Questions and Answers for Criminal Law

Criminal Law

Why should crimes be distinguished by the motivations of the perpetrator? Is hate a more heinous motivation than...

Motivations show premeditation. And premeditation indicates that the perpetrator of a particular crime had time to think through the consequences of their actions. They had a chance to stop and...

Latest answer posted January 26, 2019 6:36 am UTC

2 educator answers

Criminal Law

In the context of criminal law, what is meant by the saying, "Hunches are never enough"?

In criminal law, there is an expectation of evidence/proof to establish probable cause. The reason that a hunch isn’t considered enough to determine probable cause is that a hunch can be tainted by...

Latest answer posted July 10, 2019 7:18 am UTC

2 educator answers

Criminal Law

What are the two prongs to the reasonableness test?

The two prongs to the reasonableness test stem from a 1967 Supreme Court case known as Katz v United States. Charles Katz made money through gambling activities, which were illegal. The government...

Latest answer posted November 13, 2017 2:04 am UTC

3 educator answers

Criminal Law

What special-needs searches does the U.S. Supreme Court recognize?

In its broadest sense, a special needs search is a search done without a search warrant issued by a court of law or without probable cause. Almost all invasive searches in the United States must be...

Latest answer posted March 30, 2019 1:40 am UTC

2 educator answers

Criminal Law

What is the significance of California v. Hodari D?

The significance of this case is that it helps to define when a person has been seized/arrested. In this case, the Supreme Court ruled that an arrest only happens when the person has been...

Latest answer posted September 15, 2012 1:49 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Criminal Law

What is the rationale behind the 3 justifications for the exclusionary rule, and which justification did the U.S....

The Exclusionary Rule was designed to give police an incentive to avoid violating the 4th Amendment. This rule is controversial because if the evidence is found to be improperly gathered, it is...

Latest answer posted July 15, 2015 10:07 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Criminal Law

What is the significance of of the legal case, North Carolina v. Alford?

North Carolina v. Alford concerns a situation back in 1963 where a man named Henry Alford was accused of killing another person. There were no eye witnesses to the actual crime, but before the...

Latest answer posted September 29, 2012 1:19 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Criminal Law

What is the significance of Townsend v. Sain?

The decision in this case has to do with what federal courts must do in cases where they are petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus. The courts are told in this case that they must conduct full...

Latest answer posted September 17, 2012 1:28 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Criminal Law

What are the four sources of information officers can rely on to build reasonable suspicion?

I agree with the first response that much of what reasonable suspicion is is a question of the context in which it arises as an issue, and it is not clear to me what exactly you are looking for in...

Latest answer posted September 12, 2012 9:43 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Criminal Law

What are some arguments for and against the fundamental fairness doctrine?

The fundamental fairness doctrine is an alternative to the doctrine of incorporation. This doctrine holds that the 14th Amendment does not hold the states to the provisions of the Bill of Rights....

Latest answer posted August 29, 2012 2:17 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Criminal Law

Explain the difference between probable cause to detain a suspect and probable cause to go to trial.

There is no significant difference in these two types of probable cause. In both cases, the level of proof is the same. Probable cause is a level of proof that is above mere suspicion but is...

Latest answer posted September 25, 2012 2:46 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Criminal Law

Why do parolees have even more diminished right against searches and seizures than probationers?

The reason for this is that parolees have, by definition, committed more serious offenses (or just more offenses) and are therefore more of a risk to society. In addition, they are still under a...

Latest answer posted September 15, 2012 1:38 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Criminal Law

Beyond Reasonable Doubt It is a debate for legal scholars and law students for sure, but it is the measurement of...

One aspect to this that has not been raised is "a jury of one's peers." This is ripe for discussion in the classroom. The standard for guilt is meant to be viewed through the lens of one's peers,...

Latest answer posted March 9, 2012 12:32 am UTC

7 educator answers

Criminal Law

What are some reasons that affect a police decision to drop cases or take them to prosecutors?

Every person arrested or accused of a crime has the right to legal representation. In order to decide which cases to drop and which cases to prosecute, the police and related legal counsel must...

