301 Week 6 Forum and responses

301 Week 6 Forum and responses.

I’m studying and need help with a Law question to help me learn.

A 19-year-old student, Sally, has been arrested by the police for possession of a small amount of marijuana while driving home from a college party. Assume that the police officer had probable cause to stop Sally for drunk driving. During the search of Sally’s pockets incident to her arrest, the police find an unregistered handgun, a bag of prescription drugs issued to a woman named “Judy O’Heary, aged 74,” and $5,000 in cash in her car.

When the police confronts her with these items, she says, “I need those pills because of my back pain. And, I have no idea where that gun came from.” The police officer then asks her why you need more than 350 tablets of painkillers, and she states, “You have no idea how bad my back hurts.”

Based on her statements about the pills, the police charge her with intent to sell and distribute prescription drugs. At trial, her attorney makes a motion to suppress the admission of the statements, arguing in relevant part that she made the statement without being given her Miranda rights. In response, the police argue that she made statements voluntarily and not under duress.

Forum Assignment:

The class is broken into 4 different roles.

3. If your last name starts with M – R then you will answer by stating your decision as the judge.

How do you think that the judge will rule on this motion to suppress? Does it matter that she was already under arrest at the time of her statements?

Please use your acting skills and stay in your role as you answer these questions. Be sure to provide detailed answers based on the facts and supported by the current case law. Have fun!

Please note that your answers have nothing to do with your personal feelings, thoughts or experiences with these issues. Your answers are based purely on the law, specifically precedent set by case law. Reviewing the week 6 lesson will be very helpful to you in finding relevant case law.

After you have answered these questions respond to at least 3 student’s postings. Respond to students who have offered a different perspective or opinion than yours. Be sure to ask thought-provoking questions of your classmates to further and deepen the discussion.

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Let’s make this personal by putting you in the hot seat.

You are a 20-year-old college freshman. You just left a party at two o’clock in the morning. At the party, you drank four beers and smoked two marijuana joints. As you are driving home, you feel “buzzed, but not drunk.” A police officer stops you and states that he witnessed you driving erratically. The police officer asks you if you have had any alcohol to drink and you state that you are not drunk, but drank one or two beers in the afternoon.

Based on your behavior and statements, the police officer arrests you and then tells you that you need to submit to a breath test. The breath test taken five hours after the arrest indicates that your blood alcohol level is just under the legal limit. Not satisfied with the breath test results, the police officer continues his interrogation.

During this interrogation, you admit that you consumed four beers and smoked two marijuana joints within an hour of your arrest. Based on your statements, the police officer charges you with driving while intoxicated (a misdemeanor offense). At no time during the arrest and interrogation does the police officer provide you with your Miranda rights.

Because you aspire to attend law school, you decide to fight the charges. At the trial, you argue that the police officer violated Miranda’s clear directives. In response, the prosecutor argues that you made all of your statements voluntarily and not under duress. Additionally, the prosecutor argues that Miranda rights do not extend to misdemeanor crimes.

1. How do you think that the judge will rule on your motion? When answering this question, please review the summary of the Berghuis v. Thompkins where the Supreme Court considered the position of a suspect who understands his or her right to remain silent under Miranda v. Arizona and is aware he or she has the right to remain silent, but does not explicitly invoke or waive the right. How does this case and/ or other relevant case law impact the judge’s ruling on your motion?

2. Note that it is estimated that about 75% of suspects routinely waive their Miranda rights and talk to the police.1 Do you believe that this suspects are willingly waiving their rights with a full understanding of the rights they are waiving? Why or why not? How can we as a society do better to ensure people are willingly either invoking or waiving their rights? How can we assist law enforcement in their work in doing so?
1 Richard A. Leo, “The Impact of Miranda Revisited,” 86 J. Crim. L. & Criminology 621, 653 (1996).

Please note that your answers have nothing to do with your personal feelings, thoughts or experiences with these issues. Your answers are based purely on the law, specifically precedent set by case law. Reviewing the week 6 lesson will be very helpful to you in finding relevant case law.

After you have answered these questions respond to at least 3 student’s postings. Respond to students who have offered a different perspective or opinion than yours. Be sure to ask thought-provoking questions of your classmates to further and deepen the discussion.

301 Week 6 Forum and responses

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