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Assignment Questions

Essay on Casey Anthony

A paper on the possibility of Conrad Robert Murray (Michael Jackson’s doctor) being considered guilty of involuntary manslaughter by looking at past cases of others being prosecuted for the same crime in California and the U.S as a whole. [It can be limited only to California. You do not have to include the U.S as a whole] The following is what I have so far:

At this point, I think it is safe to say that we have all heard about the recent ongoing trial
of pop star Michael Jackson?s personal doctor Conrad Murray on whether he is guilty of
involuntary manslaughter by administering an overdose of an anesthetic drug known as
propofol. For this reason, I have chosen this case as my current event topic in an effort to
predict whether Dr. Murray will be found guilty and be sentenced to four years in prison.

As an early hypothesis, in my opinion, based on the existing evidence against
Murray, I would have to say that Murray?s chances of getting an acquittal are very slim.
But then again, in spite of all the evidence against Casey Anthony?s sole involvement in
the death of her daughter, Casey?s defense team was able to pull off an acquittal.
Contrary to what I along with numerous others believed, it turned out that the evidence
was not sufficient enough to convict her of 1st degree murder. However, that is a different
story which has been settled and now in the past. To focus on our current event on Dr.
Murray, now officially known as People of the State of California v. Conrad Robert
Murray, let?s take a look at what our text, America?s Courts and the Criminal Justice
System 10th Edition by David W. Neubauer and Henry F. Fradella, has to say about
?acquittal.?

The textbook defines acquittal as ?the decision of the judge or jury that the defendant is not guilty? and thus ends the case. This means that the defendant can leave the courthouse a free person whereas a verdict of guilty would mean that further proceedings will occur and the defendant must be sentenced. If this is the case, the probability of the defendant appealing is most certain. Furthermore, according to Neubauer and Fradella, if the jury returns a verdict of guilty, the defendant has the legal option to select one of two types of postverdict motions before sentencing. Postverdict motions basically ask for a new trial, giving their defense attorney the chance to correct errors made during the trial in the hopes that the judge might be persuaded into reconsidering the verdict.

The first type of postverdict motion available to the defendant focuses on the jury and is called a ?motion for acquittal.? The defense argues that the jury could not have rationally convicted the defendant based on the evidence displayed. When it comes to law in action, judges are extremely unwillingly to reconsider so it is nearly impossible for judges to grant this motion. The second type of postverdict motion focuses on the judge is known as a ?motion for a new trial.? The defense argues that the judge made mistakes and suggests that a new trial take place. Although they are the most common, it is on very rare occasions that the judge admits that an error occurred and overturns a jury verdict of
guilty.

Even though they are rarely granted, in my opinion, considering Murray?s
celebrity status and occupation, the judge may grant Murray a postverdict motion.
One thing that is for sure is that if Murray like Casey Anthony is lucky enough to escape
by being granted an acquittal, Kepner v. United States (1904) protects him from being
retried. The same goes for her. The fifth amendment protects both of them from double
jeopardy.

*[Basically what I am proposing is that you can add to this]

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