise you not to provoke them. The sentence "The two gentlemen watching over your daughter do not particularly like you so I advise you not to provoke them" is not very aggressive language. This would indicate that a woman wrote this note. Other statements in the ransom note such as "I advise you to be rested" also show a feminine touch.
  • Saying that JonBenet will be "beheaded" in line #22 is very unusual. In the United States, we generally do not talk about beheading people. This was put in the note to make it look like a "foreign faction" was behind this kidnapping.
  • 10/05/17

The Ransom Note

  • In lines #13 and #30, the writer said the Ramseys were being monitored and under constant scrutiny. Yet, in line #22 the writer contradicts this when he or she writes "if we catch you talking." This would indicate the family is not under constant scrutiny.
  • Four times the writer uses the phrase "she dies." (Lines #23 - #26) The problem is the writer should be speaking in the future tense; "she will die." This is a strong indication the writer knew JonBenet was dead when the ransom note was written.
  • The note is addressed to "Mr. Ramsey." However, towards the end of the note Mr. Ramsey becomes "John." The writer refers to Mr. Ramsey as "John" three times in lines #31 - #34. If this was a foreign faction, they would continually use the term "Mr. Ramsey." Referring to him by his first name is too personal for an unknown kidnapper.
  • 10/05/17

The Ransom Note

  • The note is signed "S.B.T.C" It appears there is no period after the letter "C." When writing we end a thought by placing a period at the end of the sentence. Not using a period tells us the writer intentionally stopped writing. There may be conflict at this point in the story. The writer may have more information that was purposely withheld. There has been a lot of speculation as to what the letters S.B.T.C. mean. The one that makes some sense to me is "Saved By The Cross." This is because the Ramseys profess to have faith in God and because word "Victory" precedes the initials S.B.T.C
  • 10/05/17

The Ransom Note

  • As you can see there is a lot of deception in this ransom note. The writer's own words tell us this ransom note was not written with the intent to obtain money. Since the ransom note was written as a ruse, we can conclude this was not a kidnapping that turned into a murder, but a murder made to look like a kidnapping. This means we cannot exclude the Ramseys as possible suspects..
  • The ransom note was written on a pad of paper that was in the Ramsey's residence. Likewise, the pen that was used to write the note also came from their residence.
  • While handwriting analysis shows that John Ramsey did not write the ransom note, Patsy Ramsey could not be completely eliminated as the writer.
  • Certain words in the ransom note such as "instruction" "monitor" "execution" "scanned" "electronic" and "device" are computer terms. At the time of JonBenet's death, John Ramsey was president of Access Graphics a computer distribution company.
  • 10/05/17

The Ransom Note

  • The kidnapper demanded $118,000 from the Ramseys. This is a very unusual amount. Most people would ask for a much larger amount. There is a reason why the writer chose $118,000. Even John Ramsey agrees that the number 118 is significant to the killer. It has been reported that in 1996 John Ramsey received a bonus of $118,000. Is this a coincidence? When the writer had to think of a number, $118,000 was on his mind.
  • 10/05/17

JonBenet Ramsey: Solve the Crime.

  • The Suspicions Continue: In spite of the grand jury decision, members of the Ramsey family continued to remain under suspicion in the media. The Ramsey’s adamantly proclaimed their innocence from the very beginning. John Ramsey said the thought that someone in the family could be responsible for JonBenet's murder was "nauseating beyond belief." But those denials did not keep the press from speculating that either Patsy, Burke or John himself were involved.

JonBenet Ramsey: Solve the Crime.

  • The Ramseys claimed she was killed by an intruder. But the police found no footprints in the snow on the lawn and no forced entry. However a window near the body was open with a suitcase below it which may have been used as a step ,the footprint of a hiking boot was discovered in the basement dust.

JonBenet Ramsey:Solve the Crime.

  • Why did Jon Benet’s late mother Patsy remain the chief suspect?
  • Does the footprint in the basement and the suitcase under the window point to an intruder? Or were they staged?

JonBenet Ramsey:Solve the Crime.

  • Who wrote the ransom note?
  • Does the intruder’s knowledge of the Ramsey home suggest that the murderer was someone close to the family?

Do you know?

