Court Testimony and Presentation
To introduce students to the adversarial court process
To introduce students to the standards by which the fourth amendment is interpreted
To give students practice at writing and reviewing reports
To give students practice in public speaking skills necessary for court presentation
1. Look over the scenario listed below.
2. You and your partner will write a police report, detailing the crime, warrant application and subsequent facts discovered during the investigation of this scenario.
3. Do not add to or change the scenario.
4. Your report will be given to another student who will play the defense attorney.
5. One of you will play the role of a prosecuting attorney and the other will play the role of an arresting officer on the witness stand.
6. You will testify to the facts and evidence you know, and you will provide props for evidence if so needed.
7. The defense attorney will then cross-examine you.
8. The State may conduct re-direct examination after the defense does cross-examination.
9. The Defense also has the right to re-cross examine.
Look over the case and prepare notes on it. Decide on a strategy to discredit the officer's testimony. Also be willing to try to create doubt of any evidence. Check over the officer's report and be willing to make motions that evidence be suppressed. Be able to support your moves to suppress evidence based on the fourth amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Your case guideline will be Terry v. Ohio. The State must establish that there was reasonable suspicion to detain this suspect and pat him down for weapons.
Terry Stop scenario
On August 8, 2002, you are an officer assigned to a Narcotics interdiction team. You are working a high crime area known for sale of crack cocaine. You and your team are serving old arrest and bench warrants to make a police presence known in this area. At approximately 2:00 pm in front of the Bantam Chef on 240 Augusta Rd., your team notices a black male on a pay phone who keeps avoiding eye contact. He does not match the description of any of the warrants you are serving. You approach him and ask for identification. He keeps turning around to avoid you and you notice he keeps putting his hand at his waist. You are suspicious of his actions. You pull your weapon and confront him. A pat down reveals a hidden gun and you arrest him for carrying a concealed weapon.
A check reveals the suspect to be Howard Biggs, who has prior felony convictions. Mr. Biggs is charged under a statute prohibited the possession of a handgun by a convicted felon. In this instance the victim is the State or Society.
Time of crime: ____________________________________