Course: CJ313 Law of Evidence


Course: CJ313 Law of Evidence

 

Course Project Scenario

Each student will choose one of the following case scenarios to use in developing the project for CJ313 Law of Evidence.  Be sure to answer all the questions given in the assignment.  Remember that evidence includes real evidence, such as the murder weapon and DNA, and testimonial evidence, such as police officers and eyewitnesses.

 

  1. Murder

Officer Washington is dispatched to a local convenience store where there was a report that shots had been fired.  Upon arrival, she observes three people standing outside, pointing into the store.  On entering the store, she observes a black male on the floor in a pool of blood around the upper body.  She checks and does not feel a pulse.

 

The body is transported to the medical examiner’s office where an autopsy is performed, and the medical examiner determines the cause of death is a gunshot wound to the chest.  He has retrieved the bullet and it has been taken to the laboratory for testing.  He believes the bullet was a .22 caliber.

 

Officer Washington interviews each of the witnesses separately, obtaining two somewhat different descriptions of the man they saw running out of the store after they heard a gunshot.  One witness was a younger black woman who gave some specific points in her description, while the two other witnesses who were both in their 60s and black, gave descriptions that were similar, but vague, just a young white man with long hair and no beard.  All three described the suspect getting into an older white Chevy and driving away southbound.

 

Officer Washington talked with the co-owner of the convenience store, who checked and told her all the cash bills were missing from the cash drawer, with only coins left.  The co-owner estimated that around $300.00 was missing.

 

Trooper Jackson stopped an older white Chevy heading westbound on the interstate highway at a speed of 85 mph.  The interstate is south of the convenience store.  Trooper Jackson stops the car, observes the driver as a white male in his 20s with long hair and no beard.  The driver is extremely nervous, so Jackson has him exit the vehicle.  When the driver stands up, Jackson observes a handgun sticking out from the driver’s seat.  He arrests the driver for carrying a concealed weapon, handcuffs him, and places him in the back of the patrol car.  Jackson returns to the white Chevy, kneels down and smells the odor of gunpowder from the handgun.  He then treats it as evidence and collects it carefully.

 

Detective Fillmore is called to the scene and observes an evidence technician taking photos and gathering evidence.  He receives information from the dispatcher that a trooper has stopped an older white Chevy and has taken the driver into custody with a recently fired handgun – .22 caliber.  The dispatcher gives the suspect’s name and address.  Fillmore drives to the address, knocks on the door, and a young white woman answers.  He identifies himself and she allows him into the apartment.  In questioning her, Fillmore discovers her husband – the suspect – owns a .22 caliber automatic.

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