Question #1. One Sunday summer afternoon, Charles, leaving a swap meet and very intoxicated, is driving his van and decides to park and “sleep it off” on a parking lot of a mechanic’s garage. The two brothers who own the garage show up and become upset that the van in an attempt to awaken the man inside and force him to leave. As the brothers shake the van violently, Charles awakens and becomes very frightened, not immediately shoots and kills one who is standing beside the van. Seeing this, the second brother runs away and manages to enter the garage (with Charles still in pursuit) and attempts to reach a desk telephone; Charles continues chasing the other brother inside the garage, then shoots and kills him as well.
After reading the elements of the various forms of murder, determine what charges will likely be filed against Charles by the Prosecutor for the separate murders? (i.e., each brother). What is the primary legal issue in this case?
Question #2. Three men are spending an evening drinking in bars. In one bar, one of them begins dancing with a young woman who is intoxicated and soon collapses in arms on the dance floor. The man offer to drive the woman to her home, and place her in the back seat of their car. Once in the car, they each sexually assault the woman fails to regain conscious in the back seat. Sometime later, when the woman fails to regain consciousness, the men become concerned about her well- being and drive her to a nearby service station, where medical personnel are contacted. Eventually, it is determined that the woman is dead and was most likely at the point of her collapse on the dance floor due to serious congenital heart condition.
1. What is the primary legal issue in this case? What elements must be proven to establish the crime of rape?
2. On what grounds could the prosecutor justify the decision to charge the men with conspiracy to commit rape?
3. If the three men were to be found not to have committed an actual rape (i.e., the required elements of the crime were not met), is there another crime or crimes for which they might be charged and convicted?
Question # 3 Peterson is relaxing at his home when he hears Moises in the alley behinds his home; he looks in that direction and sees three men who are removing parts from his (Peterson’s) vehicle. He (Peterson) approaches the men and tells them to stop what they are doing; he then runs inside his home, and then returns to the alley with a pistol (the three men are by now back inside their vehicle and are preparing to drive away). Peterson approaches them and tells them not to move, or else he will shoot. The driver exits the car, and with a wrench in hand, begins advancing towards Peterson. Peterson then warns the driver not to come any closer. Still carrying the wrench, the man continues to move toward Peterson, who then shoots and kills them.
You make the case: Prosecute or Defend?
What is the Primary legal issue here?
What charges should the prosecutor bring Peterson? (See definitions of murder for guidance.)
Did Peterson act in Self- defense?
What other options were available to Peterson, aside from obtaining a gun and returning to the alley?
Question #4 For each of the following questions, apply your knowledge of the elements of murder as mentioned earlier to determine whether the facts primarily indicate a murder in the first degree, second degree, or manslaughter ( voluntary or involuntary).
I. Jill, returning home early one afternoon, finds her husband Jack on the sofa, embracing the next door neighbor, Sue. In a blind rage, Edith takes a knife from the kitchen and stabs them both to death. She would most likely be charged with which form of murder? Explain your answer.
II. Assume instead that, upon witnessing the lovers in each other’s arms, departs from the home and drives around in her car for an hour brooding about her husband’s infidelity. She then returns to the home, obtains a shotgun from the garage, and finds and shoots Jack and Sue to death. Now what offense will she most likely be convicted for? Explain your answer.
Question# 5 This example might further serve to explain the difference between civil and criminal law, and how the two can cause problems for the police and misunderstanding by the public. Assume that Jane calls the police to her home and tells the officer that she and her husband, Bill recently separated and he recently went to their home and removed some furniture and other goods that she does not believe he should have taken. Although Jane says she has filed a restraining order against Bill, The officer must inform Jane that there is nothing he can do at this point. Jane may be upset with the officer, but legally the police have no jurisdiction in such disputes. Now assume, however, that Bill goes to the home and makes serious threats of injury towards Jane, and she then goes to court and obtains a Temporary Order of Protection commanding Bill to avoid any contact with her.
Why can’t the police do anything about the Restraining Order?
Let’s say Bill disregards the Temporary Order of Protection and stalks Jane at her place of employment. Can the police place him under arrest? Explain your answer.
What Justifies an Order of Protection?
While Bill is incarcerated on criminal charges, Jane asks her attorney at the divorce hearing can she use Bills acts committed against her while at her place of employment.
Can this be used against Bill? Why or Why not?
What type of attorneys will probably be used in this situation?