Please review the State of West Virginia v. Keith O. Peoples case and respond to the following challenges:
1. The charge against Peoples was fraud, a criminal offense. Compare and contrast a criminal com-plaint with a civil complaint. Identify three significant differences.
2. Discuss the requisite standard of proof in a criminal trial— that is, beyond a reasonable doubt. What does this mean? How is it measured?
3. Fraud is an “intent” crime. Absent a confession, the state attempted to establish Peoples’s intent via circumstantial evidence. Discuss the concept of intent. Describe the circumstantial evidence compiled by the state’s lead investigator to establish intent.
4. Describe the significance of considering alternative explanations when conducting a fraud investigation. Was it important in this case? Explain your response.
5. Discuss the three conditions generally present when fraud occurs (the fraud triangle) in terms of the allegations against Peoples. What conditions can be identified, if any?
6. Review the court’s instructions to the jury. Why are such instructions important?
7. What impact, if any, do you think Peoples’s failure to testify had on the jury’s deliberations?
8. How important were the opening and closing arguments?
9. Research the concepts of adversarial bias and confirmation bias. Was either or both of these biases present in this case? Explain your answer.
10. Based on the case summary, do you think Peoples was guilty of fraud? Explain your position.

  • CreatedMarch 04, 2015
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