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CRJ 330
Law and Courts
Spring Day 2018
Critical Analysis Activity 3
Question 1
(40 points)
Please watch this video clip: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/mandatory-minimumsentencing-injustice-served/. After doing so, please respond to the following prompts:
(a) Explain at least four of the commonly articulated ‘goals’ of incarceration. (1 or 2
paragraphs)
(b) What is the legal or societal purpose of ‘mandatory minimum sentences’, generally,
and when did they become a popular function in the American sentencing scheme?
(1 or 2 paragraphs)
(c) Since Lee Wollard’s sentencing, the Florida Supreme Court has repudiated
mandatory minimum sentences with respect to the crime(s) he was convicted of.
Unfortunately, this repudiation doesn’t apply retroactively. Therefore, Lee will not
be released as a result. Should it apply retroactively? Should this be true of all
‘changes or evolutions in the law’? Think: Charles Manson! (2 or more paragraphs)
Question 2
(20 points)
Please review the article found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/28/us/inbroward-county-fla-spate-of-judges-in-dui-arrests.html. This ran in the New York Times
in 2014 and (in a humorous way) discusses a “trend” of judicial DUI arrests in Florida.
After reviewing the article (and any other supplemental material you deem appropriate)
and using what you have learned about misconduct and criminal activity on the part of
judges,
(a) Please discuss whether this type of criminal activity amounts to judicial misconduct
and why. (1 paragraph)
(b) If this activity DOES amount to judicial misconduct, discuss whether the misconduct
rises to a level that warrants removal from the bench? (1 paragraph)
Question 3
(40 points) (at least 2 paragraphs)
On the night of February 26, 2012, in Sanford, Florida, George Zimmerman fatally shot
Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African American high school student. Zimmerman, a 28year-old mixed race Hispanic man was the neighborhood watch coordinator for the
gated community where Martin was temporarily living and where the shooting took
1
place. Zimmerman shot Martin, who was unarmed, during an altercation between the
two. Responding to an earlier call from Zimmerman, police arrived on the scene within
two minutes of the shooting. Zimmerman was taken into custody, treated for head
injuries, then questioned for five hours. The police chief said that Zimmerman was
released because there was no evidence to refute Zimmerman’s claim of having acted in
self-defense, and that under Florida’s Stand Your Ground statute, the police were
prohibited by law from making an arrest. The police chief also said that Zimmerman had
a right to defend himself with lethal force. A jury agreed.
(a) Explain (at length) jury nullification, and provide real-life or hypothetical examples to
illustrate the same. (1 paragraph)
(b) Discuss how the jury in the Zimmerman case might have engaged in jury nullification.
Note: This is hypothetical. The jury did not engage in nullification and, therefore, you
are advising your reader of how the jury could have engaged in nullification if it had
wanted to. (1 paragraph)
PLEASE DO NOT WRITE IN THE FIRST-PERSON NARRATIVE (I, WE, OUR, YOU)
Please comply with APA citation guidelines. This includes direct quotations and paraphrasing
from your text and outside sources you may use. Your submission is due to Canvas (as a Word or
PDF document) no later than 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, April 17.
2

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