m4 discussion criminal justice


Assignment 1: Loopholes and Technicalities 

You may have observed such a situation before: A highly publicized and outrageous crime has taken place, and the suspect is on trial for the entire world to see. It is clear in the media that the defendant is guilty of a heinous crime, and the case is a slam dunk. Then, the unthinkable happens—the defendant is found not guilty!

You are a defense attorney representing a previously convicted child sex offender. Your client has been incarcerated for five years, and the state provides you with new documents that indicate that the process by which the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) lab conducted tests was not in accordance with the generally accepted protocols that govern DNA testing. As a result, although any DNA contamination (which could clear your client) was unlikely, it is just possible that your client was wrongly convicted. You file a motion to have the case against your client dismissed because of the possibility of DNA contamination. Because your client probably committed a heinous act against a child, you discover the next morning that your e-mail inbox is full of hate mail and your voicemail is also full of messages from people who are outraged by your actions, trying to free your client on a “loophole.”

Submission Details:

By Week 4, Day 3, in at least 250 words, post to the Discussion Area your answers to the following questions:

  • Is a loophole ever really a loophole? Answer on the basis of the information provided and the scenario.
  • Why do attorneys defend the constitutional rights of defendants so vigorously?
  • How are the victims of crimes served by these defenses, if at all?
  • In the given case, how will you react to the hate mail? In the context of the heinous crime described in the scenario, what are the legal and ethical considerations that you need to look at while defending this case from the angles of both the victim and the defender? 

By Week 4, Day 7, read and respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts by commenting on their examples and explanations.

Discussion Grading Criteria and Rubric

All discussion assignments in this course will be graded using a rubric. This assignment is worth 40 points. Download the discussion rubric and carefully read it to understand the expectations.




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