  • Would the suspects be read the Miranda rights?
  • What are the two prongs necessary before this can occur?
  • If the suspect was indigent what litigation case gives him the right to counsel?
  • The suspect would be charged with murder. What is the definition of murder?
  • 10/05/17

What evidence was found?

  • Evidence - Anything useful to a judge or jury in deciding the facts of a case. Evidence may take the form of witness testimony, written documents, videotapes, magnetic media, photographs, physical objects, and so on.
  • Direct Evidence - Evidence that, if believed, directly proves a fact. Eyewitness testimony and videotaped documentation account for the majority of all direct evidence heard in the criminal courtroom.
  • Circumstantial Evidence - Evidence that requires interpretation or that requires a judge or jury to reach a conclusion based on what the evidence indicates. From the proximity of the defendant to a smoking gun, for example, the jury might conclude that he or she pulled the trigger.
  • Real Evidence - Evidence that consists of physical material or traces of physical activity.
  • 10/05/17

Gruesome pictures of the Jon Benet crime scene might be prejudicial or inflammatory by upsetting the jury. Who decides whether this type of evidence is appropriate to the case?

  • The defendant and defense attorney
  • The Judge
  • The prosecutor and jury foreman
  • Correct Answer
  • 2. The Judge

Facts of the Jon Benet case that do not need to be interpreted such as ransom notes, or photographs are considered which type of evidence?

  • Real
  • Direct
  • Circumstantial
  • Prejudicial
  • Correct Answer
  • 2. Direct

What would impact the court’s decision to release the defendant in the Jon Benet Ramsey case prior to a trial?

  • Is the defendant a flight risk?
  • Will the defendant no show for court?
  • Is the defendant a danger to the public if released?
  • All the above impact this decision
  • Correct Answer
  • All the above impact this decision

What type of bail uses a bail bondsman or bails bond agency to secure release from custody in the Jon Benet Ramsey case?

  • ROR (release own recognizance)
  • Property Bond
  • Third-Party Custody Bond
  • Deposit Bond
  • None of the above
  • Correct Answer
  • 3. Third-Party Custody Bond

A grand jury is held in secret and only hears evidence presented by the prosecutor in the Jon Benet Ramsey case. What else is true regarding grand juries?

  • This proceeding is unfair to the defendant.
  • A way to filter out cases that do not have enough evidence to go forward in the system.
  • Is a step required in all 50 states.
  • Correct Answer
  • A way to filter out cases that do not have enough evidence to go forward in the system

The defendant in the Jon Benet Ramsey case hears charges and enters a plea at which type of hearing?

  • Bail hearing
  • Grand Jury
  • Arraignment
  • Preliminary hearing
  • Correct Answer
  • 3. Arraignment

If the defendant in the Jon Benet Ramsey case took a nolo contendre plea, what is true?

  • In the eyes of the court it is a guilty plea
  • In the heart of the defendant it is a “I won’t admit I did it but I will not fight it” plea
  • Literally it means “no contest”
  • All the above are correct
  • Correct Answer
  • All of the above are correct

If the defendant in the Jon Benet Ramsey case negotiated a plea which has been entered and accepted by the court the defendant may not change his/her mind.

  • True, it is too late
  • False, the court can say it is ok
  • Correct Answer
  • 2. False, the court can say it is ok

Based on the Jon Benet Ramsey case, Factual guilt and legal guilt are the same thing.

  • True
  • False
  • Correct Answer
  • 2. False

Once the the Jon Benet Ramsey case goes to trial, an impartial jury must be chosen. What does the Constitution mean by an impartial jury?

  • Free of bias and preconceived ideas about the guilt or innocence of the defendant.
  • Free of opinions and you must not have read or heard anything about the case in the media.
  • There is no such thing as an impartial jury.
  • Correct Answer
  • Free of bias and preconceived ideas of guilt or innocence of the defendant

If a potential jury member in the Jon Benet Ramsey case indicates he/she has strong feelings about the death penalty in a capital case, the jury pool member may be removed on which challenge?

  • Peremptory challenge
  • Challenge for Cause
  • Challenge to the Array
  • Correct Answer
  • 2. Challenge for Cause

If you were a jury member in the Jon Benet Ramsey case would it affect your decision in the case if the defendant plead the 5th?

