Walden University Wk 4 Prosecutorial Roles Case Study Questions

Learning Resources

Required Readings

Lippman, M. (2018). Contemporary criminal law: Concepts, cases, and controversies (5th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Chapter 2, “Constitutional Limitations” (pp. 13–39)Contemporary Criminal Law Concepts, Cases, and Controversies, 5th Edition by Lippman, M. Copyright 2018 by Sage Publications, Inc. Reprinted by permission of Sage Publications, Inc. via the Copyright Clearance Center.

Farrell, A., DeLateur, M. J., Owens, C., & Fahy, S. (2016). The prosecution of state-level human trafficking cases in the United States. Anti-Trafficking Review, (6), 48–70.

For this article, skip the “Methods and Measurement” section (pp. 54–58) and page 59. Focus on the power of the prosecutor on pages 51–53 and the interview quotes on pages 60–63 for insight into prosecutorial decision-making.

Department of Justice of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. (2015, Nov. 4). Prosecution code. Retrieved from https://www.doj.gov.hk/eng/public/pubsoppapcon.htm… 

Document: Criminal Justice Case Studies: Criminal Law, Week 4 (PDF)

Required Media

Serial Productions (Producer). (2018). Serial: Pleas baby pleas. Retrieved from https://serialpodcast.org/season-three/5/pleas-bab…
Note: This podcast contains a complete episode transcript at the “Transcript” link.

Assignment: Prosecutorial Roles

In choosing what charges to file when a crime is committed, a prosecutor wields significant power. That power is checked by specific evidentiary requirements—for example, a prosecutor could not charge someone with drug trafficking if that person was simply found possessing a small amount of heroin for personal use. Still, a single prosecutorial decision can mean the difference between a 3-year and a life sentence, a plea bargain and a trial, or a conviction and a mistrial.

For this Assignment, you assume the role of a prosecutor involved in several criminal cases.

To prepare:

  • Read the Week 4 case studies found in the Criminal Justice Case Studies: Criminal Law, Week 4 document.
  • This Assignment requires you to apply your learning to all case studies in the document.

By Day 7 of Week 4

Write a 750- to 1,000-word paper that addresses the following for each case study:

  • What decision would you make as the prosecutor for each of the three cases? Be sure to address the following:
    • What is the actus reus, level of mens rea (purposeful, knowing, reckless, or negligent), and is there concurrence?
    • As the prosecutor, would you bring charges against the suspect or would you drop the charges?
    • If you decide to charge a suspect or suspects, be sure to address the following: What would you charge them with and why? Would you consider offering a plea agreement? What sentence would you recommend?
    • If you decide not to charge a suspect or suspects, explain how you came to this conclusion.

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