Question

The Constitution in Your Community
Assume that you are working for a public defender’s officer and that one of the attorneys in the office has been assigned to represent Tiffany Jones in State v. Jones, Case No. 2011- 0655. The prosecutor in your local jurisdiction has charged Ms. Jones with two criminal offenses–– contributing to the delinquency of a minor and supplying a minor with alcohol. Tiffany, who is twenty- five years old, was staying at her parents’ house, while they were away on vacation. She was watching the home along with her sister, Sheila Jones, who is seventeen and still in high school. After working an eight- hour shift at her job, Tiffany arrived at her parents’ home, entered the front door, and went upstairs to change out of her work clothes. When she arrived at the house, Tiffany heard loud music coming from the backyard and assumed that her sister might have some friends over. While Tiffany was upstairs changing, a police officer walked into the bedroom and began questioning her about the people in the backyard and the presence of beer. Although, Tiffany explained that she just got home, the officer arrested her and initiated the two criminal charges outlined above. According to the officer’s report, police received a phone call from one of the neighbors complaining about loud music coming from the Jones home. When police arrived at the house, they heard the loud music and noticed several young- looking individuals in the backyard. One officer went immediately to the backyard and began asking for identification from the individuals. The other officer went to the front door, opened it, and went upstairs, where he found Tiffany, who was the only adult on the premises. Tiffany’s attorney would like to file a motion to suppress the police findings within the home, particularly the discovery of Tiffany in the bedroom. The attorney’s position is that the officer’s entrance into the home was unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment, and but for this illegal entry, the officer would not have found Tiffany. Based on the materials in this chapter, particularly those addressing the exclusionary rule, prepare a legal memorandum for the attorney wherein you outline the legal issues for a motion to suppress. Specifically, address whether the officer’s search of the Jones home was constitutional and whether the officer’s observations made within the home should be excluded from evidence during trial.
Going Federal
Assume you are working in a U. S. Attorney’s office in the criminal division. You are working with an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) who is assigned to the grand jury room. As a part of your job, you help to coordinate witnesses and exhibits to be presented before grand juries. In one case, the grand jury has subpoenaed Luke Atmee to testify. Mr. Atmee is a witness to a purported federal bank robbery offense, but he fears that he may also be a suspect in the case. As a result, he does not wish to offer any incriminating statements to the grand jury in violation of his Fifth Amendment rights. During Mr. Atmee’s testimony before the grand jury, he has asserted a Fifth Amendment right not to respond to several questions posed by the prosecutor. Specifically, Mr. Atmee has refused to answer the following questions, based on his claim that his responses might tend to incriminate him:
What is your name?
Do your friends call you by any other name?
How tall are you?
How much do you weigh?
How old are you?
Please state the following in a normal tone of voice: “Give me cash; I have a gun .”
Print the following in your normal handwriting: “
Put the money in this bag; I have a gun .”
Do you know the person in this photo?
After refusing to answer these questions, the AUSA working with the grand jury wants to seek an order from the magistrate judge assigned to the grand jury compel-ling Mr. Atmee to answer the questions listed above. But before doing this, the AUSA wants to make sure that he is entitled to gain answers to each of these questions. Accordingly, you are asked to review each question to determine whether Mr. Atmee has a Where were you on October 22, 2011?
Fifth Amendment right not to answer the individual questions. Prepare a memorandum for the AUSA wherein you outline whether Mr. Atmee has a testimonial privilege to remain silent in the face of these questions or whether the district court can compel him to respond.
Moot Court
Locate your state’s constitutional and statutory provisions regarding the death penalty. Identify the efforts that have been made to implement, reinstate, or remove capital punishment in your state. Work in teams of two. The first team should prepare and present a five- minute oral argument, based on constitutional standards regarding cruel and unusual punishment, challenging your state’s approach to the death penalty. Con-versely, the second team should prepare a five- minute oral argument asserting why your state’s approach to the death penalty complies with constitutional standards.


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  • CreatedAugust 12, 2015
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