Various Criminal Procedure Questions

Discussion Questions:

1. As mentioned in your text, the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution prohibits unreasonable searches and
seizures. This being the case, courts prefer officers obtain a search warrant prior to conducting searches of
premises. There is a great deal of risk associated with conducting a search without first obtaining a search
warrant. Evidence identified as a result of conducting such as search could potentially be deemed to be
inadmissible if the court determines that the officer’s decision to proceed was not sound. In some
situations, the officer could actually be convicted of violating an individual’s Constitutional rights!
What are the requirements for warrants as explicitly stated in the Fourth Amendment? Give an example of a
situation that would, and another situation that would not, meet each of these requirements.

2. In your own words describe Probable Cause and Reasonable Suspicion. Provide examples of when the police
may rely on Reasonable Suspicion or when Probable cause is needed.
3. Please compare and contrast when an individual is subject to a stop & frisk as opposed to a search and
seizure (without a search warrant). Provide an every day example of the two different concepts. Examine
whether there are times a stop & frisk becomes a seizure and what factors should be considered when making
that determination.
4. Police Officers search suspects home with a valid warrant and locate drugs in the main part of the home.
One of the Officers asks the suspect if there are any other drugs in the home – suspect says “in my car in
the garage” Officers search the car and locate drugs and handguns – all of which are seized. – What if any
items are admissible in court? Why? If some items are excluded -why?
5. Jack and Jill used to live together a couple of weeks ago they got in a fight and Jill moved out. Jill,
being a woman scorned, goes to the police and tells them that Jack is dealing drugs out of the apartment.
Jill does tell the police that she no longer lives at the apartment but states she still has a key and has
gone back several times and that she and Jack are in the process of reconciling (not true). Jill lets the
police in the apartment where they see in plain view numerous drugs, scales and money all of which they
seize. You’re the Judge – do you admit or exclude the evidence and why?
6. Please read the following articles and then address the issues in your conference postings. Read the article – Looking at the facts
in this article there are numerous actions taken by the police and the suspect. As our concepts for week 3
include many exceptions to search warrants Identify where it appears the police conducted a search without a
warrant and what if any exception you believe it falls under. What actions did the police take that you
believe would require a warrant or court order? Week 4 centers on 5th and 6th Amendments (protection against
self incrimination and right to counsel, speedy trial, confrontation of witnesses, impartial jury) What
rights does it appear that the suspect has invoked?
7. (feel free to read
other articles as well about baby Lisa) Looking at this article: What kinds of searches have been conducted
at this home? Why do you think more than one search was necessary? What 5th or 6th amendment rights have the
mother or father invoked? What rights haven’t they invoked (and maybe should have) If you were working the
investigation – what if any searches would you want to conduct?
8. In Neil v. Biggers (1972), the Court determined that identification procedures must be fair. To determine
whether procedures are fair, courts must consider all the circumstances leading to identification. Discuss
what circumstances should be considered in determining fairness (when possible, use hypothetical or real
examples). Why are these circumstances important in determining the fairness of an identification procedure?
9. The right to counsel and to due process apply in lineups, show-ups, and photographic identifications, but
the rights to protection against unreasonable searches and seizures and self incrimination do not apply.
Discuss the reasoning as to why the Court applies the first two but not the last two. Does the Court’s
reasoning makes sense? Support your answer.

10. Please Review the Below Articles – Do you think these recent cases have changed the basic principle
behind Miranda- why or why not? Where do you think the Supreme Court is going with the current Miranda
rulings Ruling on Miranda and Prison Right to
Remain Silent & Miranda

11. Please review the following article. Do you think the Court was correct in allowing the confession to be
admitted? Why or Why not? Be sure to explain your reasoning based on the legal concepts of confessions