Does trial proceed with a jury trial or a bench trial
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Assignment : Trial Techniques and Procedures


1) Bill slips a can of tuna in his pocket and forgets to pay. Is this shoplifting? Please explain how mens rea, actus reus, and corpus delecti are involved in this assessment.

2) Stanley and Bill were interrogated at the police station. Both conceded they were advised of their rights. Name one possible 5th amendment issue with the interrogations.

3) Vinny is seen studying a book about Alabama Laws. His research will have to include both procedural and substantive law. Why does he have to study both types of law? What is the difference between procedural and substantive law?

4) Vinny visits Bill and Stanley in jail. What is this meeting called? Why is it important?

5) Lisa tells Vinny she doesn't think he is cut out for this lawyering stuff. Do defense attorneys have to meet a certain level of competence?

6) Explain the following legal principles:

a. Competence

b. Due diligence

c. Communication

d. Confidentiality

7) Pretrial Steps

a. What crime are Bill and Stanley accused of?

b. What probable cause justified the arrests?

c. Explain "Initial Appearance"

d. Explain "Preliminary Hearing"

e. Explain "Grand Jury"

f. Explain "Arraignment"

8) What happened during the Arraignment of Bill and Stanley? What does Vinny plead for his clients? (Did you catch that the arraignment and the preliminary hearing were out of order, at least out of the order we discussed in class?)

9) Why is the case introduced as "The People of the State of Alabama" vs Bill and Stanley? Why is the victim not a party in the case?

10) Explain the discovery process.

a. What is discovery?

b. Why is it necessary?

11) Describe the part of the movie when Vinny claims he wants discovery (disclosure), but doesn't know the process for it. How does he find about the discovery process?

12) The Prosecution askes the jury members "Can you participate in an endeavor in which the ultimate disposition might be execution?" What is this process called?

13) Explain the jury selection process.

14) Does trial proceed with a jury trial or a bench trial? Explain the difference.

15) What are the key points offered in the prosecution's opening statement?

16) What are the key points offered in Vinny's opening statement?

17) The Prosecution presents its case first and gets to present its witnesses first. When the Prosecution calls its witnesses they call them for Direct Examination.

a. What are the characteristics of Direct Examination?

18) Once the Prosecution calls a witness and goes through Direct Examination then Vinny, the Defense, gets to Cross-Examine the witness

a. What are the characteristics of Cross-Examination?

19) Summarize the following testimonies. What happened on the stand?

Direct Examination Testimony Cross-Examination Testimony

Old Lady

Fat Man

"Redneck" Dude

Deputy Sheriff

20) What is impeachment?

21) Which of the prosecution's witnesses were impeached? Explain.

22) What is an expert witness?

a. How are expert witnesses different from "regular" witnesses?

b. What do you have to demonstrate to present someone as an "expert"?

23) How does Lisa get introduced as an expert witness? What are Lisa's qualifications for testifying?

24) What are the key points offered during Vinny's last witness exchange (essentially, his closing statement)?

25) Were any jury instructions offered to the jury?

26) What was the ultimate verdict of the case in My Cousin Vinny?


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Corrections Winter 2017

Exam 3 Essay Question

Based on the information presented in class on March 14th, answer the following:

• Discuss the data that indicate the numbers of African American exonerees in the data presented from the report is significantly different that the percentage of African Americans living in America.

• List some of the reasons, proposed by the National Registry of Exonerations (2016) for why African Americans are more likely to be wrongly convicted.

• Based on the data provided in class, how do you respond to the "belief" that African American males are more likely to rape white women.

• What are the predominate reasons why African Americans are more likely than whites to be arrested for drug charges?

• Finally, what suggestions do you have to eliminate these clearly discriminatory practices.

Each of the questions noted above are valued at 4 points - for a total of 20 points.

Provide examples for each of the former questions. Absolutely no late essay responses will be accepted! You work must be submitted in WORD format only. NO PDF submissions - PDF submissions will be treated as NO submission - resulting in a zero grade. All work must be double-­-spaced (12 font. Limit your response to a combined 4 pages.

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