position paper

Use the following two scenarios1 as the basis to respond to questions below: Scenario 1: Two 18 year old kids, boyfriend and girlfriend, are driving around. Both are intoxicated. The driver is the boyfriend who ends up causing a wreck and the girlfriend dies. Boyfriend is indicted for Vehicular Manslaughter (2-5 years prison). Girlfriend’s parents want Voluntary Manslaughter (5-8 years prison). The DA knows that the vehicular manslaughter statute was written just for this scenario. At the negotiation table, the DA tells the Defense to plead to Vehicular Manslaughter, agree to 5 years, agree not to appeal or boyfriend will be indicted for Voluntary Manslaughter and the DA will argue for the 8 year maximum. Scenario 2: A six year old child is sexually abused by her father. The child tells her teacher who calls the police. The child goes through a forensic medical exam and there are positive signs of vaginal penetration. Father is arrested. Six months earlier the mother filed for divorce because she found out about the abuse but did not want the child to go through the criminal justice system. The mother refuses to have the child testify. Without the child’s testimony the charges will be dropped. The father’s defense attorney knows this and files a motion to dismiss. The father has 2 other daughters from 2 other mothers. The prosecutor subpoenas the daughter and tells the mother if the child does not appear at trial, she will notify social services and file contempt charges against the mother. Questions: 1. Prosecutors represent societal interests in seeking punishment for those accused of violating the law. With this in mind, define the specific societal interest involved in each scenario. Explain whether or not the societal interest be satisfied with a plea bargain? 2. Explain your opinion of the prosecutor’s position in each scenario. Explain whether or not the prosecutor’s position in each case serves the societal interest of justice for the victim and accountability for the offender? What is your opinion about the prosecutor’s use of his/her power in each case? 3. Explain how the practical realities in each of these scenarios conflict with the theoretical punishment goals of retribution and deterrence? 4. Prosecutors have unlimited power to charge someone with a crime, charge them with a felony or misdemeanor, divert them to treatment, or charge an offense that carries a mandatory minimum. a. Explain whether or not you believe their decisions should be regulated by law or guidelines similar to those in effect for judges and parole boards. b. Explain how you think prosecutors should be held accountable for their decisions. 5. Explain the pros and cons of plea bargains as they relate to punishment in our society. Miscellaneous: No specific formatting required. No references or bibliography required. Maximum of three pages, 12 point font, double-spaced and submitted on Blackboard. You may want to research the issues around plea bargains (check Wikipedia). You will have one class period devoted to discussing the questions in groups, but the paper submitted must be your own. Rubric is posted with the assignment on Blackboard

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