Your final assignment involves a real-life case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, United States v. Bass, No. 01-1471. The Supreme Court reversed a Sixth Circuit opinion upholding a federal court’s decision to grant defendant John Bass?s discovery motion based on selective prosecution.
Bass, the defendant, alleged that the government was seeking the death penalty against him because of his race and was granted a motion for discovery regarding the governments capital charging practices. (Discovery is a legal process whereby each opposing side is required to divulge or disclose information to the other side if that information is to be used at trial.) The Sixth Circuit found that Bass made a threshold showing
based on national statistics that the United States charged blacks with a death-eligible offense more than twice as often as it charges whites.?
The Supreme Court, however, found that Bass did not make a threshold showing for a selective prosecution case, which requires evidence of a discriminatory effect and discriminatory intent. The Supreme Court reversed the Sixth Circuit, holding that a discriminatory effect couldn?t be found because raw statistics regarding overall charges say nothing about charges brought against similarly situated defendants.?
(United States v. Bass, 536 U.S. 862 (2002) (per curiam)).
First, you’ll need to read the appeal (the underlying opinion upon which the Supreme Court based its decision). It can be accessed in full at http://laws.lp.findlaw.com/6th/ 01a0340p.html. Next, read the actual Supreme Court opinion, found at http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/
getcase.pl?court=US&navby=case&vol=000&invol=01-1471. As you probably know, Supreme Court review is the ?end of the line? so to speak, in that there?s no higher authority to which one may appeal in a criminal case. However, for purposes of this assignment, imagine that you?re an advocate for
Your task is to argue that the Supreme Court ruled incorrectly in the United States v. Bass case. Bear in mind, as advocate, you must make the arguments even if you personally don’t believe the Supreme Court was wrong in its ruling. You must explain in detail why the Supreme Court ruling was incorrect.
Your boss has handed you the file. Go to it.
1. Type your submission, double-spaced, in a standard print font, size 12. Use a standard document format with 1-inch margins. (Do not use any fancy or cursive fonts.)
2. Include the following information at the top of your paper:
b. Student number
c. Course title and number
d. Research project number
3. Read the assignment carefully and address the issue
4. Be specific. Limit your submission to the topic or issues mentioned.
5. Include a reference page that lists Web sites, journals, or other references used in preparing the submission.
6. Proofread your work carefully. Check for correct spelling, grammar, punctuation, and capitalization.
? Provides a clear discussion of the assigned topic or issue
? Addresses the subject in complete sentences, not just simple yes-or-no statements
? Supports his or her opinion by citing specific information from the assigned Web sites and any other references used
? Uses concepts (no fewer than six) contained in the textbook, study guide, and/or other outside resource to formulate arguments
? Use facts contained in the appeal (the underlying case forming the basis of the Supreme Court opinion) and demonstrate how the facts are supported by the theories, data, and studies sited in the course ? Stays focused on the assigned issues ? Writes in his or her own words and uses quotation marks to indicate direct quotations
? Includes an introductory paragraph, a body, and a concluding paragraph
? Uses correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, and
? Provides clear organization by using words like first, however, on the other hand, and so on, consequently, since, next, and when
? Makes sure the paper contains no typographical errors Format The paper is double-spaced and typed in font size 12. It includes the student?s name, student number, course title and number, and research project number.
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