  • Yes, if they’re innocent they should say so
  • No, I would look at just the facts
  • I don’t know what pleading the 5th means

If in the Jon Benet Ramsey case, a verdict cannot be reached, what is this called?

  • Unprofessional Jury
  • Sequestered Jury
  • Jury Nullification
  • Hung Jury
  • Correct Answer
  • 4. Hung Jury

The utilization of education, training and counseling would most match which goal of sentencing in the Jon Benet Ramsey case?

  • Retribution
  • Incapacitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • None of the above
  • Correct Answer
  • 3. Rehabilitation

If you could select only one goal of sentencing for the defendant in the Jon Benet Ramsey case, which one best fits your personal philosophy?

  • Retribution
  • Deterrence
  • Incapacitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Restorative Justice

Indeterminate sentences allow for good time which means the offender in the Jon Benet Ramsey case can choose to participate in an enjoyable yet rewarding program while in prison.

  • True
  • False
  • Correct Answer
  • 2. False

In the Jon Benet Ramsey case if the defendant’s sentence was indeterminate/determinate would parole be required for any early release from prison.

  • True
  • False
  • Correct Answer
  • 2. False

If the offender in the Jon Benet Ramsey case tortured her with a deadly weapon, this would be considered an aggravating circumstance that would do what to the sentence.

  • Lessen the sentence
  • Increase the sentence
  • The sentence would stay the same according to the guidelines
  • Correct Answer
  • 2. Increase the sentence

T/F

  • 6) Most research on the deterrent effect of the death penalty has demonstrated that the death penalty does not deter potential offenders from committing crimes.
  • 7) According to the sentencing principle of equity, defendants should receive roughly the same sentence when the circumstances of the crimes they committed are similar.
  • 8) Fines are one of the oldest and a widely used type of criminal sanction.
  • 9) Between 1967 and 1977, a de facto moratorium existed with no executions carried out in any U.S. jurisdiction.
  • 10) The U.S. Supreme Court has held that a simple showing of racial discrepancies in the application of the death penalty does not constitute a constitutional violation.
  • 10/05/17

T/F

  • 1) An inmate's criminal record before entering prison is the primary determinate of the actual amount of time served when an indeterminate sentencing practice is used.
  • 2) Although most state felony cases are resolved by negotiated pleas, suspects charged in federal court with a felony usually go to trial.
  • 3) Indeterminate sentencing is also sometimes called presumptive sentencing.
  • 4) Mistretta v. U.S. held federal sentencing guidelines unconstitutional and banned application in any federal cases until changes were made.
  • 5) Specific deterrence seeks to reduce the likelihood of recidivism by convicted offenders.
  • 10/05/17

53) Coker v. Georgia held that ________ is not an appropriate/proportionate punishment for the rape of an adult woman.

  • 53) Coker v. Georgia held that ________ is not an appropriate/proportionate punishment for the rape of an adult woman.
  • 54) ________ is the official suspension of criminal or juvenile proceedings against an alleged offender at any point after a recorded justice system intake, but before the entering of a judgment, and referral of that offender to a treatment or care program.
  • 55) ________ is the goal of criminal sentencing that seeks to inhibit criminal behavior through the fear of punishment.
  • 56) ________ time is the amount of time deducted from time to be served in prison on a given sentence as a consequence of not getting into any trouble while a prisoner.
  • 10/05/17

57) ________ sentencing is a model of criminal punishment that includes determinate and commission created presumptive sentencing scheme's, as well as voluntary/advisory sentencing guidelines.

  • 57) ________ sentencing is a model of criminal punishment that includes determinate and commission created presumptive sentencing scheme's, as well as voluntary/advisory sentencing guidelines.
  • 58) ________ in sentencing demands a close correspondence between the sentence imposed on an offender and the time actually served in prison.
  • 59) Capital punishment is another name for the ________ penalty.
  • 60) A writ of habeas ________ directs the person detaining a prisoner to bring him or her before a judicial officer to determine the lawfulness of the imprisonment.
  • 61) ________ circumstances are circumstances relating to the commission of a crime that may be considered to reduce the blameworthiness of the defendant.
  • 62) ________ justice is a sentencing model that builds on restitution and community participation in an attempt to make the victim "whole again."
  • 10/05/17

