criminal law 33

2.Capstone Case: Illinois v. Lara

A jury found the defendant, Jason Lara, guilty of two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault based on the claim that he sexually penetrated an eight-year-old girl. On appeal, Lara argued that the State failed to prove the corpus delicti of the offense because the State failed to present any evidence corroborating Lara’s confession that he sexually penetrated the alleged victim.

  • Provide some examples of how corpus delicti could have been proven for the more serious sexual assault offense alleged at issue in the case.
  • Do you believe that corpus delicti serves an important purpose, or should confessions be allowed to stand alone as evidence to support convictions?

(800 minimum word requirement. 3 scholarly sources, one being a peer review journal within the past 7 years. apa format)

3.Read the court’s opinion in California v. Towler, 641 P. 2d 1253 (Cal. 1982). Discuss how a defendant’s motive, intent, and opportunity can contribute to evidentiary proof that a murder has occurred.

( cite sources, apa format. 400 word minimum)


4.Capstone Case: Smith v. Doe

The Alaska Sex Offender Registration Act requires convicted sex offenders to register with law enforcement authorities, and much of the information is made public. The U.S. Supreme Court considers whether the registration requirement is a retroactive punishment prohibited by the Ex Post Facto Clause.

  • Do you find that the Alaska registration law is not punitive and therefore not an ex post facto law? Why or why not?
  • Should restrictions on ex post facto laws apply to administrative procedures, such as parole hearings, or should they only apply to laws that define crimes themselves?

(400 word minimum, apa format)

5.Read and compare the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Rogers v. Tennessee, 532 U.S. 451 (2001), where the Court considered whether a trial court can retroactively alter a common law rule that governs causation in homicide cases. What considerations does the Court identify determining whether to allow a retroactive change to the state’s longstanding common law rule? Which opinion—majority or dissenting—do you find more legally persuasive?

(400 word count minimum, apa format, cite source)


 

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