Latest answer posted September 25, 2012 6:43 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Criminal Law

Does the death penalty deter crime? Seventeen states have the death penalty as an option for convicted criminals....

This always strikes me as a very interesting question. It presupposes that the goal of the death penalty is and always has been the deterrence of further or future crime. If this is not and has not...

Latest answer posted October 7, 2012 9:48 pm UTC

7 educator answers

Criminal Law

What is the significance of the court case United States v. Leon?

The case of the United States v. Leon involves the 4th amendment, particularly what is known as the "exclusionary rule." The question under consideration was whether evidence collected when...

Latest answer posted September 29, 2012 1:50 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Criminal Law

What are the constitutional provisions that identification procedures can violate?

The main provision of the Constitution that can be violated by procedures used by the police to identify suspects is the guarantee of due process. The due process clauses of the 5th and 14th...

Latest answer posted September 18, 2012 1:43 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Criminal Law

What are two types of remedies that can be used against government wrongdoing in the area of criminal law?

Two major types of remedies against government wrongdoing in this area are the exclusionary rule and civil suits alleging torts. If the police or prosecutors act in illegal ways towards a person,...

Latest answer posted September 20, 2012 4:08 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Criminal Law

What is the  significance of the Bivens v. Six Unknown Unnamed Agents case?

Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents was a case in which federal agents searched a man’s house without a warrant, establishing that a person may sue the federal government if his rights are...

Latest answer posted April 28, 2013 4:51 am UTC

1 educator answer

Criminal Law

What are some characteristics the courts use to determine the voluntariness of consent to a search?

There are a number of characteristics or factors that a court will look at when determining if a suspect voluntarily consented to a search. They include: Whether the person was in custody at the...

Latest answer posted September 9, 2012 5:56 am UTC

1 educator answer

Criminal Law

What are the main arguments regarding the practice of videotaping interrogations of suspects by police officers?

The major argument in favor of videotaping police interrogations is that it would remove doubts about the admissibility of statements made by the suspect. Often, defendants in court claim that...

Latest answer posted September 17, 2012 1:43 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Criminal Law

 What is the significance of the case of Maryland v. Wilson?

This case was significant in that it helped to define what the police may and may not do in terms of searching cars and passengers during traffic stops. In this case, Wilson was a passenger in a...

Latest answer posted September 18, 2012 1:25 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Criminal Law

What is  the definition of probable cause?

Probable cause is the level of proof that is needed before a warrant can be issued for an arrest or a search. Probable cause can be defined as facts or evidence that would be sufficient to...

Latest answer posted September 7, 2012 5:12 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Criminal Law

Why do officers need to obtain warrants to arrest a suspect in a home?

Police officers need to obtain a warrant to arrest anyone (in a home or not) unless they have probable cause to arrest them on the spot. For example, if an officer sees a crime committed they do...

Latest answer posted September 7, 2012 5:07 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Criminal Law

What are the major exceptions to the warrant requirements approved by the U.S. Supreme Court?

There are a number of major exceptions to the requirement that officers need a warrant to search and seize one's possessions or to arrest a person. These exceptions include: Consent. If a person...

Latest answer posted September 7, 2012 5:19 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Criminal Law

Contrast the definition of probable cause with that of reasonable suspicion.

Probable cause is needed in order for a police officer to obtain a search warrant or to arrest someone. Reasonable suspicion is needed if the officer only wishes to detain someone briefly to...

Latest answer posted September 5, 2012 1:38 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Criminal Law

In the following scenario, what should the husband be charged with? A husband  bought a knife with the intent to kill...

As a casual non-leagal observer, it seems to me that the husband shouldn't, and couldn't, be charged with anything. It would be very difficult to prove intent, unless he told the clerk who sold him...

Latest answer posted January 12, 2013 12:26 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Criminal Law

What is the U.S. Constitution provision dealing with the issue of "habeas corpus," and how has it been applied to...

Article 1, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution reads as follows: "The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety...

Latest answer posted June 17, 2013 12:49 am UTC

1 educator answer

Criminal Law

Should the death penalty continue to be enacted? Most Americans continue to support the death penalty, but those...

I am against the death penalty because it is irreversible. The justice system is not flawless. We make all kinds of mistakes. We need to be able to trust in our justice system. Until we can...