Important cases that have guided police procedure and search & seizure

  • Silverthorne Lumber Co. v. U.S. (1920)
  • Fruit of the Poisoned Tree. A legal principle that excludes from introduction at
  • trial any evidence later developed as a result of an illegal search or seizure.
  • This rule holds that, in addition to the material uncovered during the illegal search being inadmissible, any evidence that is later gathered as an indirect result of the illegal search will also be excluded. See Wong Sun v. United States, 371 U.S. 471.
  • EXAMPLE (1) The police illegally search D’s car and find drugs. The drugs will be excluded as evidence in the case against D in accordance with the Exclusionary Rule.
  • EXAMPLE (2) The police conduct an illegal search of D’s home and find a map showing the location of a well-hidden, remotely located outdoor marijuana field. The police go to the field and seize the marijuana. Under the doctrine of "fruit of the poisonous tree," the marijuana will be excluded as evidence in the case against D as it stemmed directly from an illegal search.

Important cases that have guided police procedure and search & seizure

  • Silverthorne Lumber Co. v. U.S. (1920)
  • There are two important exceptions to the “fruit of the poisonous tree” doctrine:
  • If the police had an independent source of knowledge of the evidence aside from the fruits of the illegal search, then the doctrine will not exclude the discovered evidence.
  • If discovery of the evidence was "inevitable", the evidence may be admitted, as it was not then the illegal search that caused the evidence to be found. “Inevitable” is a strong word, and in order to admit evidence under this exception, a court must find that police would have discovered the evidence whether or not they conducted the unreasonable search.
  • EXAMPLE (1) The police conduct an illegal search of D’s home and find a map showing the location of an outdoor marijuana field located 50 feet behind the loading dock of a busy commercial strip. The police go to the field and seize the marijuana. The marijuana may be admitted as evidence by a court. Although the police were led to the field by information discovered during an illegal search, a court could find that discovery was inevitable, given the field's proximity to heavily used areas and the fact that the field was not well hidden.

Important cases that have guided police procedure and search & seizure

  • EXAMPLE (2) Officer Brady illegally searches Donald’s barn and discovers documents identifying Donald as the culprit behind an internet scam. The next day a confidential informant e-mails Officer Brady the same documents. The documents are admissible as evidence because there was an independent source for the evidence besides the illegal search.
  • EXAMPLE (3) The police perform an illegal search of Fred’s residence and discover stolen goods. On the counter they find a notepad on which Fred wrote the following: Reminder - place newspaper ad “Computer stuff for sale; cheap and hot! Call Fred 555-1234.” Based on this, the police call the number and that leads them to more evidence against Fred. The discovery was not inevitable as the ad never ran. The evidence will be excluded.

Important cases that have guided police procedure and search & seizure

  • Chimel v. California (1969)
  • U.S. v. Rabinowitz (1950)
  • Protection of people, not places and immediate control - When arresting a suspect, law enforcement agents can search the person and the area in the immediate control of that person without a warrant (Chimel v. California, U.S. v. Rabinowitz). Other exceptions include emergencies, stop-and-frisk situations, concern for public safety, vehicle searches, and consent searches
  • Mapp v. Ohio made this rule applicable to the states.
  • Mapp v. Ohio (1961)

Important cases that have guided police procedure and search & seizure

  • Good Faith Exception to the Exclusionary Rule
  • U.S. v. Leon (1984)
  • The Fourth and Fifth Amendments mandate the two most significant and controversial
  • procedural constraints on police behavior. These constraints have evolved considerably over the last 40 years because of changes in the ideological makeup of the Supreme Court. For example, evidence obtained based on an invalid warrant can still be used when the officer was acting in “good faith” (U.S. v. Leon). Law enforcement agents can question suspects without reading them their Miranda rights when public safety is at risk (New York v. Quarles).
  • There is also one important exception to the Exclusionary Rule. When a search is conducted with a good faith belief that it is a legal search, the evidence discovered may be admitted. If the officer believes that a warrant is not required for a search, or conducts a search pursuant to a warrant which he believes to be valid, the officer can be said to be acting in good faith. On the other hand, if he knows or should have known of some defect in the warrant (see following materials on valid warrants) the good faith exception will not apply.

