I need help on Explain how physical and scientific evidence got from the crime scene to the courtroom: with stops for professional analysis but without undue planting or tampering.
PART I: Terms, Concepts, Examples and DefinitionsWithin each lettered section (A through D, below), match the terms in the word bank with the descriiptions that follow. The terms are in alphabetical order. No term will be used more than once. Some terms, however, will not be used at all.
A. TYPES AND PURPOSES OF EVIDENCECharacter WitnessCross ExamDemonstrative EvidenceDocumentary EvidenceExpert WitessEye WitnessOathPolygraph ResultsReal or Physical EvidenceScientific Evidence
1. The knife, club and icepick found in Jeff MacDonald’s back yard, and thought to have been the weapons used to murder his family are examples of this kind of evidence.2. Taking this makes a witness’ testimony “subject to the penalties of perjury,” and is one of the two main methods used to encourage witnesses to tell the truth.
3. The large map of the MacDonald house, created and used by the prosecution to show the jury where the blood of each victim and the blood of the defendant were found is an example of this kind of evidence. (Again, you don’t need to know the specifics of the MacDonald case to answer this question. What type of evidence would a map of a crime scene be, as a general rule?)
4. Testimony of this kind of witness is necessary to explain forensic evidence to a jury of lay persons.
5. Testimony from this kind of witness is usually direct evidence that can have a strong impact on juries, but that can also be subject to problems caused by faulty identification procedures and mistakes inherent in the memory process.
B. Pretrial and Trial ProceduresArraignmentBailChallenge for CauseDouble JeopardyIndictmentGrand JuryMotion for Judgment of AcquittalPreliminary HearingProbable CausePeremptory Challenges
6. Prosecutors and Defense attorneys can use a limited number of these during jury selection to “strike” potential jurors for any reason other than race or sex.
7. This is a court hearing where the charges are formally read, and where the defendant is assigned an attorney and enters an initial plea.
8. The Constitutional provision prohibiting this means that the prosecution may not appeal after a defendant is found not guilty, even if it’s clear that the defendant committed a serious crime, and that the jury made a mistake.
9. This is the standard of proof needed to move beyond the initial stages of arrest toward trial: enough proof to establish, in the mind of a reasonably prudent person, that a specific crime was committed, and that the defendant likely committed it.
10. The ability to post this allows a defendant to remain free before and during trial, and is one factor that correlates positively with the likelihood of an acquittal.
C. Evidentiary RulesAuthenticityBest EvidenceChain of CustodyConclusoryIncompetentHearsayIrrelevantLeadingPrivilegedTarasoff
11. Objection made when the opposing side proffers evidence that is not logically related to the issues at trial.
12. Objection made when the opposing side asks their own witness a question that, by its terms, suggests the desired answer.
13. The death of this young woman, at the hands of an obsessed college student who had previously sought help from his University’s counseling center led to a now clearly established rule that privileged communications must yield in cases where a client or patient is threatening a future crime of violence.
14. Explain how physical and scientific evidence got from the crime scene to the courtroom: with stops for professional analysis but without undue planting or tampering.
15. Objection made when the opposing side proffers evidence in the form of out of court statements, introduced in order to prove the truth of the matter stated.
D. Constitutional Criminal ProcedureExclusionary RuleFruit of the Poisonous TreeGeneral WarrantGood FaithGut InstinctInevitable DiscoveryPlain ViewReasonable Articulable SuspicionProof Beyond Reasonable DoubtWingspan Search
16. The U.S. Supreme Court made this doctrine applicable nationwide in Mapp v.Ohio, as a means of forcing police either to respect the 4th, 5th and 6th amendment rights of suspects, or to risk losing the ability to present the evidence they gathered against those those suspects at trial.
17. This doctrine allows police to gather and to use evidence they can see from a place where they have a legal right to be.
18. Police officers who are making an arrest can simultaneously make this kind of search, for their own safety (to prevent the arrested person from gaining access to a weapon).
19. The 4th amendment’s prohibition of this kind of warrant means that search warrants must specify the person who is the target of the search, the area to be searched, the objects of the search, and the timespan when the search can be made.
20. This standard of proof, which falls short of probable cause, allows an officer to stop a suspect and to ask questions; and often leads to a frisk or patdown designed to insure the officer’s safety.
