Issues with Sentencing
Imagine you are a judicial assistant for a superior court judge. As an alumnus, you’ve been asked by your university to write a paper for the criminal justice department’s journal, read by students and alumni, based on a court case you’ve observed as part of your job.
Write 700- to 1,050-word paper for the journal and address the following:
Was the crime control or due process model of punishment used in the case? Do you agree with it? Explain your answer.
What are some of the issues related to due process?
What was the sentence given in the trial? What are the sentencing guidelines for the crime committed in the trial (refer to the sentencing guidelines of the state the trial was held)?
What are some of the issues related to sentencing? Were there any issues raised in this case? Ifso, what were they? If not, in your opinion could any issues have been raised?
Was there an appeal or post-conviction relief (review)? What is the law in the state of the trial for post-conviction relief (review)?
Differentiate post-conviction relief (review) and appeal. Compare post-conviction relief(review) to the Innocence Protection Act of 2004.
|Subject||Law and governance||Pages||4||Style||APA|
Issues with Sentencing, Post-conviction Relief, and Due Process
This paper will discuss the criminal trial of Scott Peterson and his sentencing, post-conviction relief, and due process. The discussion will also involve the legality of all phases throughout the process.
The due process model of punishment was used in the case of Scott Peterson on the killing of his wife Laci and the fetus. Scott was convicted of first-degree murder of his wife and second-degree murder of their unborn son, Conner, and the judge sentenced him to death through injection by lethal chemicals (Ott, 2020). One week after the judgment was made, Scott filed an appeal to the Supreme court in California with his lawyers claiming that the publicity made during his arrest and trial had limited their client’s chances of getting a fair judgment. I agree with the process because anybody accused and sentenced for a crime has the right to appeal if they believe that the court process was not handled in the right manner.
Scott Peterson was convicted on first- and second-degree murder and was given the death penalty. In California, when the prosecution is seeking the death penalty, the sentence is decided by one judge, and the Jury must be unanimous. Some of the issues presented before the court were that he sold the wife’s car before her lifeless body and that of the unborn baby was found; this was unacceptable behavior for a committed family man. Scott was also accused of lack of concern over his family’s disappearance because he refused to take the polygraph test. The prosecution statement indicated that Scott Sought responsibility-free life by murdering the wife and the unborn child (Ott, 2020). In my opinion, I feel that it was not right to use an individual’s behavior as proof of murder. It was also wrong for the court to make a ruling based on public opinions.
In the case of Scott Peterson, two appeals were submitted to the appellate court. In his first appeal, he filed a 423-page evidence with his lawyers arguing that he was not accorded a fair hearing claiming that the intensive publicity influenced the judge’s decision (Ott, 2020). The judge was also accused of excluding other jurors who were against the death penalty, but they said they would consider giving such kind of a sentence. It was also discovered that the court relied on evidence from police dogs with a poor track record of success, and this should not have been done. Scott’s second appeal is similar to the first appeal; the only difference is that Nice, who was one of the late trial replacements, had given false information concerning her involvement by failing to say that she had once been warned by her boyfriend’s former girlfriend. In California, the law allows for a limited time for an individual who has been convicted to pursue the measures to overturn the rulings, get the sentence modified, or records expunged.
While admitting that the argument raised by Scott was right, that the jurors with a different opinion on the death penalty were not considered, the California Supreme Court overturned Scott’s death ruling. However, the court rejected the argument that the public and the media opinion influenced Scott’s judgment (Ott, 2020).
The difference between post- conviction relief and appeal includes the following; post-conviction relief allows the accused to present proof and to add issues of concern in a case during and after the verdict within post-trial (Spatz, 2018). There must be a valid reason for this to help obtain a fair trial in a case. Such evidence must include DNA that can help prove one’s innocence, jury misconduct, prosecution misconduct, and changes in the law post-verdict and that of being represented poorly by your attorney (Megaro, 2020). In a direct appeal of a criminal conviction, the defendant must file a motion to appeal in a correct time frame given in a timely fashion for the case to be heard and for it to be heard by the appellate court. When the appellate court hears it, there are limits to what events can be heard from the intimal court trial (Spatz, 2018). Although each state has its own time limit, all cases must be filed in a timely fashion with sufficient evidence to hear the case again. With the post-conviction, one must have solid evidence to convince the judges that there was wrong information given during the procedure of the trial, or they have clear evidence such as DNA that can prove one’s innocence and win the new trial. Innocence Protection Act is the reform that was meant to reduce the risk of killing innocent citizens through the death penalty. The Act involve the representation of needy offenders in the state cases and compensation of the victims of the unfair sentences.
Megaro, P. (2020). Latest news in New York criminal law, appeals and post-conviction relief with Patrick Michael Megaro 8-14-2020. Appeals Law Group. https://www.appealslawgroup.com/latest-news-in-new-york-criminal-law-appeals-and-post-conviction-relief-with-patrick-michael-megaro-8-14-2020-2/
Ott, T. (2020). Scott Peterson: A Complete Timeline of His Trial for the Murder of His Wife Laci and Unborn Son. Biography. https://www.biography.com/news/scott-peterson-laci-murder-trial-timeline-facts#:~:text=WWE Legends-,Scott Peterson%3A A Complete Timeline of His Trial for the,a never-ending legal saga
Spatz, R. (2018). The difference between a direct appeal and post-conviction relief in Florida. Spatz Law Firm, PL. https://www.spatzlawfirm.com/blog/2018/05/the-difference-between-a-direct-appeal-and-post-conviction-relief-in-florida/