EXAMPLE (1) Officer Careful executes a search in accordance with a search warrant obtained from Judge Hatchet. Unknown to Officer Careful, Judge Hatchet issued the warrant after an incorrect finding of probable cause. Although the search was illegal, the evidence is not tainted and does not fall under the Exclusionary Rule because Officer Careful acted in good faith upon the Judge’s finding. If otherwise relevant and admissible, the evidence may be considered.

  • EXAMPLE (1) Officer Careful executes a search in accordance with a search warrant obtained from Judge Hatchet. Unknown to Officer Careful, Judge Hatchet issued the warrant after an incorrect finding of probable cause. Although the search was illegal, the evidence is not tainted and does not fall under the Exclusionary Rule because Officer Careful acted in good faith upon the Judge’s finding. If otherwise relevant and admissible, the evidence may be considered.
  • EXAMPLE (2) Judge E. Doe issues a warrant based on Officer Ellay’s sworn testimony that he saw Al Bronco removing stolen shoes from his trunk and carrying them into his home in Big Town, California. The warrant is made out for “that property owned by Mr. Al Bronco in Big Town, California.” Unbeknownst to Judge E. Doe, Al owns several houses in Big Town, one in which his mother lives and the others which he rents out. Officer Ellay is aware of this, and executes the search of the intended home. Because the warrant is not "precise on its face” Officer Ellay’s search cannot be said to be in good faith and this exception to the Exclusionary Rule will not apply. Any evidence discovered from the search or stemming there from will be excluded.

The three strikes law means?

  • You are out of the criminal justice system and can not be re tried
  • You are eligible for the death penalty for any additional felony
  • You will receive a mandatory sentence upon your third felony conviction
  • Correct Answer
  • 3. You will receive a mandatory sentence upon your third felony conviction

In which death penalty case did the U.S. Supreme court consider whether the method of execution was cruel and unusual?

  • Gregg v Georgia
  • Forman v Georgia
  • In re Kemmler
  • Schlup v Delo

In which death penalty case did the U.S. Supreme court consider whether the method of execution was cruel and unusual?

  • Gregg v Georgia
  • Forman v Georgia
  • In re Kemmler
  • Schlup v Delo
  • Correct Answer
  • 3. In re Kemmler

If the offender in the Jon Benet Ramsey case fit this criteria, according to Roper v Simmons you can not execute offenders due to age if they were under 18 or over 88 when the crime was committed.

  • True
  • False
  • Correct Answer
  • False Roper v. Simmons (2005)
    • Age is a bar to execution when the offender committed the crime when he was younger than 18.
    • There is no upper age limit on executions.

Court-Ordered Executions Carried Out in the United States, 1930- 2008

What do you think about the death penalty?

  • I am against the death penalty due to the number of innocent people that were on death row
  • I am for the death penalty for any appropriate case
  • I think it depends on a variety of additional issues, so sometimes I am for it, and sometimes I am against it.

The Victim – Forgotten No Longer

  • A grassroots movement began in the 1970s.
  • Today, victims’ assistance programs help victims understand the system and their rights, get counseling, file civil suits, and recoup financial losses.
  • Victim rights advocates want to add an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
  • 30 states have amended their constitutions.

Victim Compensation

  • Restorative justice programs provide the basis for victim compensation funds.
  • States have legislation providing monetary payments to help certain victims.
  • The USA PATRIOT Act provides compensation for victims of terrorism and their families.

Crime Victims’ Rights Act

  • The Crime Victims’ Rights Act is part of the Justice
  • For All Act of 2004. It grants victims of federal crimes the right to:
    • Be reasonably protected from the accused.
    • Reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of any public proceeding involving the crime, or any release or escape of the accused.
    • Be included in any such public proceeding.
    • Be reasonably heard at any public proceeding involving release, plea, or sentencing.
    • Confer with the federal prosecutor handling the case.
    • Full and timely restitution as provided by law.
    • Proceeding free from unreasonable delay.
    • Be treated with fairness and with respect for the victim’s dignity and privacy.

