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Plea Bargains, Search & Seizure, and Search Warrants

by: Katherine Rose

Plea Bargains, Search & Seizure, and Search Warrants CJUS P300: Prosecution

Marketplace > Indiana University > Criminal Justice > CJUS P300: Prosecution > Plea Bargains Search Seizure and Search Warrants
Katherine Rose
GPA 3.42
Topics in Criminal Justice: Prosecution
Mary Diekhoff

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About this Document

These notes include notes from lecture covering negotiated plea agreements (plea bargains), search and seizure, and search warrants.
Topics in Criminal Justice: Prosecution
Mary Diekhoff
Class Notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Katherine Rose on Wednesday April 15, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to CJUS P300: Prosecution at Indiana University taught by Mary Diekhoff in Winter2015. Since its upload, it has received 177 views. For similar materials see Topics in Criminal Justice: Prosecution in Criminal Justice at Indiana University.


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Date Created: 04/15/15
Motiated Plea Agreements Plea Bargains Plea bargaining happens all the time 0 It s controlled by the prosecutor 0 It s not required it s done by their discretion Plea bargaining is necessary and a positive for the system 0 Only positive if it s done ethically and justly o The prosecutor should only plea bargain if it s a certainty for both sides What is the judge s role in plea bargaining o The judge has to accept or decline the bargain o The judge is concerned with the fairness of the plea bargain for both the defendant and the victim if there was a victim I The victim must be informed in a felony case of what the plea bargain is 0 Not necessary to inform the victim in a misdemeanor case Jury trials are traumatic events for victims 0 As a prosecutor you have to consider what the victim will be put through I You must ensure you have enough evidence to convict for the sake of the victim In a negotiated plea agreement hearing the judge will ask if the victim has been informed of the offered plea bargain o The victim is almost never at this hearing A lot of people believe plea bargaining is a negative for the system 0 Criminal Rule 4 From the time the prosecutor charges the defendant they have one year to get itdone I If you didn t plea bargain defendants this would be impossible Pretrial diversion is a plea bargain o Helps the system keep moving if the plea bargain goes right it s beneficial to both parties A defendant can always plead cold 0 They can agree to the crime and the sentencing is left to the judge Plea bargains are a contract between the prosecutor and the defendant 0 It s not a binding contract until the hearing when the defendant pleads guilty and signs the plea agreement Enhancements As a prosecutor you can amend dismiss or enhance charges against a defendant Enhancements Things that can t stand by themselves and add to the amount of penalty possible 0 They are usually applied to felony charges 0 Example Habitual Offender Enhancement adds a certain amount of time to the original felony charge because they are a quothabitual offender When you have an enhancement it usually takes longer than the trial itself 0 Especially if it s the death penalty Habitual traffic offender can stand on t s own 0 Only because of how the law is written Death penalty is a sentencing enhancement 0 This cannot stand on its own o It is a capital enhancementpunishment o The jury controls the death penalty I The judge doesn t control and can t override o If you commit a murder you re eligible for the death penalty I Not every murder is eligible for the death penalty 0 Eligible for death penalty serial killing killing law enforcement orjudges killing a prosecutor correctional officers bailiffs children 12 amp under a person over the age of 65 a mentally handicapped person if you torture someone and they die if you lie in wait for someone if you hire someone to kill another person for you if you kill a firemen if it s the defendant s second murder if you kill someone while in jail and mutilation o The death penalty is always argued as cruel and unusual punishment under the 8th amendment to the Constitution 0 Death penalty and barqualified lawyers are necessary for defendants arguing the death penalty 0 The death penalty is becoming illegal in some states 0 Life without parole is replacing the death penalty in some of these states I Has the same qualifications as death penalty 0 Why is the death penalty becoming unpopular 0 Trying a death penalty case is expensive and irrevocable I Can cost around 2 million for the case I Once you take someone s life you can t bring them back even if you discover evidence in the future that proves them innocent 0 To be eligible for death penalty 0 You must have an IQ of at least 50 0 You must be 16 years or older 0 You must be competent 0 You cannot be mentally handicapped 0 None of these eligibilities for the death penalty apply to life with parole o If you have an IQ of less than 50 are under 16 years old aren t competent and are mentally handicapped you can be given life without parole o Prosecutors can charge murder felony murder 0 Felony murder is eligible for the death penalty 0 Felony murder someone dies in commission of arson burglary kidnapping rape drug dealing etc in the commission of a felony I Only requires a felony and someone to die during the felony Search amp Seizure 0 As a prosecutor you must be concerned with evidence 0 You don t need a warrant to search a victim s home 0 Exception If the victim is dead you need a search warrant 0 People have the highest protection from government intrusion in their homes 0 Only a judge can issue a search warrant 0 Search warrants are granted based on probable cause I Probable cause is an objective standard o Probable cause must have reliable and credible evidence 0 The warrant must be in writing and signed under oath of the officer or under recording by both the judge and the officer A search warrant is only good for a certain amount of time 0 Typically good for 510 days 0 After their quotexpirationquot date they are considered stale warrants A warrant is necessary if you re going to start searching unless consent is given to the officer To receive a search warrant probable cause must be given o If information is received from an informant the informant is someone who looks like or is involved in the crime looks like someone who does drugs etc I The informant must be credible and reliable o How can you tell if they re a reliable and credible informant f they ve been an informant before or give information that is against their own interest ie they admit to having committed a crime of the same nature previously Anticipatory warrants are warrants for anticipated criminal events 0 Example if the police believe you are receiving a package containing drugs they can seize the package when it s delivered if they have an anticipatory warrant When receiving a search warrant you must have a description of the property you re going to search 0 Must describe any sheds garages etc that you want to search 0 Must describe what you want to look for To seize any property you must have consent or a search warrant The police don t work for the prosecutor nor do they have the same immediate goal as the prosecutor 0 There are some jurisdictions where the police and prosecutors office extremely dislike each other Exigent circumstances Allow the police to go into a residence and seize an item or person 0 Reasoning I Safety of a person not enough time to get a warrant I Police are afraid evidence is being destroyed I Hot pursuit or fresh pursuit only in a felony Good faith exception If the warrant has gone stale or the officer didn t know the warrant was stale 0 You care about this as a prosecutor because I You want to ensure people aren t disturbed without a valid legal cause I It can hurt or weaken your case as a prosecutor What is the fruit of the poisonous tree 0 Police seize evidence without probable cause 0 The police get the people to give them more information I The police get a legal warrant from that information 0 Anything else obtained afterward is tainted o Technically it s obtained illegally because of the first illegal part Collection of Evidence There are two types of evidence o Fungible Anything that can be altered substantially to cause it to not be what it was before I Examples Blood fingerprints hair tears sweat etc o Nonfungible Evidence that would be difficult to substantially alter I Examples Bodies knives guns weapons etc Fungible evidence requires a lot more for the prosecutor to get it introduced into evidence ALL evidence requires a chain of custody 0 Meaning everyone who encountered the evidence can say what was done with it where it was etc Evidence can easily be purposely or inadvertently introduced intofrom a crime scene 0 To prevent limit the number of people at the crime scene o If there is a body take pictures of it before moving it or touching it 0 Take pictures of everything from every angle possible I The crime scene photos must show exactly how everything was found 0 Wear gloves before touching or moving anything The preservation of evidence and the crime scene are vital for the prosecutor o The more evidence you have the better your case will be Defense lawyers can ask for additional testing of the evidence 0 Only if there is enough evidence left to be tested ie DNA found at the crime scene Fingerprints on glass are very good fingerprints 0 You can t get high quality fingerprints off of any surface


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