II. HYPOTHETICAL PROBLEMSA. Please answer each question and explain your answer.
1. Robert, a Catholic, admits to his priest during confession, that he is spying on the United States and is regularly delivering sensitive information to Russian agents. Prosecutors introduce evidence that the information Robert stole and passed along led to the deaths of several American agents who were working inside Russia. May the priest be called by the prosecutors to testify against Robert at trial?
2. Matilda and Mario, husband and wife, are charged with abusing their two young children, who are found chained to a bed inside the family home: bruised, dirty, cold and hungry. Prosecutors offer immunity to Mario: the parent they think is less culpable, in exchange for his testimony against Matilda. At trial, Mario refuses to testify, on that ground that he loves Matilda and doesn’t want to do anything that could result in prison time for her. You are the judge. How do you rule on Mario’s objection?
3. Randall has been accused of a bank robbery that occurred at 3 p.m. on a certain Friday afternoon. Police have video of the robber, and he looks a lot like Randall, who has done time for several previous thefts. Randall has an alibi defense. He argues that he was working at the local Costco store on the day of the robbery. None of his co-workers can remember, specifically, whether Randall was there that day or not. Randall’s attorney seeks to enter Costco’s payroll records, which show that Randall was paid for 8 hours of work, from 9 to 5, on the day in questions. The prosecutors object on hearsay grounds. You are Randalls’ attorney. Which exception to the hearsay rule should you cite to get these records into evidence?
4. Use the same facts presented in Question 3, above. Assume that prosecutors, who feel the case slipping away from them after the Costco records are introduced, try to introduce another kind of reliable record. They seek to admit a certified copy of Randall’s prison record, showing the times he served for his previous criminal convictions. You are the judge. Will you allow the prosecutors to show the prison records to the jury?
5. Judge Mencer is presiding over a murder trial. During a break in the proceedings, the Judge enters a public restroom, where he overhears one witness tell another that the defendant, David Dupe. was “being framed,” and that “Nasty Nate is the one who really did it.” When court resumes, the Judge leaves the bench, takes the stand, swears himself in, and begins to tell the jury what he overheard in the restroom. You are the prosecutor. After you recover from your astonishment, what objection will you make?
B. Each of the following four situations involves a warrant-less search. The last problem involves a search based on a defective warrant. Assume you are an assistant prosecutor working with the police officers involved. Make the best argument you can to show why the evidence found in each case should be admissible.6. Defendant is a suspect in the murder of his wife. He voluntarily visits the police station, where police notice that he appears to have blood and hair under his fingernails. Defendant notices that the police are looking at his hands! Police perform an immediate warrant-less search: during which they preserve the material under the defendant’s nails. The material turns out to match the wife’s DNA. Defendant is arrested.7. Police are chasing a robbery suspect who attempts to run away from them through his neighbor’s apartment. As police run through, they notice that the neighbor is busily weighing and bagging drugs at his kitchen table. The neighbor is arrested (without any arrest or search warrant).
8. Federal agents are investigating someone they suspect of printing counterfeit money. They don’t have enough evidence to get a warrant (no probable cause), so they decide to stake out the defendant’s home: hoping to learn a little more. As they watch, the defendant rolls his trash barrels out to the curb (it being garbage collection day in his neighborhood), and drives away. The agents check inside the garbage cans, and find crumpled, cut and rolled up paper that looks a lot like fake bills that were not printed all that well. Police use this evidence (which was acquired without a search warrant) to get an arrest warrant for the defendant.9. Defendant lives with his grandmother, who allows police (when they ask nicely) to search his bedroom: an area she enters and cleans regularly. Police find drugs under the bed. The evidence is found inside a shoe box. The shoe box is closed, with its cardboard cover on top. It is not, however otherwise marked or secured in any way.Defendant is arrested based on the evidence found inside the shoe box.
10. Police are directed to serve and implement an arrest warrant at 3013 Icebrook Way. They do so, and find illegal guns, drugs and lots of cash. They later learn that the warrant given to them had been issued by a magistrate for home located at 3031 Icebrook Way. The numbers in the address had been accidentally flipped by the court employee who filled out the warrant form. The resident of 3013 Icebrook (for whom no search or arrest warrant was ever issues) has been arrested!
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