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Case Brief Instructions
What are you doing
The need to put the textbook into practice is an important skill in the Administration of Justice. For this assignment, you will brief a real-world, high-profile case (list of approved cases is on next page) using concepts from the text. You will use the text and provided prompts to brief items of evidentiary value from your case. This assignment will be graded using the Case Brief rubric.
- Under the assignment submission are the prompts for you to respond to. You will copy and paste the prompts into your assignment submission
- You must use the prompts provided and thoroughly answer each question.
- Use proper writing mechanics to include proper sentence structure and grammar.
- There is no minimum or maximum amount of content. Thoroughly researching the case and answering each question is the key. Use the information you learned in this course and in our textbook (Criminal Evidence by Matthew Lippman) to help you apply the proper legal terminology.
- Properly formatted APA citations and reference list is required. If you quote something, write it in quotes, but it should only be a few sentences at the most. You should write your narrative in your own words. Do not copy/paste paragraphs. That is plagiarism and will result in a zero grade.
- Use at least three APA formatted references: textbook, journal, magazine, news story, internet source, and/or interview. Wikipedia is not an acceptable source.
- Take a look at the prompts early on.so that you know what questions will be asked about the case. As you conduct research, try to find answers to those questions and take notes on your findings, making note of the reference where you located the information. You might want to have a separate document to use for gathering and saving notes during your research along the way.
Case Brief Case List
Select a case from this list:
- Casey Anthony murder trial
- Jody Arias murder trial
- Laura Arroyo murder case
- Beltway Sniper Shootings (John Allen Muhammad and accomplice Lee Malvo)
- Robert Blake murder trial
- Boston marathon trial (Dzhokhar Tsarnaev)
- Stephanie Crowe murder case
- Chandra Levy murder case
- Marthz Moxley Murder
- Scott Peterson murder trial
- Jenny Rojas murder case
- O.J. Simpson murder trial
- Danielle Van Dam murder case
- Drew Peterson murder trial
- Scott Peterson murder trial
- Lyle and Erik Menendez brothers murder trial
- Robert Blake murder trial
- Jeffrey Dahmer murder trial
- Phil Spector murder trial
- James Holmes (Colorado theater shooting) murder trial
Incorporate the prompts below into your assignment submission.
- Victim name
- Defendant name
- Witness(es) (limit to two primary witnesses)
- Description of crime
- Prosecution’s Case: Testimonial and Real Evidence provided in court – list the main testimonial and real evidence presented by the Prosecutor. List the witnesses and what testimonial evidence they provided. List the real (physical evidence) and discuss if the evidence was direct or circumstantial; discuss if any scientific evidence was presented and describe it BE VERY DETAILED!
- Defense Case: Was there a main argument (main theme) that the defense used? Testimonial and Real Evidence provided in court – list the main testimonial and real evidence presented by the Defense. List the witnesses and what testimonial evidence they provided. List the real (physical evidence) and discuss if the evidence was direct or circumstantial; discuss if any scientific evidence was presented and describe it BE VERY DETAILED! Please describe.
- Do you feel that intent was proven by the Prosecution or not? Explain.
- Was any evidence obtained from the defendant’s home, vehicle, or self? If so, were there any challenges to the search and seizure of that evidence and what were the results of the challenge? If there weren’t any search/seizure challenges discovered in your research, what evidence discussed in the case do you think could have been challenged (and why)?
- Was a photo line-up or live line-up used to identify the defendant or anyone else in this case? How was the defendant identified? Explain.
- Did the case provide circumstantial evidence of guilt (flight, evidence of concealment, sudden wealth, possession of stolen property, etc)? If circumstantial evidence of guilt was not discussed in this case, provide an example that could be most likely for this case.
- Was there any character issues discussed by either the prosecution or defense? If so, describe how that was presented. Do you feel it helped or hurt the side that presented character issues? If character issues were not discussed, provide your own character issues that you think could have been discussed in the case.
- Were any witnesses impeached or attempt impeachment? If not, which witness could have been most likely impeached, in your opinion and why?
- Were any hearsay exceptions presented? If so, describe. If not, provide hearsay exceptions that might be likely for this case.
- Were any privileged communications argued? If so, describe. If not, describe what privileged communications could have been argued.
- Do you feel the case was proven beyond a reasonable doubt, and why do you feel that? If not, what were the main issues that made the case weak, in your opinion?
- Were there any other remarkable facts (facts worth mentioning) about this case? Was there anything that you learned from this AOJ 202 course that helped you to understand or notice about this case?
- If you were the prosecutor or defense attorney, what would you have done differently in arguing for or against this case?
Are there additional questions you would suggest to ask for this research / case study assignment (in the future)?