Learning Activity 2
Submit to Canvas as an MS Word document or PDF by 11:59pm on Tuesday, April 2. Comply with all
APA formatting and citation guidelines.
Question 1 (30 points)
Please review the feature film Arbitrage. You may find the film via various online outlets. Once you’ve completed your review, please respond to the following.
- a) Analyze two crimes that Robert may have committed throughout the film and match the facts (from the film) with the two main elements of each (mens rea and actus reus); (1-2 paragraphs)
- b) Discuss whether Ellen (Robert’s wife) may have committed any crimes and match the facts (from the film) with the two main elements of each (mens rea and actus reus); (1-2 paragraphs)
- c) Apply defenses you think Robert or Ellen may have to the crimes discussed above (if you identify any) (variable length);
- d) Provide a reaction as to whether you feel, in the end, justice was effectively served in the film and why. In other words, did it all work out in the end – irrespective of whether any crimes were committed? (1-2 paragraphs)
Question 2 (20 points)
In the United States, adult criminal defendants have the Constitutional right to represent (defend) themselves in state or federal criminal court. This is referred to as representing oneself pro se. Exceptions to this right exist where a criminal defendant is charged with a capital offense, one for which (s)he may be executed. Please discuss the “pros” (possible good) and “cons” (possible bad) of representing oneself (pro se) during criminal proceedings. (1-2 paragraphs)
Question 3 (30 points)
Listen to this NPR piece: http://www.npr.org/2011/10/31/141730624/high-court-considers-when-bad- lawyers-taint-a-case. There may be a brief advertisement preceding the actual program, Morning Edition. Galin Frye was charged with multiple counts of driving with a revoked license. During discovery, prosecutors offered to reduce the severity of Galin’s charges if he pled guilty and served a 90-day jail sentence. This offer was never communicated to Galin and, as a result, he pled guilty in open court and was sentenced to three years in prison. He argued, on appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court, that part of any defense is the conduct of plea negotiations and his lawyer’s failure to tell him of the prosecutor’s plea offer denied him the effective assistance of counsel guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. As it turns out, the Court agreed!
You can read (and hear) the Court’s opinion here: http://www.oyez.org/cases/2010- 2019/2011/2011_10_444, if you want. Please discuss whether you feel the Court decided this case correctly and why? Be precise; use specific references and examples/hypotheticals where appropriate. (2-3 paragraphs)
Question 4 (20 points)
On the night of February 26, 2012, in Sanford, Florida, George Zimmerman fatally shot Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African American high school student. Zimmerman, a 28-year-old mixed race Hispanic man was the neighborhood watch coordinator for the gated community where Martin was temporarily living and where the shooting took place. Zimmerman shot Martin, who was unarmed, during an altercation between the two. Responding to an earlier call from Zimmerman, police arrived on the scene within two minutes of the shooting. Zimmerman was taken into custody, treated for head injuries, then questioned for five hours. The police chief said that Zimmerman was released because there was no evidence to refute Zimmerman’s claim of having acted in self-defense, and that under Florida’s Stand Your Ground statute, the police were prohibited by law from making an arrest. The police chief also said that Zimmerman had a right to defend himself with lethal force. A jury agreed.
- a) Explain jury nullification and provide a real-life or hypothetical example to illustrate the same. (1 paragraph)
- b) Discuss how the jury in the Zimmerman case might have engaged in jury nullification. Note: This is hypothetical. The jury did not engage in nullification and, therefore, you are advising your reader of how the jury could have engaged in nullification if it had wanted to. (1-2 paragraphs)
please use simple grammar as English is not my first language
*please avoid plagiarism*