Final Project – An Application of the Criminal Justice System
This assignment is to demonstrate your mastery of how the criminal justice system works. This assignment is designed to give you an opportunity to display your knowledge of the parts and processes of the criminal justice system. The more specific and detailed the paper is, the more effective it will be in demonstrating your understanding of the system.
Step 1. Select one of the three Case Studies below. Where there is more than one person arrested/charged in that case, please focus on ONE of the subjects for the purpose of this research paper.
Step 2. Describe the process that the offender would go through in the criminal justice system, beginning with arrest. For purposes of this assignment you are to assume that the offender will be eventually convicted, thus your paper should also include all stages in the criminal justice process subsequent to conviction. Upon conviction, you must also determine the probable sentence the offender will receive, (institutionalization or community-based supervision); explain why the sentence you have chosen would most likely occur, and what the offender can expect in light of this sentence. Students who exhibit mastery of this project and how the system works will also provide a probable alternative to the selected sentence, fully explaining “why” this alternative could also occur. In essence, this paper will track the offender from removal from the community by police, to return to the community free of imposed supervision.
Step 3. Conclude your analysis by discussing what you believe to be the weakest link in the criminal justice process and the strongest link in the process. Provide explanations to support your assessments for both. Careful critical thinking is required. Invest considerable effort in thinking about what you have learned over the course of the term in addressing this final aspect of the mission.
The sources you are to use to obtain information for your descriptions of the criminal justice process include the course reading material and two peer-reviewed journal articles. As an academic paper it must contain APA formatted citations throughout the paper whenever information is being presented from a source. You can find examples of citations and references through the following links:
Even though you may have personal experience in the field (e.g. police officer) or use knowledge obtained in previous courses, information used in this paper must be supported through the use of citations which meet the criteria for sources indicated above.
An example of the correct page header and title page format can be found in Unit 3 of the APA Tutorial in the Course Content.
Here are the sections that should appear in your paper, each of which should be subtitled:
· A brief description of the crime
· Description of the processes in the adult American criminal justice system the offender would go through, beginning with arrest
· Your analysis of the weakest and strongest links in the criminal justice process
Form and Format Requirements
· Paper should be a minimum of 1,500 words and a maximum of 2,000 words
· Double space
· 12 pt. font
· 1” margins
· Use APA citations for all sources
· Include reference page (not included in word count)
· Create a cover page for your assignment (not included in word count)
· Include your name
· Course title and number
· Project title
· Topic selected
· Date of submission
Case Study 1 – MURDER
At 8:26 PM the Paradise 911 Emergency Call Center received a call from John Wolf of 115 Front Street. Mr. Wolf asked for police to be sent to 114 Front Street to investigate a body in the driveway. Responding officers discovered Lucy Lane, deceased, laying in the driveway of 114 Front Street. It was apparent Ms. Lane had suffered multiple stab wounds to both the front and rear torso. On the deck in the rear of the house officers also discovered Rodney Hill, deceased. Mr. Hill also showed signs of multiple stab wounds to his chest and abdomen.
Mr. Wolf informed police that he heard a commotion coming from the front yard of the house across the street. The shouting and yelling lasted several minutes and ended in a terrible scream. Mr. Wolf went to the window and saw the former resident James Lane driving away in his white Ford Bronco. When he saw what looked like someone lying still in the driveway across the street, he called 911.
The police investigation revealed that Ms. Lane owned and lived at 114 Front Street. Mr. Hill and Ms. Lane had been in an intimate relationship for several months. Ms. Lane was recently divorced from James T. Lane, a bartender at a local “gentlemen’s” club that features exotic dancers. On the day of her death Ms. Lane had taken a restraining order out on James Lane, alleging prior physical and emotional abuse as well as threats against both her and Mr. Rodney Hill.
When interviewed by police, James Lane denied killing his former wife or Rodney Hill. He had no alibi for his whereabouts at the time of the deaths. A warrant-supported search of Mr. Lane’s apartment uncovered a 6 inch lock-blade knife in Lane’s dresser drawer as well as clothing in the basement that appeared to be soaked in blood. Scientific tests revealed the blood on the clothing matched the blood type and DNA of both Lucy Lane and Rodney Hill. An examination of the knife also revealed the same blood evidence.
Based on the evidence outlined above, police arrested James Lane and charged him with the murders of Lucy Lane and Rodney Hill.
Case Study 2 – ROBBERY
On October 11, 2011 the Winston police department 911 received a call from the cellphone of Milton Brown. Brown reported he had just been robbed at gunpoint. When officers arrived at the scene of Broadway and First Avenue they found Mr. Brown waiting for them. Brown reported to the investigators that at approximately 9:37 that evening he was driving with the daily deposits from his store “BJ Shoes” to a local bank. He was distracted by a man and a woman at the intersection standing by a car with its hood up. The woman appeared to be pregnant. Stopping to see if he could be of assistance, Brown was confronted by both characters, each with a revolver pointed in his direction. They demanded all his money “..including the cash from the store.” When Brown handed over the bank bag and his personal wallet the couple took his car keys from his ignition and drove away in a white Toyota saden. Brown also told investigators he thought he had seen the woman before as a customer his shoe store.
After reviewing the surveillance videos from the BJ Shoes security cameras Brown was able to identify the woman assailant. Her credit card receipt identified her as Bertha Bloutt. Police investigators obtained her local address and executed a search warrant for her person, her home address and all structures on her property as well as all vehicles on her property or registered in her name. When the warrant was served police discovered a Colt revolver and a Smith and Wesson revolver in a bedroom dresser drawer and a bank deposit bag containing a deposit slip for the account named BJ Shoes, Inc. The bank bag was discovered under the front seat of a white 2009 Toyota Camry sedan parked in the garage of the house. Bertha Bloutt and William Bloutt were both at home at the time the warrant was served. They were both taken into custody and taken to the police station where they were identified by Mr. Brown as the people who had robbed him at gunpoint. Bertha Bloutt and William Bloutt were both charges with armed robbery with a hand gun and aggravated assault, both felonies. Additionally they were both charged with use of a handgun in a crime of violence, also a felony.
Case Study 3 – DRUG DISTRIBUTION
On October 21, 2012 Sergeant William Butler and Officer Samantha Brown stopped a car in the 2000 block of East Street for failure to yield the right of way to a pedestrian. In the course of the car stop it was determined the driver was Jeffery Cox. According to the DMV registration information, Mr. Cox owned the car. Sitting in the car front passenger seat was Amanda Watson. When the officers checked on any outstanding warrants on the occupants of the vehicle, they received a positive response on Ms. Watson. Police arrested her based on an outstanding arrest warrant for misdemeanor shoplifting. When Ms. Watson was ordered out of the vehicle to be handcuffed Sgt. Butler noticed a plastic bag of a substance he suspected to be crack cocaine lying on the front seat where Watson had been sitting. Incident to the arrest on the warrant, Sgt. Brown searched Ms. Watson and found $650 in small denomination bills but no devices with which to ingest crack cocaine.
The plastic bag recovered from the car seat contained seven separate plastic bags containing off-white material, which field-tested positive for crack cocaine. In light of the proximity of the bags of cocaine to Ms. Watson, she was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute, a felony. As the owner and operator of the vehicle, Jeffery Cox was arrested and charged with the same felony. A search of his person after the arrest revealed $1,450 in cash and several small empty plastic bags with a powder residue that field-tested positive for cocaine.