CONSTITUTIONAL LIBERTIES AND RIGHTS
REMEMBER TO READ EACH PART OF THE QUESTIONS AND MAKE SURE YOUR ANSWERS ARE COMPLETE.
1. Mr. Brown was walking in an alleyway. Mr. White was also walking in the alleyway in the opposite direction. Detectives were cruising by when they saw the two men in the alleyway a few feet apart from each other. The detectives entered the alleyway and Detective Jones asked Brown to identify himself and asked what he was doing in the alleyway. Brown refused to identify himself. At trial Detective Jones stated: “I stopped Brown because the situation looked suspicious and I had never seen Brown before. After all, the alleyway was a high drug problem area.” Detective Jones then frisked Brown and found a small bag of marijuana. Brown was arrested and convicted.
What are the constitutional issues related to stop and frisk?
You are the judge. Write your opinion determining whether or not the stop and frisk was constitutional. Include the US Supreme Court cases you use in your opinion.
2. Jerry Smart was arrested on a misdemeanor charge. He appeared in court and asked the court to assign him an attorney because he could not afford one. The court refused to do so. Smart then represented himself and was convicted. He was sentenced to a $500.00 fine and community service.
Smart appeals his conviction stating that his constitutional right to counsel was violated. Write the appeal and include in your answer the concept that there is a the need for an attorney, including the “defendants are entitled to the guiding hand of counsel” and that “lawyers are necessities, not luxuries”.
You are the prosecutor. Write your brief in opposition to the defendant’s argument. Include in your answer any US Supreme Court decisions which you feel will help in your brief.
3. Peter was standing in a crowd near a crime scene. A person had been murdered. When the police arrived they took Peter away from the scene. Peter was surrounded by three police officers when he was placed against the police car. The officers started yelling at Peter and simply asking him what he knew about the murder. Peter was so frightened he started to pee in his pants. The officers started laughing at him and said to each other that once he confessed to the murder they would get him dry pants. Peter confessed. He was not given Miranda Warnings.
According to the US Supreme Court was Peter interrogated? Why or why not? Should Peter have been given the Miranda Warnings? Why or why not?
Include in your answer the significance of Miranda v. Arizona? At what point are the police required to read a suspect the Miranda Warnings. How does this requirement relate to the portion of the Fifth Amendment which states “no person…shall be compelled to be a witness against himself ?
4. The 6th Amendment gives every defendant the right to a trial. How does the issue of plea bargaining impact the defendant’s 6th Amendment right? Explain.
5. John Collins was convicted of murder. He spent 15 years in prison until it was determined he was an innocent man. The court found that the prosecutor in the case relied on false testimony, coerced witnesses, and suppressed evidence in the case (presumably showing that Collins was not the murderer). The prosecutor has been promoted.
You are the judge. Write an opinion as to the prosecutor’s misconduct. Include in your answer:
1) The concept that the primary duty of the prosecutor is not to seek convictions but to see that justice is done.
2) Why it is said that the prosecutor has more control over life liberty and reputation than any other actor in the system?
CONSTITUTIONAL LIBERTIES AND RIGHTS