Due Week 8 and worth 200 points
In preparation for this assignment, please view the Jurisville scenarios and resulting simulations from Weeks 5 through 7 in Unit 2: Courts.
In the scenarios and resulting simulations, Tim Smith, senior criminal lawyer, discusses select cases and asks a paralegal to indicate which courts would have exclusive jurisdiction of the cases in question. He also discusses various pretrial procedures and illustrates them with select cases. Finally, Tim Smith introduces the case of Roland Gary, who served twenty-three (23) years in prison for a crime that he did not commit. The case brought to light several key issues, along with the manner in which they were resolved.
Use the Internet to research three real-life cases from the past five (5) years that fit the following criteria:
• Cases that depict the unique processes related to different courts
• The defendant accepted a plea bargain as an alternative to trial
• The defendant was wrongly accused and later vindicated
Write a three to four (3-4) page paper in which you:
1. Discuss one (1) real-life criminal case, taken from current events, and identify the court that took jurisdiction. Explain why the court that took the case was the appropriate one for the particular circumstances.
2. Discuss the real-life case that you have selected, in which the defendant accepted a plea bargain as an alternative to trial. Give your opinion on whether or not justice was served in the case in question. Provide a rationale for the response.
3. Discuss the real-life case that you selected, in which, like Roland Gary, the defendant was wrongly accused and later vindicated. Explore one (1) key aspect of the case and examine its relation to the case at large. Describe the resolution to the selected case.
4. Use at least three (3) quality resources in this assignment. Note: Wikipedia and similar Websites do not qualify as quality resources.
Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:
• Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; citations and references must follow APA or school-specific format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.
• Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length.
The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:
• Summarize the current ethical issues faced by criminal justice professionals and future of the criminal justice system.
• Explain the development of American courts and illustrate the concept of the dual-court system.
• Distinguish between the various courtroom participants, and describe the stages in a criminal trial.
• Use technology and information resources to research issues in criminal justice.
• Write clearly and concisely about criminal justice using proper writing mechanics and APA style conventions.
Grading for this assignment will be based on answer quality, logic / organization of the paper, and language and writing skills, using the following rubric.WKs 5 – 7
Wk 5 Court Jurisdictions
Congratulations! You have been hired to intern as a paralegal in the Jurisville court system. As a paralegal, you will hold an important supporting role in the legal process. This valuable experience will serve you on the completion of your criminal justice studies.
Edward Raymond, senior paralegal and assistant to the clerk of the court, will assist and guide you through your internship. Edward has over 20 years of experience in the stacks and he enjoys sharing the knowledge of criminal justice he has gained over the years with others. This is a great opportunity for you to meet one of the most well-known experts in the field.
Edward has a few tasks assigned for you. So, are you ready?
State and Federal Jurisdictions
The criminal court is the setting in which many of the most important decisions in the criminal justice process are made. The court system includes independent subsystems such as, the administrator, prosecutor, defense attorney, and the judge.
The federal courts have jurisdiction over cases challenging the constitutionality of a law, cases involving US Treaties and federal laws, cases involving ambassadors and public ministers, cases where there are disputes between two or more states, cases of admiralty law, and bankruptcy cases. There are two main types of federal cases – those that present a federal question and those that present diversity of jurisdiction. The federal courts are also where new citizens are sworn in.
The state courts have jurisdiction over all matters that don’t fall into the categories outlined above.
Tim SmithSenior criminal lawyer
Tim is a senior criminal lawyer who has access to all the documentation related to the arrest, trial, and sentencing of Roland. He has over 25 years of experience in analyzing the validity of sentences to see if they are based on established principles and procedures.
Wk 6 Pre-Trial Procedures
Justice Delayed, Justice Denied?
A common misconception about criminal trials is that the trial procedure is the focus of the criminal justice system in terms of the volume of cases that flow through it. However, most cases are disposed of earlier—in the pre-trial procedure phase—with only one in three going to trial. In fact, up to 95% of all criminal cases are disposed of by agreed upon plea bargains.
The pre-trial procedure, then, acts as a filter that lets through only the cases that truly need the complete weight of a fair trial that the Constitution guarantees the citizen. It prevents the system from being clogged up by cases where the trial result is a foregone conclusion.
Of course, the mechanisms of the pretrial procedures do have some weak spots, and plea bargaining is certainly one of those. As much as they are pragmatic, plea bargains do not always sit well with the ideals of criminal justice system.
It’s a busy month for the office as a number of cases are coming up for pre-trial. They run the gamut of severity from traffic violations to murder, and Tim sees the opportunity for you to understand how pre-trial procedures work.
He asks you to review these cases and answer a few questions. “I want to know if you’ve come to grips with the pre-trial system. Some of these might be obvious, some not so much. And I’ll need good reasons for your answers too! Are you ready?”
Wk 7 Punishment and Sentencing
A Fair Trial
Every individual accused of a crime is entitled to a fair trial. To achieve this end, every trial is designed around a number of important factors such as constitutional principles, legal procedures, court rules, and interpretations of statutes. Strict adherence to these principles and procedures is required to ensure a fair trial.
In the scenario, you looked at the case of Roland Gary. Do you think he got a fair trial? If not, do you have a clear understanding of which of his rights as an accused were violated? In this simulation, you will get the opportunity as a paralegal intern to identify the answers to these questions.
You joined as a paralegal intern in the Jurisville court system and are assisting Tim Smith in identifying any violation of Roland’s rights as an accused during his trial. Your primary task is to review the case and prepare a preliminary report. Tim will assist you with his expert comments on each situation.
Here’s a recap of the story of Roland Gary. Roland was accused of killing a religious leader in New York in 1980 and, after a speedy trial, was sentenced to thirty seven and a half years in prison. After a few years, a widow revealed that it was her husband who was the actual killer. The court ordered a review of the case and found that, based on the evidence presented, it could not be conclusively established that Roland indeed was the killer. As a result, Roland was set free after he had already served twenty three years of the sentence.
During the initial hearing, Roland was formally accused of the murder of a religious leader and denied bail. The judge also ruled that the trial would begin in 8 months. The defense attorney argued that the wait period was too long and considering the fact that his client was suspended from his job as a taxi driver since he was facing charges, he may lose his job even if he was eventually found not guilty.
Tim Smith says
While the right to a speedy trial is guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment, every state follows different rules regarding the duration. In New York, there is no data to suggest that there is enormous congestion in the trial courts.
Competence at trial
Roland’s right to a speedy trial was acknowledged and he was brought to trial within 6 months. When the charges were being heard, it was brought to the notice of the judge that Roland was undergoing treatment for drug abuse and depression. The prosecution, in the meanwhile, pressed on with the charges and was able to establish that the murder indeed took place and Roland was seen at the location of the crime by a 13-year-old boy.
Tim Smith says
At the time of his arrest, Roland was under probation for drug abuse.
What are the options before the judge?
Conclude that the circumstances of the situation point to Roland’s role in the murder and convict him
Ignore the fact that Roland is under treatment for drug abuse and depression
The judge can order a competency hearing to ensure Roland understands what is going on and can effectively contribute to his own defense.
The report on Roland’s psychological health established conclusively that his condition had improved as a result of the medication, and Roland was competent to stand trial. The judge, therefore, ordered for the trial to resume. Around this time a popular daily reported that the judge overseeing Roland’s trial was a close relative of the slain leader and questioned his eligibility to preside over the trial.
Tim Smith says
The Constitution does not say anything about a criminal defendant’s right to a trial by an impartial judge.