Prosecution Argument - How Communities View Evidence and how They Can Indicate a Person's Responsibility for His or Her Crimes Through the Criminal Justice System

Prosecution Argument - How Communities View Evidence and how They Can Indicate a Person's Responsibility for His or Her Crimes Through the Criminal Justice System

Throughout history people have been known to commit crimes. As far back as the beginning they have found ways to have people follow rules in order to maintain safe environments within their community settings. Over the years people have changed, but they still commit crimes. The evolution of the way people think has made it possible for laws to be created to protect everyone in the community as well as to make people who do not follow the right path pay for their crimes. Every state has its own set of laws and courts, but they all serve a basic principle: everyone should live in a safe world without harming others. This paper discusses how communities view evidence and how they can indicate a person’s responsibility for his or her crimes through the criminal justice system.

Criminal Elements
In the case of State vs. Stu Dents, the accused faces many charges. These charges include homicide, assault of a police officer, kidnapping, burglary, and crimes related to drugs. The evidence that authorities found at the victim’s residence along with the evidence that they found at the defendant’s residence strongly indicate Dents as the most likely suspect in this scenario.

Even though they could not prove that the defendant entered the victim’s precise apartment unit, eye witnesses openly recall seeing the accused entering the victim’s apartment building on the day in question. Additionally, authorities collected an ecstasy tablet and cocaine residue at the victim’s apartment. This evidence is significant as authorities later found comparable drugs at the defendant’s residence.

Additional Evidence included a backroom wall at the defendant’s residence filled with more than 300 surveillance photos of the victim and a journal with the defendant’s name on it. The journal contained information regarding the defendant’s contact with the victim along with a shopping list recording items to include rope and a hunting knife. The defendant needed these items, as he wrote, “to fulfill his destiny.” Authorities also located an inscribed ring, which listed the victim’s name. Eye witnesses stated she wore this ring on the day of her disappearance.

The most indisputable evidence, which the coroner discovered, included skin particles underneath the victim’s fingernails from fighting off her attacker. It is not surprising that these particles contained DNA that irrefutably matched the DNA of the defendant, Stu Dents. When authorities finally arrested Dents, he punched an officer in the face and called him an alien. Such alarming facts along with the vast amount of evidence that Dents stacked against himself throughout the course of this scenario make his involvement irrefutable. The prosecution believes without a doubt that he is guilty of the preceding charges.

Laws by State
In Indiana, kidnapping is punishable as a Class A felony, which holds a sentence of 20 to 50 years, 30 years as the most common (Indiana General Assembly, 2012). A court may also impose fines for kidnapping not to exceed $10,000. Indiana Code 35-42-3-1 defines kidnapping, and Indiana Code 35-42-3-2 explains what the law considers kidnapping.

In North Carolina, the assault of a police officer is punishable as a Class F felony, which holds a sentence of 16 months to 39 months based on the criminal history of the defendant. North Carolina General Statutes § 14-34.7 elaborates on what one should consider assault
(North Carolina General Assembly, 2012).

In Massachusetts, unarmed burglary constitutes a punishment of imprisonment for no more than 20 years. Additionally, reoffenders of similar crimes will face imprisonment for no fewer than five years. Massachusetts General Law Part IV, Title 1 explains burglary along with the differences of intent and time of day (The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 2012).

In South Carolina, homicide convicts can face several punishments. Among these punishments is the death penalty, life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, and a mandatory minimum of 30 years in prison. South Carolina Law, Title 16, Section 16-3-10 defines murder. Section 16-3-20 further explains what constitutes homicide and how judges charge the jury with finding guilt and sentencing (Laws.com, 2011).
In West Virginia, crimes related to drugs are punishable by imprisonment in a state correctional facility for no less than one year and no more than 15 years. Additionally, fines cannot exceed $25,000. Chapter 60A, Article 4, § 60A-4-401 explains in more detail types of drugs and the differences in punishment. Chapter 60A, Article 2, § 60A-2-201 explains further the different levels of drugs (West Virginia Legislature, 2012).

Strongest State
After reviewing Stu Dents charges and assessing the penalties that the prosecution would introduce in seeking justice, one might note that the state where the prosecution’s cases would be the strongest is Indiana. Their use of a modified version of the Model Penal Code rule accounts for much of this logic. Because the rules of the code in the state of Indiana, the court directs much of the burden of proof toward the defendant’s efforts in convincing the court and the jury of his or her competency to stand trial (Find Law, 2012)

States like North Carolina and South Carolina use the M’Naghten Rule, which is a test for criminal insanity. According to an online legal dictionary, “under the M'Naghten rule, a criminal defendant is not guilty by reason of insanity if, at the time of the alleged criminal act, the defendant was so deranged that he or she did not know the nature or quality of his or her actions or, if he or she knew the nature and quality of his or her actions, he or she was so deranged that he or she did not know that what he or she was doing was wrong” (Farfax, Inc., 2012, para. 2). The state’s case would face challenges from mental health professionals possibly raising suspicions that would make it questionable for jurors. Additionally, the case would be even less effective in Massachusetts and West Virginia because of their adherence to the Model Penal Code rule that places the burden of proof on the state.

Conclusion
The defendant’s actions in this scenario are unacceptable. The evidence paints a clear picture of his guilt and leaves very little room for false accusation. Authorities found incriminating journal entries and drug residues in his dwelling in addition to the coroner’s indisputable DNA findings. Although statutes and sentencing for the defendant’s crimes vary from state to state, the prosecution holds no doubt of his guilt and recommends stringent sanctions.

References
Farfax, Inc. (2012). M'Naughten Rule. Retrieved from http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/M'Naghten+Rule

Find Law. (2012). The insanity defense among the states. Retrieved from http://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-procedure/the-insanity-defense-amon...

Indiana General Assembly. (2012). Kidnapping and confinement. Retrieved from http://www.in.gov/legislative/ic/code/title35/ar42/ch3.html

Laws.com. (2011). Offenses against the person. Retrieved from http://statutes.laws.com/south-carolina/title-16/chapter-3

North Carolina General Assembly. (2012). Article eight assaults. Retrieved from http://www.ncleg.net/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/HTML/ByArticle/Chapter_...

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts. (2012). General laws. Retrieved from http://www.malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartIV/TitleI/Chapter266/S...

West Virginia Legislature. (2012). West Virginia code. Retrieved from http://www.legis.state.wv.us/wvcode/Code.cfm?chap=60a&art=4#04