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You Decide: Robbery
Michael Warren Scherz was convicted of first-degree robbery, which in Washington can be committed by the “display” of what appears to be a firearm or other dangerous weapon. Scherz entered a bank in downtown Spokane wearing camouflage clothing and approached a teller and stated that “I need about a thousand dollars. I have a hand grenade in my pocket and I need a thousand dollars.” The teller asked whether he was serious and Scherz responded, “yes.” The teller testified that she was “fearful” and that she gave him $1,000. He placed the money in his pocket and left the bank. The teller did not see a hand grenade or any other weapon. Scherz soon thereafter was arrested by FBI agents in a nearby hotel lobby. He told the arresting agent that at the bank that he had reached into his left jacket pocket and pulled out the end of a set of toenail clippers “just a little bit to see the silver, so she’d think it was a grenade.” The FBI agent seized a pair of toenail clippers from Scherz. None of the bank employees who witnessed the robbery saw the toenail clippers or anything that appeared to be a weapon. Scherz appealed his conviction on the grounds that he did not “display” a weapon. The prosecutor argued that a verbal indication of a weapon satisfies the display requirement. Would you vote to affirm Scherz’s conviction? Is the bank teller’s testimony important in your decision? What if Scherz actually had a grenade in his pocket? Should Scherz be held liable for first-degree robbery if the teller realized that Scherz was threatening her with the metal end of the toenail clippers? What about in the event that Scherz displayed a realistic looking toy grenade?
the whole assignment has to only be 2 paragraphs medium-long