Assume that Don Defendant is intoxicated when he drives down a city street, going 25 miles over the speed limit, drives onto the sidewalk and hits a fruit stand operated by Val Victim. Val is seriously injured and the fruit stand is destroyed. The police arrest Don, who is charged with appropriate criminal offenses: each of them a felony, calling for a year or more in prison. Val also files a suit against Don, aiming to get justice for herself, in the form of money damages. Indicate whether each of the following statements applies to the criminal trial, to the civil trial, or to both.
1. ________ The rules of evidence will apply at the trial.
2. _________ Val Victim will need to pay for her own attorney: either by the hour, on a flat rate system, or through a contingent fee arrangement.
3. _________ Don Defendant can request a trial by jury (assuming he wants one).
4. _________ Val will be a witness rather than a party, and will not need her own attorney.
5. _________ Don could spend time in jail or prison as a result of the trial.
6. _________ This trial will provide Val with her best opportunity to recover the cost of her medical expenses, the value of her destroyed fruit stand, and compensation (in dollars) for pain and emotional stress.
7. _________ This trial may result in punitive damages against Don: an amount in excess of what Val actually lost, that can be awarded directly to Val (rather than to the state treasury).
8. _________ Don can avoid testifying at this trial by pleading the 5th amendment.
9. _________ Don is entitled to a presumption of innocence at this trial.
10.________ The allegations against Don must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in order for a verdict to be entered against him at this trial.
Part II: Steps of a Criminal Prosecution
Match the terms to the descriiption. You should use each term only once.
C. Grand Jury
D. Indictment (before Grand Jury)
E. Miranda Warnings
G. Preliminary Hearing (before the trial judge)
H. Trial Jury (also referred to as a “petit” – French for “small” – jury)
1. ______ These are triggered when a suspect is in custody and is about to be questioned by police.
2._______ In the federal system, at least 12 of the 23 citizens who serve as part of this group must believe that there is probable cause to charge a defendant with a felony before a criminal case can move forward to trial.
3. _______ This is the name for the initial court appearance that follows an indictment. The charges will be read and a plea will be entered.
4.________ As a matter of due process, a defendant cannot be forced to openly state that he is “taking the Fifth” (i.e. refusing to answer questions because the answer might incriminate him) in front of this type of jury, whose members are initially required to presume that the defendant is innocent.
5. _______ This is a very basic written list of charges brought against a defendant who has not yet gone through the indictment process. The list of charges is typically sworn to by an arresting officer or agent, and is read to the defendant during his or her first appearance in court. (The document linked to our Course Content materials, listing the 140 plus counts brought against James Holmes, the Batman movie shooter, is an example.)
6. ______ This procedure allows attorneys on either side to ask the judge to make rulings, in advance of trial, on evidentiary questions and discovery issues. The results sometimes lead the parties to consider resolving the case with a plea bargain.
7. ______ Prosecutors usually prefer this process for determining whether there is probable cause to proceed to a trial, because it allows them to subpoena witnesses who testify in secret, without the presence or input of defense attorneys.
8.. ______ Defense attorneys usually prefer this process for determining whether there is probable cause to proceed to trial, because it allows them to get a useful preview of the prosecution’s case.
PART III: COURT SORT
Use the provided list of federal and state courts located in Maryland to assign each of the cases described below to the proper court.
You may use each letter more than once.
Assume that, in each case, the relevant facts or incidents that gave way to the lawsuit occurred in Prince George’s County, Maryland.
Assume that, in each case, the parties involved (including corporations and other business entities) are citizens of Maryland.
Assume that, if the scenario describing each case does not specifically indicate that federal law is involved, the case is a Maryland state case.
All of these are real cases.