Victim Impact Statements

  • The victims’ rights movement also called for the use of victim impact statements before sentencing. These statements:
    • Are generally in written form.
    • Provide descriptions of losses, suffering, and trauma experienced by victims or their survivors.
    • Are designed to help judges make sentencing decisions.

Traditional Sanctions

  • There are four traditional sanctions:
    • Fines
    • Probation
    • Imprisonment
    • Death
  • A judge’s discretion to choose the sanction type varies depending on the structure of sentencing used within that particular jurisdiction.

Fines

  • Fines are one of the oldest forms of sentencing.
  • Fines may be used alone or in combination with another penalty.
  • More than $1 billion in fines are collected nationwide each year.

Fines

  • Arguments For
    • Fill state coffers
    • Lower tax burden
    • Deny criminals the proceeds of their criminal activity.
    • Inexpensive to implement.
    • Can be made proportionate to the severity of the offense.
  • Arguments Against
    • Too mild of a punishment.
    • Offenders often serve no time.
    • Discriminate against the poor.
    • Can be difficult to collect.

Day Fines

  • Some critics of fines propose using the Scandinavian system of day fines.
  • Day fines are proportional to the severity of the crime and the financial resources of the offender.
  • Day fines have been successfully used in some jurisdictions in the US.

The Death Penalty

  • Capital punishment means the death penalty. It is the most extreme of all possible sanctions and is reserved only for especially repugnant crimes (known as capital offenses).

The Extent of Death Penalty Statutes

  • Capital punishment is a sentencing option is 35 states and the federal government.
    • States vary considerably with regard to the number of death sentences given and the number of executions.

Methods of Execution

  • Methods of imposing death vary by state.
    • Most use legal injection.
    • Electrocution, hanging, gas chamber, and firing squad are still on the books as a option in at least one state.

Habeas Corpus Review

  • Today, the average time before execution is 12 years and 9 months.
  • Most of the delay is due to appeals.
    • All death penalty cases get one automatic appeal.
    • Beyond that, inmates can receive more appeal by filing writs of habeas corpus,
      • an order directing anyone holding a prisoner to bring him before a judicial officer to determine the lawfulness of the imprisonment.

Limiting Appeals

  • In a move to reduce delays in executions, the U.S. Supreme Court:
    • Limited the number of appeals (McCleskey v. Zandt, 1991 & Coleman v. Thompson, 1991).
    • Defined standards for further appeals from death row inmates (Schlup v. Delo, 1995)
  • Further limitations were instituted by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996.

Abolitionist and Retentionist Positions on Capital Punishment

  • Arguments for Retention
    • Revenge—Only after execution can survivors begin to heal psychologically
    • Just deserts—Some people deserve to die for what they did
    • Protection—Once executed, the person cannot commit another crime
  • Arguments for Abolition
    • Has been used on innocent people and may be again
    • Not an effective deterrent
    • Imposition is arbitrary and discriminatory
    • Far too expensive
    • Reduces society to the level of the criminal

The Courts and the Death Penalty

  • In re Kemmler (1890)
  • Furman v. Georgia (1972)
  • Gregg v. Georgia (1976)

The Death Penalty and Innocence

  • Claims of innocence are being partially addressed by recently passed state laws that mandate DNA testing of all death row inmates in situations where DNA might help establish guilt or innocence.
    • The Innocence Protection Act (2004) provides federal funds to help analyze DNA at crime labs throughout the country.

The Death Penalty and DNA

  • The Death Penalty Information Center claims that 133 people in 25 states were freed from death row between 1973 and 2009 after it was determined that they were innocent.

Number of DNA-Based Exonerations by State since 1989

Lethal Injection

  • Baze v. Rees (2008)
    • Capital punishment protocol does not violate 8th Amendment as it does not create a substantial risk of pain, torture, or lingering death.

The Death Penalty and Mental Capacity

  • Penry v. Johnson (2001)
  • Atkins v. Virginia (2002)
  • Kelsey Patterson (2004)
  • Scott Panetti (2007)

The Death Penalty and Age

  • Roper v. Simmons (2005)
    • Age is a bar to execution when the offender committed the crime when he was younger than 18.
    • There is no upper age limit on executions.

The Future of the Death Penalty

  • There is little common ground between death penalty advocates & opponents.
  • The future of the death penalty likely rests with state legislatures.


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