External Discussion and Reflection

  

External Discussion and ReflectionA law enforcement officer arrests 15-year old Christopher Simmons and two of his friends, Justin Wright and Todd Jones. It was later determined that Christopher and his two friends planned to commit burglary and murder by breaking and entering. The three suspects met in the middle of the night; however Justin Wright dropped out of the plot just before the burglary and the murder commenced. The other two suspects broke into Ms. Jacob’s home, bound the victims hands and covered her eyes. They then drove her to a state park and threw her off a bridge. Ms. Jacobs death was ruled, death by drowning. At the disposition hearing, the State presented a written evaluation of the juveniles; a psychologist performed the written evaluation. The report indicates that Christopher’s full scale I.Q. is 76, which is borderline intellectually disabled. The report indicates that Todd full scale I.Q. is 80, which indicates an individual of average intelligence. However, further results suggest that Todd may be brain damaged and possibly subject to autism and childhood schizophrenia.Your objective this week is to have a real life discussion on whether Justin should be legally charged in this case. And, whether Christopher and Todd, should be charged as juveniles or adults? If convicted, what you think should happen to each of the defendant, and why you think so in terms of the purpose of criminal law. (You know: retribution, community based sanctions, probation, mental institution, incapacitation, treatment or rehabilitation, or the possibility of restoration).Relevant court case:The Supreme Court in Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005) – The Supreme Court ruled that juveniles cannot be sentenced to death, writing that the death penalty is a disproportionate punishment for the young; immaturity diminishes their culpability, as does their susceptibility to outside pressures and influences.External Discussion requirements:You are required to have a real-time, 30-minute discussion with someone (in person, on the phone, via Zoom, etc.) followed by a written (150 words) reflection or an audio summary (3-5minutes) – Audacity Audio Recording .As you discussBe sure to understand what age an individual can be charged as an adult in the state of Maryland.Make sure you are able to articulate the legal requirements of whether Justin can be charged- The criminal act element required for an accessory in the majority of jurisdictions is aiding or assisting a principal in escape, concealment, or evasion of arrest and prosecution or conviction after the principal commits a felonHow does Christopher’s I.Q. and mental illness shape the case outcome?Are there any additional questions that must be answered in order to know whether to proceed in the juvenile or adult system? If yes, what question(s)?What sociological and biological factors may have contributed to the juveniles engaging in such a heinous offense?

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