Students will choose a California criminal jury trial that occurred within the past two years.A case from San Diego is even better.You’ll need to find one that was widely covered in the media (a lot of news articles online, televised coverage, maybe even a Dateline, etc.).

You will do extensive research on one particular trial.Read all the news stories about it, watch any news coverage that you can find (maybe there is a Dateline or 20/20 about it, etc), and get familiar with the case.

In your written paper, address the following issues/questions:

  1. What were the facts of the crime?
  2. With what crimes did the prosecutor charge the defendant?List the crimes as well as the California Penal Code sections.Then include the language from the CA Penal Code sections.
  3. What was the maximum sentence faced by the defendant?
  4. What, if any, pretrial proceedings took place?
  5. Tell me about the background, history, etc., of the defendant. Include things such as age, where they grew up, previous criminal past, etc.
  6. Who was the prosecutor in the case?Do some research on the prosecutor.What other cases have they handled?Are they involved in any community groups, organizations, etc.?
  7. Who is the defense attorney in this case?Do some research on the attorney.Have they handled any other high-profile cases?If so, which ones?What can you find out about their professional history?
  8. Which judge oversaw the trial?In your research, can you find other cases they presided over, or any news articles involving him/her?
  9. Now describe the trial.Tell me such things as which witnesses were crucial in the trial, how many days did it last, etc.
  10. What was the jury verdict?
  11. What sentence did the defendant receive?
  12. Lastly, tell me your overall impression of this case. Was it handled professionally, fairly?Did the jury get the verdict right?What was your opinion of the attorneys involved? The judge?

This assignment is worth 100 points.

Paper format:Important!!

The paper should be written in essay format.I want the paragraphs to be single spaced, then double space between paragraphs.Number the paragraphs according to the questions above.In other words, at the beginning of the paragraph where you will answer the question about the prosecutor, number the paragraph “6.”I should see the numbers 1 – 12 in your paper so I can easily find each of your answers.

Again, the paragraphs themselves must be single spaced, but double space between paragraphs.

Your paper must be approximately 3-4 pages long.It needs to include a cover page and a References page, in APA format, these two pages do not count in the 3-4 page requirement.

 
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