A. U. S. District Court for the District of Maryland (federal trial court)
B. U. S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit (federal appeals court- for appeals of right)
C. Supreme Court of the United States (federal court of last resort)
D. District Court for Prince George’s County (Maryland small case non-jury “practice” court, where many decisions can be re-tried in a higher level court)
E. Circuit Court for Prince George’s County (Maryland main trial court: a court of record, with juries)
F. Maryland Court of Special Appeals (Maryland court for appeals of right)
G. Maryland (Supreme) Court of Appeals (Maryland court of last resort)
1.______ One musician accuses another of stealing his song: in violation of federal copyright law. This is the Court where the trial will be held.
2. ______ Surveillance video shows the owner of a pizza restaurant introducing mice into a competitor’s kitchen. The mice were discovered and trapped before they could do much damage. The defendant is charged in state court with criminal trespass: a misdemeanor. Where will his first non-jury trial be held?
3. ______ A state’s governor is found guilty of attempting to bargain his right to fill an empty U.S. Senate seat to the highest bidder, in violation of federal law. His conviction is upheld on appeal. What is his last hope (his “court of last resort) in the federal system?
4. _______ A stock broker is convicted of insider trading: a criminal violation of the federal securities regulation laws. Where should she file her first federal appeal?
5. (a)_______ The owner of a tattoo and piercing parlor is charged in a state criminal court with piercing the ears of a minor, with her consent but without the permission of either parent. That act is a misdemeanor under state law. Where will the first non-jury trial be held?
(b) _______ Assume that the tattoo and piercing parlor owner is parlor owner is convicted, but wants to have his case re-tried by a jury. He reasons that jurors might be more sympathetic to his defense, which was that the minor looked as though she were in her early 20s. Which court will hear the retrial?
6. _______ A jeweler is charged with felony fraud for substituting cubic zirconia into what he then sold as “diamond” engagement rings. The jeweler is tried before a jury, is convicted, and is sentenced very harshly (at the top of the sentencing range) by a judge who “wants to make an example of him.” The jeweler files his first appeal, but is unsuccessful in having his sentence reduced. Which court, in the state system, is his last hope?
7. _______ Defendant was one of two teens who broke into a neighbor’s house one night, hoping to find some cash or alcohol. The neighbor awakened and shot one of the teens. Police and prosecutors decided that the shooting was justified, based on the neighbor’s reasonable fear for his safety. In a surprise move, prosecutors decided to charge the surviving teen with homicide, in connection with the other teen’s death, under a liberal extension of the felony murder rule. The trial judge allowed the case to go forward, and the defendant has been convicted. Where should he file his first appeal, in the state system?
PART IV. Short answer.
Our legal system relies on two things to insure that evidence introduced in courts is truthful and reliable. Name those two things below.
MacDonald Trial. If you were able to participate in the mock trial, please skip these questions. If you were not able to participate, then please:
1. Select a side in the case (either prosecution and defense). Choose a witness you think would advance your case: other than Ken Mica (the first responder) for the prosecution , or Jeff MacDonald (the defendant) for the defense. Name the witness. List the main points of their testimony here. Add any exhibits you would have them introduce.
Here is a template you can use for your answer.
Name of Witness Prosecution or Defense? Main Points to be made via Testimony Exhibits Introduced (Real, Scientific or Demonstrative Evidence)
2. List at least 1 point you expect to be made through the defense attorney’s cross exam of Ken Mica.
3. List at least 1 point you expect to be made through the prosecutor’s cross exam of Jeff MacDonald.
Assume Jeffrey MacDonald has been convicted and is launching his appeal. Assume that none of the arguments below has been previously decided in any appellate ourt. Which of the following arguments is likely to be the weakest one for MacDonald?
Choose the best answer.
a. The trial judge erred in not allowing Helena Stoeckley to testify.
b. The trial judge erred in not allowing a psychiatrist who treated Jeff and found him incapable of butchering his familiy to testify.
c. The jury erred in not believing Jeff MacDoanld’s testimony.
d. The trial judge erred in not allowing the jury to hear about the conclusions made by the military judge who initially decided to dismiss the charges against MacDonald, due to sloppy investigative work.