Latest answer posted September 30, 2012 5:49 pm UTC

7 educator answers

Criminal Law

What is the history behind the power of police to stop and question suspicious persons?

This is a difficult question to answer because, from what I can find, it hasn't been well documented. Also, I have to put forth the idea that I'm a not a lawyer and perhaps someone who specializes...

Latest answer posted September 3, 2012 3:59 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Criminal Law

How do frisks differ from searches?

Terry Vs. Ohio (1968), gave light to the term "frisk". A "frisk" is a brief yet cautions examination that involves patting down your clothes. The aim is to find weapons on you. An officer can frisk...

Latest answer posted September 3, 2012 11:41 am UTC

1 educator answer

Criminal Law

When someone goes missing off a yacht (possible homicide) is the yacht held by police until determination is made?

Not necessarily; it depends on the ability of law enforcement to make a complete investigation. This does not necessarily entail preventing a vessel from sailing, although they can do so with an...

Latest answer posted July 8, 2012 10:22 am UTC

1 educator answer

Criminal Law

What is the narrow scope of the good faith exception to the exclusionary rule?

The scope of the good faith exception to the exclusionary rule was narrowest when the exception was first created in 1984. Since then, the exception has been expanded a great deal. In 1984, the...

Latest answer posted September 22, 2012 12:33 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Criminal Law

Summarize the Bivens v. Six Unnamed FBI Agents case, and explain its significance

The significance of this case was that it established the idea that a person has the right to sue government agents for violation of his or her Fourth Amendment rights. In this case, Bivens sued...

Latest answer posted September 22, 2012 12:13 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Criminal Law

What do you think are the most important limitations that the Constitution places on criminal law? 

The elements of the Constitution that deal with the right to a fair trial are most often brought up by defense lawyers, and are most carefully guarded by arresting officers, from the Miranda...

Latest answer posted August 20, 2013 9:23 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Criminal Law

Identify and summarize the five amendments to the U.S. Constitution that most concern criminal procedure.

It is very easy to find four Amendments to the U.S. Constitution that concern criminal law. Amendent 4: This protects against "unreasonable searches and seizures"; in other words, the police may...

Latest answer posted August 27, 2012 12:25 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Criminal Law

What is the applicability of searches and seizures?

Searches and seizures are actions that can be carried out as part of a criminal case. A search happens when the police do things like looking through a person’s belongings or listening in on their...

Latest answer posted August 7, 2013 8:34 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Criminal Law

What are three emergency searches? 

I assume that you are asking for three circumstances in which a warrantless search would be legal because of an emergency. The Supreme Court has ruled that warrantless searches are legal in such...

Latest answer posted September 9, 2012 5:41 am UTC

1 educator answer

Criminal Law

What are the five special cases for searches and seizures that go beyond law enforcement purposes?

I think you're asking about situations that involve "search and seizure" that are not directed by law enforcement. The trick is that such instances, though not undertaken by the police, often have...

Latest answer posted September 2, 2012 2:41 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Criminal Law

What are the origins and original purposes of searches and seizures?

Lets look at what "search and seizure" means. The "search" part reflects the interest of an authority (usually law enforcement) in searching a person or corporation's belongings for evidence of...

Latest answer posted September 2, 2012 2:24 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Criminal Law

What is the responsiblity of the executive branch in criminal law? I know the executive branch makes sure judgement...

The executive branch does not, of course, pass laws regarding crime. Laws can only be passed by the legislative branch. However, we should not understate the role that the executive plays in...

Latest answer posted January 13, 2013 6:48 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Criminal Law

Why does the court approve of such minimal invasions of privacy during airport searches?

This question is one of the ultimate questions of our time: how far do we go to protect our country from terror attacks and yet preserve our own privacy? The court allows the minimal invasions of...

Latest answer posted September 11, 2012 1:47 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Criminal Law

What is the significance of testing and storing the DNA of incarcerated felons?

The significance of recording and storing the DNA of felons depends, to a degree, on who you ask. The answer you get from most people will be that it has major significance, but they may differ in...

Latest answer posted September 11, 2012 11:09 am UTC

1 educator answer