A Crime in Centervale
While patrolling during his shift, a Centervale police officer, Detective Johnson, saw two men standing on a street corner. Johnson observed the two proceed alternately back and forth between the street ahead and the corner, pausing and returning to conference. Detective Johnson found this strange as the Love’s Jeweler shop was down the street. The two men repeated this ritual alternately three to four times, which appeared as if they were looking out for someone or were about to steal something. Detective Johnson saw a third man approach and handing something to one of the two men, which he stuffed into his pocket.
Detective Johnson approached the three men and identified himself as a policeman. He saw the man that stuffed the item in his pocket place his hand in his pocket again. Detective Johnson kept his eyes on the man and asked their names. Before they could answer, the detective turned the man around, patted down his outside clothing, and felt a hard object. The man objected saying, “Hey man, you can’t do that. I have rights. I want my lawyer.” Detective Johnson sneered, “Oh! you’ll get your lawyer.” Upon feeling the object, the officer removed his gun and asked the three to raise their hands and place them on the wall. The officer patted each man down and found a gun in the pocket of one man. He removed the jacket of another man and found a diamond ring in the inside pocket. The third man did not have anything in his pockets.
The three were taken to the police station and charged with grand theft and burglary. One of the men was also charged for carrying a concealed weapon. Detective Johnson ran the information concerning the gun and found that it matched the gun related to an aggravated battery and rape case from a year ago. The detective questioned Danny, the man who had the gun. At first, Danny did not want to say anything, but the detective continued questioning him. After three hours, Danny confessed to the aggravated battery and rape case. He denied being involved in the grand theft and burglary.
Danny had a first appearance in the court within three days, whereupon he is appointed an attorney but denied bail. Danny does not see his attorney until the next court appearance. The attorney asks what he wants to do and Danny said, “I want to fight it man.” The attorney tells Danny, “That’s not going to work; the DA is offering you a good deal if you plea.” Over the objection of the victim in the court, the DA offers Danny probation if he testifies against the other two in the burglary case. The DA wants the other two to be sentenced to ten years in that case. While shaking his head, Danny pleads guilty above the cries of the victim. The DA asks the judge to hold off on sentencing until after he testifies in the other trial.
After Danny testifies against the other two defendants and they are sentenced to ten years, Danny goes back to the court. The judge, not agreeing with the deal, decides to sentence Danny also to ten years. Leaving the courtroom, Danny asks his attorney to appeal the case. His attorney states, “Man, you don’t even have the right.”
Considering what you learned about the criminal justice process, discuss the roles of the detective, the defendants, the attorneys, and the judge. What did each do right or wrong in this case? What rights did the victim or the defendants have that were not exercised in this case? Explain your opinion about what should have happened by using the information from the text or outside sources.
Discuss the reason for the arrest of Danny and his friends. Did detective Johnson have a reason to initially search and question the men? What is the standard for a search?
Discuss the roles of a detective, defendants, attorneys, and a judge in the criminal justice process. Identify and discuss the right and wrong steps taken by each in this case.
Danny requested an attorney during the time the detective was searching him. Did he have that right? When is a person entitled to an attorney?
Identify and discuss the rights of victims or defendants that were not exercised during the criminal justice process in this case.
Explain an appropriate solution for this case using the text or outside sources.